City HELP Program
HELP™ Home Energy Labeling Partnerships
A NATIONAL OPPORTUNITY FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS TO TAKE ACTION
Scores, labels, and ratings are a regular part of how consumers communicate information. We consult miles-per-gallon ratings on cars, nutrition labels on food, star ratings for products and services on Google/Yelp/Amazon, and Energy Guide labels on appliances to make informed consumer decisions. Mandatory Home energy labeling policies are proving to be an effective lever for socializing the benefits of energy efficiency to a broad cross-section of the public, as well as helping to integrate energy performance information into the real estate and lending markets to ultimately inform and benefit consumers.
A home energy labeling policy addresses a consistent market failure: homebuyers don’t have access to verified information about the expected energy costs of a home before making a purchase decision. Greater transparency into a home’s estimated energy costs can help homebuyers easily compare various homes, take their financial circumstances into account, and then weigh their home buying options.
Label: US DOE Home Energy Score
Respected national system for calculating and documenting energy performance
Provides a consumer friendly 1-10 rating for easy comparison of homes
- Generates automated cost-effective home improvement recommendations
Policy Trigger: Disclosure at time of listing
Ensures that homebuyers have access to energy cost information before they make a purchase decision.
- Supports market transformation by making the information ubiquitous and enables access to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA financing products.
Authorizing Entity: Local Government
- City and county governments are best positioned to authorize that home sellers supply home energy information to buyers.
- State governments are best positioned to develop consistent standards, enable technical infrastructure, and support training and education.
Home energy labeling policies require sellers to make home energy performance information available to prospective buyers. The outcome is that standardized and comparable information is made available to the real estate market. This enables:
A market-based incentive to make energy efficiency upgrades
Creation of local jobs and businesses
- Greater awareness of energy cost burdens for lower income households
Resources for Local Governments
The Home Energy Labeling Partnership (HELP) includes 25+ cities and states working toward their own home energy labeling policy. HELP is a forum for local government staff and technical experts to share best practices to successfully authorize a home energy labeling policy.