Lynn Merrick and her husband, Michael Kronenthal, pose in front of their Mount Tabor home, which turned out to be less energy-efficient than they expected once they saw their Home Energy Score. 

Lynn Merrick and her husband, Michael Kronenthal, pose in front of their Mount Tabor home, which turned out to be less energy-efficient than they expected once they saw their Home Energy Score. 

Jonathan House/Portland Tribune

Starting in January, anyone shopping for a newly listed house in Portland can get a rough estimate of the property’s energy bills, via a Home Energy Score.

Last year, the Portland City Council approved an ordinance requiring home sellers to obtain a Home Energy Score before they list their homes for sale or commence advertising it, and the new mandate takes effect Jan. 1.

Getting a Home Energy Score — akin to a miles-per-gallon sticker on cars for sale — likely will be viewed as a hassle by many home sellers and realtors. But city officials expect it will encourage many sellers to improve their homes’ energy efficiency, saving the buyers money on utility bills and lowering the use of fossil fuels that contribute to climate change.

Lynn Merrick, who recently commissioned a Home Energy Score for her century-old Mount Tabor home as part of a “beta test” of the new program, was surprised by the results. The house scored only a “3” out of a possible “10” after a home energy assessor conducted a 90-minute review, said Merrick, a climate change activist who founded the Let’s Talk Climate community forum series.

Read the whole story at Pamplin Media.