Energy Efficiency of Homes

It seems to me that as an industry we have not done much to assist buyers in identifying homes that are more energy efficient and therefore less costly to operate (lower utility bills etc). We are comparing our MPG on cars, but are not asking for the same on our homes, which cost more than 20x as much as a car. Do any of you ask for the last few years of energy bills when considering the purchase of a home?
  • May 21 2009 - San Jose
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Answers (9)

Profile picture for Mr Caveat
i keep meaning to write something about turning uncle sam's 8k credit into a 10 or 12 k credit by spending it on other bailout props that promote sustainability... hybrids, new windows... the cost of these would be offset a great deal by combining your homebuyer tax credit and the others in the bailout bill... i havent even started the research though

PS... yes, during inspection i specifically ask 1) what kind of insulation, 2) (i have already found out what kind of windows) and 3) checked for weatherproofing in attic, crawls and @ doors&windows... that + the kind of siding and you know 90% of what you need too... the rest is when the heater was installed.
  • May 21 2009
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Profile picture for sunnyview
Yes, I always ask for energy bills. My local utility used to give you the average summer and winter cost for houses by request. Due to privacy concerns, sadly they do not do that anymore. Energy cost is money that you never get back so reducing usage is important to my monthly bottom line. Even installing a programmable thermostat helps costs a lot and is inexpensive.
  • May 21 2009
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Profile picture for dacolan
Great post, NTETS. This is a subject I know little about (energy efficiency of homes) and am very interested in learning more. I'm looking forward to reading what you find re: sustainability and potential tax credits.
  • May 21 2009
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Other green/smart attributes: A high EER rating of the air conditioning system, multi-zone HVAC system, attic exhaust fan, tankless water heater, low flush toilets, dual glazed windows, natural foliage (to block UV in the spring and let in light in the fall), weather-stripping, solar collectors, drought tolerant landscaping, compact fluorescent bulbs, etc.
  • May 22 2009
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 Americans spend more on cable TV, phone bills than on PG&E bills and people don't think as much anymore. I am glad you are one of them.

The builders in the past few years have built those 19 feet ceiling monster homes and no matter what you do heat raises to the ceiling to warm the spiders. 

Our water is not free. Many households in the SC County spend several hundred dollars a month on lawn alone. Sometimes they are several thousand dollars behind on water......

Thanks for posting we need to be less fuelish and energy wise. More than half of the petro reserve is already consumed....
  • June 09 2009
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Let me share this with you. Not sure everyone keeps his utility bill that far back. When I re-insulated my own home it was the coldest winter when energy bills mattered. I showed my two winter and two summer utility bill as part of docs and got eye raising brows.

However, it is most common to ask the sellers what the bills were and
they normally will share their experience
  • June 09 2009
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Profile picture for real estate mike
The newer owens corning blow in paper insulation is so nice to work with. No more itchy eyes and burning skin :) I would like to learn more about the radiant barrier most the insulation companies are advertising now.
  • June 09 2009
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As you might or might not know, in Germany and other European Countries their is a legal requirment to provide an "Energy Passport" with the sale or lease of a residential and commercial building. The biggest new thing in Europe is the "Passiv Haus", a building standard that has been on a huge success for the last 10 years. Anyone interested in finding out more can email me.
  • June 10 2009
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We now have several Passive Houses in California. A book will be published shortly. I can share with you the information if you are interested. The Passive House standard will become part of the new building law in the European Union to ensure that Europe is able to fullfill it's Carbon emissions. I will post details shortly.
  • May 17 2010
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