A Case Study on the Impact of the Portland Home Energy Score on the Real Estate Market

Portland Home Energy Scores are now showing up in Portland real estate listings by the thousands, providing unprecedented transparency into the hidden or often ignored elements of a home (Hello, wall insulation and air ducts!). Portland’s local real estate professionals and their clients are becoming increasingly familiar with this relatively new feature in Portland listings and are finding a wide range of ways to use the score to their advantage. Savvy home sellers and their selling agents, as well as homebuyers and their buying agents, are creating tangible benefits from the information conveyed in a Home Energy Score. Whether potentially reducing risk, increasing value for home sellers, or protecting homebuyers from unforeseen expenditures, the score is becoming a powerful tool to make more informed decisions. Read on to hear more from local real estate professionals and homeowners about how the Portland Home Energy Score helps homebuyers and sellers better understand the value of a home.

"A market-wide HES system creates a marketplace where energy performance investments are spotlighted, compared, and valued."

—Mike Tucker, Windermere


The Client’s Perspective: Selling and Buying with HES

Living Room Realty’s de la Rua has had several clients that have benefited from the Home Energy Score in selling and buying processes. Michael Heumann worked with Ana to sell his 1911 bungalow in 2018 just after the requirement to display a Home Energy Score in sales listings began in Portland. This worked out well for Michael: because of prior energy investments his home had the best score possible, a 10. Ana had no problem marketing and selling it, and then also assisted Michael in buying his next home.

PDX houseAs a homebuyer, Michael settled on a home he loved with a score of 4 at the time of listing. Even though the home had a lower score than the one he was selling, the Home Energy Score gave Michael a clear picture of what he was getting himself into. It also helped him understand future improvements to enhance the comfort and energy performance. Not long after closing on the house, he began working with an Energy Trust Trade Ally to access incentives to reduce the costs of the retrofits. (energytrust.org) “While I need to unroll retrofits on a schedule that I can afford, I utilized Energy Trust incentives to install the high efficiency heat pump water heater. I additionally installed solar panels on my home because the immediate environmental impact is the most important to me.” All of these improvement opportunities were detailed in the Home Energy Score report and available to Michael before he closed on the house, making it much easier for him to plan what he would need to do before he even moved in.

Two-thirds of surveyed Portland homebuyers discussed Home Energy Scores with their Real Estate Agents. 

—Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability homebuyer survey


Where to Find Portland Home Energy Scores

  • If a home has a Portland Home Energy Score, it can always be found on the Green Building Registry.

  • Real estate agents or appraisers can go to us.greenbuildingregistry.com and search an address, zip code, neighborhood, or city to see homes that have a score or certification.

  • When it comes to listing a home with a Portland Home Energy Score, RMLS™ provides an easy-to-use button in the Green/Energy listing tab that automatically pulls the Home Energy Score and URL into the listing from the Green Building Registry.

  • Go to pdxhes.com/real-estate-professionals for detailed guidance on this process.