Austin Energy InspectionThe Energy Audit is coming to Austin! Here’s Austin home inspector Stan Pearson’s overview of the upcoming changes. I’ll talk more about the impact on selling your Austin home in a coming article.

“In June of 2009, the City of Austin will implement the energy audit ordinance, which essentially states that 1-4 family homes 10 years or older are required to have an energy audit performed by a certified auditor . It is the seller™s responsibility to present the audit report before closing. This audit will consist of 4 primary steps:

  1. Check weather stripping on doors
  2. Check for solar/shade screens on windows facing west, south, and east
  3. Check R-value of attic insulation
  4. Perform a duct pressure test on HVAC ducts to locate leaks.

Many Home Performance contractors already offer this level of testing. They also offer more detailed audits that can include thermographic inspection using an infrared camera, a blower door test, and a duct blaster test.   So it™s safe to assume these professionals will be a top choice by consumers to perform the Austin audits.

Using a Home Performance contractor would be an advantage if the homeowner is planning on making the suggested upgrades, as they™re prepared to do the actual work. A disadvantage might include having to sit through a sales pitch, and be persuaded to undertake more work than necessary.

Home Inspectors are another group of professionals to consider. Codes of conduct disallow inspectors from doing work on homes they inspect, thus avoiding conflicts of interest. Aspects of the energy audit are already part of the normal course of a home inspection. Approximate depth of attic insulation, condition of door weatherstripping, and condition (though not type) of window screens, are noted in an inspection. I would expect that many home inspectors will become certified to perform the Austin audits.

For some, the choice of auditor might become an issue of timing. If a seller is having a pre-inspection done, it might be practical to have the inspector perform the audit at that time. The seller will then have more time to decide on a course of action.   For others, it may just be a matter of œcheapest and quickest. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out in the market”

You can read more about the Austin Climate Protection Plan in a prior article.

Stan Pearson is a home inspector in Austin, Texas. Garreth Wilcock is a Real estate agent in Austin. You can search homes for sale in Austin at his website.


4 Comments

Cindy Marchant · April 21, 2009 at 5:39 am

It is no surprise to me that Austin Real Estate is embracing "green" and energy efficiency. Austin is always on the cutting edge of that type of thing.
I would hope more and more sellers opt to have the inspection both mechanical and energy before they put their home on the market. It does affect the strategy in selling when you know what you will be spending in repairs.

Marino Petriccione · June 8, 2009 at 4:17 pm

If you are looking for information about the new Austin ordinance, to schedule an audit, or become and auditor visit http://www.hegreen.com/energy_audit_certification_class.html. Halcyon Environmental provides green building expertise and can help with any questions about BPI Certification, green building, energy efficiency and sustainability.

Garreth Wilcock · June 11, 2009 at 10:59 am

Austin is leading the way – we’re in some ways a beta test for such mandatory audits in other areas.

William · August 7, 2009 at 6:14 pm

Agreed. The idea of reducing consumption by increasing efficiency makes the most sense for simplicities sake and economically. If buyers make the upgrades this ordinance pushes for, the city of Austin could reduce energy demand by as much as 1/4 of what it otherwise could be. If you want to learn more about home energy efficiency visit http://www.austinauditors.com and click the "get informed" tab.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *