Striving for High Performance with RECOs
States and municipalities across the US have implemented a number of strategies to increase the performance of the residential market. After all, this sector of the economy accounts for about $32Trillion, more than the commercial real estate market, according to Housing Wire. Enforcement of building codes is one way to do this, RECOs are another.
READ THE BLOG to find out more about RECO's and how providing diagnostic energy assessments during the time of a real estate transaction could help improve the quality of housing.
Residential Energy Conservation Ordinances (aka RECOs) were first implemented in the 1980's as a way to protect homeowners and renters from rising energy and water prices. Many of them required homeowners to take certain energy efficiency measures to improve the performance of their home. They also required that homeowners have an energy assessment done on their home before a sales transaction. An energy assessment would be completed in addition to a home inspection.
Seem redundant? Not really. The purpose of the home inspection is to insure the home is safe and the different component, like the plumbing, appliances, and mechanicals, function. An energy assessment or audit will perform diagnostic testing to determine the efficiency of the house as it compares to new construction and to other existing homes.
How are RECOs used today?
In general, RECOs are used to promote energy efficient housing. Some programs are voluntary, while others are mandatory. The state of Missouri, for example, has a state-wide voluntary program called the Missouri Home Certification Program. It helps homeowners convey the invested value of the energy efficient features of their home to potential buyers. Homes can receive a Gold or a Silver certificate. To achieve a gold certificate, a home must achieve a certain HERS rating, be Energy Start Certified, or meet other national building standards. Learn more about Missouri's program HERE.
Benefits of RECOs include:
- Promote energy efficient housing
- Helps buyers better understand WHAT they are buying.
- May encourage regular upkeep of homes, helping to maintain the value and quality of the building stock, providing higher resale value for homeowners.
Improving homes in Nashville: Food for thought
Although Nashville does not have a RECO in place, homeowners can choose to highlight the performance of their home in other ways. As we've seen from the two examples, home performance upgrades can definitely help the sales process by providing potential buyers with peace of mind.
How would the addition of home performance testing, such as air leakage and duct leakage testing, help you in your home purchase decision? Would the information it provided about the overall quality of performance prove valuable?
Our hope is that the market begins to understand the added benefits of a house with better durability, better indoor air quality, more moisture control and higher quality overall! Especially during the times we're in as we spend more time in our home.
If you're looking for a great way to increase the performance of your home, now is the perfect time. You'll reap the benefits of comfort, energy efficiency, and indoor air quality right away, and may even increase the value of your home when you go to sell!