The View From Here
by Ric Jackson
January 5th, 2015

Does Your Home Need an Energy Diet?

As the calendar turns and a new year begins, many of us are resolving to reduce stress, eat better and spend more quality time at the gym. Fitness is at the top of our minds as we strive to hit that magic number on the bathroom scale or fit into those size (insert number here) pants in the back of the closet.

When it comes to losing those holiday pounds, success is easy to measure. But what if there was a way to measure the “fitness” of your home? Thanks to the efforts of the Center for Energy and Environment and the Neighborhood Energy Connection, consumers in Minnesota have a new number to work toward.

The new program takes into account heating systems, insulation, air sealing, windows, lighting, ventilation and combustion system to produce a score from 1 to 100 (with 100 being the most efficient). To be considered “fit,” a home must score at least a 95. Once that number is reached, it can then be listed on the real estate industry’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS) as green-certified.

The primary purpose of the Energy Fit program is to give homebuyers a sense for the efficiency of available homes – a trait that’s becoming increasingly sought after. On the flip side, it gives sellers a leg up against neighborhood comparables and more leverage when it comes to negotiations. Often, that means putting their homes on an energy diet, including installing new, efficient windows.

While this program might only be of interest to those of you selling windows in Minnesota, the concept of having a clear, understandable way of measuring a home’s energy efficiency is appealing on a broader scale. With the MLS adding green data fields to listings, it’s already getting easier for consumers to search for and find homes that offer greater energy savings. More state or regional programs like this are likely to emerge.

The View from Here is that energy diets will become increasingly important to make homes more appealing for sale. Our role is to help consumers make the right choices to save them money now—and to help them sell their homes in the future.

What’s your view? Email me directly at eric.jackson@quanex.com.

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