Real Estate Advice: Why You Need An Energy Audit When Buying A Home

Goodale Miller Team


Energy-saving and energy-efficient homes are often highlighted by real estate agents as great deals, but how important is having an energy-efficient home for real? How do people know that a certain home is truly green and can save you thousands of dollars in future bills? The answer lies in an energy audit.

What is an Energy Audit

An energy audit is a measurement of how energy-efficient a home is. It is also a process that identifies problem areas and names possible home improvement recommendations that can increase a home’s energy efficiency.

Why Have An Energy Audit When Buying a Home

There are some instances when an energy audit has been already performed for a home listed for sale. This information is typically not found in the listings but can be accessed by licensed real estate agents. When buying a home or looking for one, you may ask your real estate agent to look into this or ask the homeowners directly. If you’re really keen on an energy-efficient home, you can request an energy audit during home inspection prior to closing the sale.As a home buyer, pushing for an energy audit will give you information regarding what possible home improvement is needed as well as what to expect in projected bills. It is a better estimate of future bills rather than simply asking for a copy of past bills because an energy audit will give you insight as to how the home was built, letting you understand your future home on a deeper level. An energy audit is a great bargaining tool for the buyer and a powerful selling tool for the seller.

Home Energy Audit Score and Types

Various institutions offer different types of home energy audit. A popular and reliable one is the HES or the Home Energy Score by the Department of Energy because it compares your home to other homes based on several metrics. It is relatively objective compared to other audits that do not use specific measurements. Note that other methods of home energy audits rely on visual inspection such as noting the type of lightbulbs used or wether windows are double glazed or not.

How Expensive is An Energy Audit

Assessors usually charge between $150 to $250, with prices going up or down depending on the size of the home and whether the audit was done as part of a home inspection.

What to Expect from an Energy Audit

The assessor will usually take a couple of hours to complete the assessment. The assessor may look into the windows, flooring material, floor space, insulation, the type of heating used, how good is the ductwork, and many more details. Each detail is entered into a database for calculation of the home’s energy-efficiency score.
The assessor will give you a report that will state the home’s energy efficiency rating as well as recommendations to improve it. Each recommendation will usually have a note as to how much money it can save you in the long-run, allowing you to pick the solutions that offer the most return of investment for your money and efforts.
An energy-efficient home is a joy to maintain. The asking price might be a little more than you expect to spend, but the savings will continue for a lifetime. Contact us if you’re looking for energy-efficient luxury homes in Oakville!

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