Residential Energy Audit Proposed

Council Members Schroeder and Gordon are pushing to add an Energy Audit to the Truth In Housing disclosure. Here are the descriptions of the two residential proposals, one for rental property and the other for homeowners when they sell. For further information, see the link here:

Time-of-Rent Energy Disclosure

Proposal: require rental property owners to disclose energy use at time of rent.

Renters comprise over half of Minneapolis’ population, and these residents are most vulnerable togeneral housing instability and volatility in housing costs (rent, utilities, etc.). By requiring landlords to provide average per-unit energy use at time of lease renters would have upfront insight into the actual total housing costs of a given building.

It would also create an implicit incentive for building owners to make energy efficiency upgrades that lower utility bills – something that is currently missing for the large number of properties where landlords pass energy costs on to residents. And while it is true that this data can fluctuate based on individual behavior, this policy would encourage residents to be aware of their energy use.

This policy carries benefit for every renter. However it is important to consider its acute impact on low- wealth households – those who live in our least-efficient housing stock, for whom high energy bills can drive their housing cost burden well beyond their means. Understanding energy costs at point of lease can protect these households from unexpected increases in total housing costs.

Time of Sale Energy Disclosure

Proposal: include energy efficiency information in Truth In Sale of Housing (TISH) inspections.

Time of sale energy disclosure will promote energy awareness among residents, allow the City to track residential efficiency, and incentivize energy projects that will help reach the City’s carbon reduction goals. Utilizing TISH for energy disclosure allows for efficient implementation that will lower costs for both the City and the seller, rather than a separate inspection requirement like in Portland, OR.

The energy information provided will help inform the market of the total cost of ownership, and may encourage sellers to pursue energy efficiency upgrades to give themselves a market advantage – which will also help reach our carbon reduction goals. This measure is especially significant in the Minneapolis market, where 70% of homes lack adequate insulation – one of the most impactful efficiency projects, in terms of both cost and energy savings.

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