Nearly ten years ago, IRES began to work closely with the Governor’s Energy Office, now known as the Colorado Energy Office, to “green the MLS”. IRES was the first Colorado MLS to implement green fields including Solar PV, HERS Scores, Energy Star Ratings and more. Since then, IRES has continued to lead with numerous behind the scenes efforts to improve energy efficiency knowledge and transparency in the industry.
Why does this matter? Homes with green features reduce costs of homeownership, often by hundreds to thousands of dollars per year, improve comfort throughout the home and, frankly, buyers feel good about purchasing a home that is more energy efficient.
A rigorous study released in January of this year by Build It Green demonstrated an increased sales price for green homes. This adds merit to numerous studies that reflect the same trend throughout the country. Previous studies show a median sales price increase of 9% (California) to 6% (Austin, Texas). In the IRES market over the past two years, residential listings with green features have a significantly higher median sales price. In addition, a 2013 Colorado Energy Office study showed that 70% of homes with solar panels had a higher sales price than their non-solar powered counterparts and 80% had less days on market. Simply put, green homes sell for more money and they sell faster.
IRES continues our tradition of greening the MLS. In July, IRES added the Home Energy Score field to Residential and Attached Dwelling listings. The Home Energy Score is a tool designed by the Department of Energy primarily for existing homes. It’s inexpensive and only takes about 15-20 minutes to acquire during the home inspection process or one hour as a standalone product. The Home Energy Score shows homeowners how efficient their home is currently when compared to others in the area and how efficient it could be with improvements.
According to Julie Dahl, the Director of Operations for IRES and former Home Energy Score trainer for the Colorado Energy Office, the addition of this field was imperative to furthering energy efficiency efforts along the Front Range. Julie stated, “The Home Energy Score allows sellers to point out the green features their home may have hidden behind their walls. Efficient homes with a higher price tags are often less expensive overall than a less efficient home with a lower price tag. Energy costs add up and they add up quickly. Typically, bumping up a HEScore is easy and doesn’t have to be expensive.” She continued “The HEScore is also great for buyers. They can request the HEScore during the home inspection process, arrange for energy-related loan products and then upgrade after closing. It doesn’t have to hold up the closing process and there are often Home Energy Score rebates to help offset the cost.”
Listed below are green fields in IRESis. We encourage you to add each feature, as applicable, to your listing along with proper documentation. Agents and appraisers may utilize the green fields in client searches or for valuation purposes.
- Home Energy Score
- HERS Energy Rating
- ENERGY STAR Qualified New Home
- LEED for Homes
- NAHB/NGBS-ICC 700
- Solar PV (Photovoltaic) – A solar panel that captures light from the sun and converts it into electricity
- Solar Thermal – Harnesses solar energy for thermal energy (heat).