The more I learn about the Energy Conservation Audit and Disclosure, the less I like it.
On page 8 of the Energy Efficiency Upgrades Task Force delivered to the Austin Mayor and Council on September 17th, 2008 it reads:
"The Task Force had initially considered and approved a prescriptive checklist of required efficiency upgrades in lieu of an audit. The advantage seen by the Task Force of such a list was that an individual homeowner could self assess and avoid the cost of an audit. However, the Austin Board of Realtors made a proposal to the Task Force urging that an audit be required before a property is sold with full disclosure to the Purchaser. That presentation is attached as Exhibit 2. On the basis of that proposal, the Task Force decided to adopt the recommendation of the Austin Board of Realtors and recommend that a third party audit be performed before a home is sold and the results of the audit disclosed to the purchaser."
I've contacted the Austin Board of REALTORS (ABOR) and asked two of their members why their representatives on the Energy Efficiency Upgrades Task Force "urged" homeowners who were selling their home to get an "energy" audit. I add quotes around the word energy because the audit never informs the homeseller or buyer how much energy the home should be using based on a national, regional or comparable home-size standard or average.
The audit will tell you if the attic needs more insulation, if the home is "leaking air" and if the HVAC ducts are leaking. The audit tells you if the windows have solar screens and how much shade covers the home. I don't know about you, but when the sun hits my Austin home on a cold February morning, I don't mind if the sun warms my windows too.
I was pretty gung-ho on the ABOR until I found out they were "urging" the audits to begin with.
I think I'll formally ask the Austin Board of REALTORS for $300. That should cover my home energy audit. Which is mandatory. And enforced by a Class C misdemeanor for non-compliance and a fine of up to $2000.
I can't wait to see what sort of stupidity Austin City Council has in store for Austin.
And by the way, do you think a homebuyer is going to base their home purchasing decision based on the current R-value of installed insulation in an attic?