If you sell your single-family home that is more than 10 years old in Austin, Texas and you purchase electricity from Austin Energy, a regulated monopoly, as of June 1st, 2009 you'll probably need to get an Energy Conservation Audit and Disclosure (ECAD), unless you have recently participated in an Austin Energy residential energy-efficiency program or meet one of the other varied exceptions. Similar requirements are in place for multifamily and commercial properties, but not condominiums or manufactured homes without a permanent foundation.
The audit includes an assessment of the R-value of the attic insulation, the percentage of air leakage through the HVAC duct system, the number of windows exposed to direct sunlight for at least an hour a day, and the energy-efficiency rating of the air-conditioning equipment. It also includes suggestions for improving the home’s energy efficiency. Mandatory audits are expected to cost $200 to $300 for a typical single-family home of 1,800 square feet or smaller with a single air-conditioning system. Auditors set their own prices, which depend on the size of the home.
Historical energy use for the home is not presented to the seller, nor is a report comparing the property's energy use to nearby properties.
There is no requirement to make improvements based on the audit - you just have to give the results to the person buying the house and a copy of the audit must be sent to to Austin Energy for their "records". If you're thinking of improving your home's energy efficiency, check Austin Energy's rebate programs. Good thing the Austin Board of REALTORS stood up to City Council, the City of Austin intended to mandate energy efficiency upgrades at the time a home was sold. Bend over and grab your wallet!
One final note, if you fail to get an audit, you'll be charged with a Class C misdemeanor and fined between $500 and $2000.
Austin Energy. It's just a monopoly.©