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.
Why Get a Home Energy Score?
Why Get a Home Energy Score?
Why Should You Encourage Your Clients to Get a Home Energy Score?
Flyers to Share with Clients
What is a Home Energy Score?
A 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 score 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. The score is similar to a miles per gallon rating on a car. The car does not include actual miles until a driver takes the car on the road. The same concept applies here with a Home Energy Score rating.
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 the property is an apartment or condo?
Condos or apartments usually do not qualify, as they have either a shared roof or foundation which prevents the scoring tool from modeling correctly. If you are unsure if the property is eligible email us at HomeEnergy@denvergov.org to inquire and we will confirm one way or the other.
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. The scoring tool was created to rate existing homes, and our older housing stock in Denver was not necessarily built to be the most efficient but that doesn’t mean we have bad homes. Think of the score as “meeting homes where they are at” rather than saying all homes were built to a 10.
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, Xcel Energy offers a few programs for minimal costs that can be useful: Home Energy Squad - Quick install home visit (LED’s, weather stripping, etc) | Call 303-446-7910 or visit the website; or a Home Energy Audit - First step to assess your home’s energy use through details diagnosis.
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.
Rebates through Xcel Energy
This loan makes energy upgrades easy and affordable by offering low-cost, long-term financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements.
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.
This program supports Denver neighborhoods in deepening their sustainability efforts, while getting support and recognition from the City.
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