Resources to make existing homes more energy efficient are scaling up quickly right now. For example, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Neighborhood Program grants have created funding for home performance programs in more than 40 markets. Home Performance with Energy Star is now offered in more than 30 states. As housing stock evolves, it is important that the local real estate market does too.
In September, the Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago organized the Green MLS/Better Buildings Roundtable to get a better handle on opportunities and challenges. The event was held at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. The goal was to explore the current situation using seven Better Buildings markets as a sample.
The meeting brought together approximately 25 contributors from the seven markets, as well as their counterparts at several key trade organizations. The group was an unprecedented mix, and was roughly balanced between four key stakeholder groups: multiple listing service (MLS) operators; Realtors; appraisers; and home performance and energy efficiency professionals.
The seven markets included: Santa Clara County and Los Angeles County in California; Boulder, Colorado; Chicago Metro in Illinois; Westchester County, New York; Portland, Oregon; and Charlottesville, Virginia. National stakeholders included the Appraisal Institute, Building Performance Institute (BPI), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), EcoBroker International, Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), National Association of REALTORs (NAR) and the National Home Performance Council (NHPC).
Participants discussed how stakeholders can work together to build the market for energy efficient homes. Looking forward, there was support among participants for opportunities that would encourage the most future progress:
1. Create a clear path for valuing green and energy efficiency improvements.
2. Create a roadmap for the big pieces:
- Financing energy efficiency improvements (from education on products available to appraisal and loan closing)
- Valuation metric (established metric to link performance savings to value)
- Education and outreach
CNT Energy is currently documenting the viability and scope of related follow-up projects, as well as encouraging participating individuals and organizations who were inspired during the event to pursue their own ideas.
Click here for a summary of the roundtable discussion.
Click here for the complete report on the roundtable.
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