Passing this Energy Audit bill would stymie sales of older home stock

 

Energy Audit at the Time of Sale Proposed by State Lawmakers

 

On May 31, David Wluka, Past Greater Boston Real Estate Board Chairman (1999) and former MAR President, testified with Patricia Baumer, GBREB Director of Government Affairs, and Jonathan Schreiber, Staff Attorney at the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS before the Joint Committee on Telecommunications Utilities and Energy. The panel from GBREB and MAR testified in opposition to legislation to require properties listed for sale in the Commonwealth to have an energy audit and label prior to the signing of a contract to purchase.

 

At the hearing, GBREB and MAR raised concerns about the negative impact energy audits and scoring would have on the housing market due to the potential to stigmatize older homes and further complicate the home sale process. REALTORS also took issue with several new bills filed this session before the Committee that day impacting condominiums, cooperatives and apartments. Notably, H.2919 sponsored by Maria Duaime Robinson (D-Framingham) and companion legislation, S. 2011 sponsored by Rebecca Rausch (D-Needham) would mandate energy performance standards for commercial buildings. In addition to imposing significant financial penalties of $10,000 if a building fails to qualify with the Energy Star score. The bill would require that anytime a building is transferred the seller must provide the buyer with all information necessary to report energy use for the entire year and to make a building's energy use publicly accessible.