Rep. Cartwright Introduces Legislation Aimed at Saving Homeowners Money on Their Energy Bills
Washington, DC – Yesterday, U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright introduced the Scoring Calculations for Our Residential Energy (SCORE) Act, legislation that will help homeowners better understand their home’s energy efficiency and give homeowners a clear, cost effective plan to save money and reduce their energy use.
“Homes in the United States consume more than 20% of our nation’s energy and more than half of the energy used in the buildings sector,” Rep. Cartwright said. “While there are plenty of opportunities to improve the efficiency of most homes, consumers have historically underinvested in energy efficiency upgrades.”
In the real estate market, a fresh coat of paint can return far more in resale value than it costs, while an extra layer of insulation reduces energy bills in perpetuity but has little to no impact on resale value.
Long term, an energy score should be provided alongside the walking score in a real estate listing and become as common as detailing the miles per gallon when selling a car. In fact, the market is already beginning to move in this direction; some prospective home buyers now request information about the energy efficiency of homes before buying. Realtors and the MLS listing service in 79 out of the top 100 metropolitan areas are responding with fields reserved for energy efficiency or environmental impacts of the residence on home listings. A study from Chicago showed that homes that provided this information online in an easy to access format stayed on the market 20 days fewer than those homes that did not provide online access to their energy use.
Specifically, the SCORE Act would codify the voluntary Department of Energy (DOE)’s Home Energy Score Program. The program generates a report that includes a current evaluation of the energy efficiency of the home and presents a “score with improvements” that reflects the home’s expected score if cost-effective improvements are made. By including a measurable return on investment, the score value incentivizes homeowners to make energy investments.
Rep. Cartwright concluded, “The faster the market adopts energy scoring, the more money homeowners will save on their energy bills and the less energy our homes will waste.”
Rep. Matt Cartwright represents Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District, which includes Schuylkill County and portions of Carbon, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, and Northampton Counties. Cartwright serves on the House Committee on Appropriations.