The City of Portland has developed its own Home Energy Score Report. The layout of the Portland Home Energy Score Report is standardized to provide consistency for realtors and home buyers when comparing homes. That means that all companies providing home energy scores will produce exactly the same report product.
The report is prepared by a certified home energy assessor, and includes:
- The Home Energy Score,
- Estimate of total annual energy use and costs, and
- Recommendations on cost-effective energy efficiency improvements.
A below average score does not mean the home is poorly built, it just means there is significant room for improvement to reduce a home’s energy use. Larger homes will have lower scores, similar to comparing the miles per gallon of an SUV.
How to Interpret the Home Energy Score Report
Home Energy Score. Homes are scored on a ten-point scale, with “1” indicating higher energy use and “10” indicating lower energy use. The score is comparable to the miles-per-gallon ratings on cars: it conveys information about what a house’s estimated energy use is, based on the physical characteristics (size, orientation, window types, insulation, roof materials, etc.) of the home, and its systems (heating, cooling, etc.). It does not reveal information about the personal behavior of occupants.
Cost. The costs listed in the Home Energy Report are estimates based on average use patterns in similar homes. Like a miles-per-gallon rating, actual usage and costs may differ from what the Report shows due to the behavior and choices of the occupants.
Assessment date. Exactly two years after this date, a new report will need to be pulled from the Green Building Registry prior to listing for sale. The new report is free and allows the system to update the report for current energy costs and carbon emissions factors.
Score expiration date. This the date after which a new on-site assessment is required. The Home Energy Score is valid for eight years after issue, provided that no changes to mechanical systems, energy efficiency or square footage in the home has occurred.
Score with improvements. This is the Home Energy Score that this house could achieve if all of the practical energy improvements listed on the back of the Home Energy Report were installed. Working with a contractor or on your own, you could implement a select package of measures which achieves an even higher score.
Estimated energy savings with improvements. The amount of money you could save on energy costs each year. Please note, this estimate is based on the systems in the house and not behavior or energy use decisions of the occupants.
Estimated carbon reduction with improvements. The carbon reduction percentage is also an annual amount and is based on installing the practical energy improvements listed on the back of the Home Energy Report.
Recommended improvements. The back of the report includes a list of recommended improvements which is customized to the data from the house. This list is limited to improvements with a simple payback of ten years or less.