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Home Energy Score Pilot for Denver Sellers, Buyers and New Homeowners

Denver is running a pilot to explore how sharing Home Energy Scores can drive awareness and energy savings for prospective home buyers, sellers and those who have recently purchased. The pilot will pay for a single-family home in Denver to receive a Home Energy Score generated by a qualified Home Energy Score Assessor ($175 value per home). The Score provides comparable and credible information about a home’s energy performance using a 10-point score to reflect how much energy the home is estimated to use in total, not per square foot.

SAMPLE HOME ENERGY SCORE REPORT

Why Get a Home Energy Score?
  • With Denver’s increasing cost of living, making your home more efficient is more important than ever.
  • A Home Energy Score shows how much energy a home is expected to use and estimates energy bills.
  • Home Energy Score Assessor recommendations can help you make informed decisions about upgrades that can make your new home as affordable and comfortable as possible from day one.
  • A Home Energy Score gives you more control of home energy costs. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average household spends $2,500 annually in energy costs — higher than property taxes or homeowners’ insurance.

Why Get a Home Energy Score?

  • Showcase the energy improvements made and potentially increase the home’s value.
  • Find out which cost-effective improvements will make your property more desirable before listing.
  • Give prospective buyers peace of mind by informing them of the home’s estimated energy costs.
  • Stand out in the market, especially if you expect the home will take longer to sell.

Why Get a Home Energy Score?

  • Find out how much energy a home is expected to use and how much energy bills are likely to be.
  • Use the recommendations provided to make informed decisions about upgrades that can make your new home as comfortable as possible.
  • If the home has a low Score, you may have an opportunity to roll the cost of upgrades into your mortgage (and other financing options) before closing.
  • Be in control of energy costs. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average household spends $2,500 annually in energy costs — higher than property taxes or homeowner’s insurance.

Why Should You Encourage Your Clients to Get a Home Energy Score?

  • It's a great way to give your clients valuable information about a home they are buying or selling.
  • No time to get a Score before closing? A Home Energy Score can still be valuable to new homeowners to encourage efficiency improvements.

Flyers to Share with Clients

For Sellers

For Buyers

For New Homeowners

What is the Home Energy Score?

The Home Energy Score is a home energy rating developed by the U.S. Department of Energy. It rates a home's estimated energy use on a scale of 1-10, where a core of 1 represents a home with high energy use, a score of 5 represents a home with average energy use, and a score of 10 represents a home with low energy use.

Who qualifies to get this Score?

For the sake of this pilot, if you are selling a home, buying a home or have purchased a home within the City and County of Denver in the past 12 months, you are eligible for a free Score. The property must be a single-family home (detached, attached, duplex or townhome) within the City and County of Denver boundaries.

What if I don’t want to share my Score?

The pilot asks that you share your Score in the MLS and with potential buyers, but it is not required. Even a low Score can be beneficial, as it can help buyers qualify for mortgage products that allow them to roll the costs of improvements before closing.

Our home scored low, does this mean we should back out?

Just because a home scores low does not mean it is a bad home. A variety of factors, including size and number of windows, affect how much energy is simply needed to heat and cool it. The Score reflects an estimate for how much energy the home will use, and it’s up to the owner/buyer to make improvements based on recommendations in the report.

If my Score is low, how can I improve it?

The Home Energy Score Assessor will provide recommendations and include available utility rebates for upgrades that can improve the efficiency of the home.

If I make improvements, can I get a new Score at no cost?

Please contact the Department of Public Health & Environment at HomeEnergy@denvergov.org, or call 720-865-5430 to see if funds are available to rescore.

Why is the City doing this?

Homes in Denver are a leading contributor to local greenhouse gas emissions related to energy use. A Home Energy Score not only helps the City meet its evidence-based climate goals, but it also help to make buildings cost-effective and energy-efficient. Helping residents understand how efficient (or inefficient) their homes are can better inform the full cost of owning a home to make it cost-effective while reducing emissions citywide.

Is anything else required of me if I participate?

The City will follow up with you through a survey to obtain feedback on the Score and to understand if the Score influenced your decision to make energy-related upgrades.

How are Home Energy Score Assessors qualified to give the Score?

The U.S. Department of Energy manages qualifications for Home Energy Assessors, and the City and County of Denver is responsible for overseeing Quality Assurance during the pilot. Read more about Qualifications for Home Energy Score Assessors.

How is a Home Energy Score Assessor assigned to my home?

After a Home Energy Score request is submitted online, a Home Energy Score Assessor under contract with the City for this pilot is assigned to the property. The Assessor will contact the requestor within 24 business hours to schedule a date to score the home.

I’m not selling or buying a house and have not recently moved; can I still get a free Score?

No. However, homeowners can pay for their own Home Energy Score at any time by inputting their zip code to find an active and qualified Home Energy Score Assessor in the Denver area.

For more information about the Home Energy Score pilot, email HomeEnergy@denvergov.org.

 

Energy Efficiency Resources for Denver Residents

Homes in Denver come in a variety of shapes and sizes. More importantly, how we use energy at home varies throughout the year due to the change of season, number of residents or how much we pay for energy. Making your home energy efficienct can improve comfort while reducing your energy bills. It can also help the City meet its climate goals while protecting public health.

Consider an energy audit to assess your home’s energy use before beginning projects. 

A home energy audit is a 2-3 hour diagnosis of your home performed by a certified and licensed auditor. A report will identify opportunities to improve your home now, and into the future when it’s time to replace appliances such as your heating or cooling systems. 

Prioritize Upgrades

Behavior Changes

  • Open/close blinds during hot or cold days
  • Install motion sensors/timers
  • Utilize power strips to turn off stand-by power

DIY Measures

  • Insulate hot water pipes and older water heaters
  • Utilize storm windows instead of replacing windows
  • Place a chimney balloon in your fireplace
  • Establish annual heating and cooling maintenance to maintain the life of your appliances
  • Weather-stripping and caulking around doors and windows

Low-Cost Changes

  • Change out incandescent bulbs to LEDs
  • Insulate and air seal attic, crawlspace and walls where possible

Higher-Cost Changes

  • Upgrade heating/cooling systems
  • Upgrade appliances to Energy Star rated

Additional Options

Be sure that your contractor is licensed to work within the City & County of Denver and pulling appropriate permits for your projects.

Licensed Contractor Search

Xcel Energy Contractors – click here

Why Permits Matter 

Rebates through Xcel Energy

Financing

  • RENU Loan – Colorado Energy Office statewide energy loan program click here

This loan makes energy upgrades easy and affordable by offering low-cost, long-term financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements. 

Tax Credits

Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency click here

1. Neighborhood Roadmap – Securing a Group Discount click here.

A helpful tool for neighborhoods/groups interested in facilitating a group discount for a specific home energy efficiency measures like insulation, furnace, evaporative coolers, solar etc.

2. Sustainable Neighborhoods Program – Is your neighborhood involved? check here

This program supports Denver neighborhoods in deepening their sustainability efforts, while getting support and recognition from the City.

 

NEWS & INFORMATION
 

 

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101 W Colfax Ave, Suite 800 
Denver, CO 80202
720.865.5452 
Fax: 720.865.5534 
eqcomments@denvergov.org

 

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