A task force consisting of real estate agents and mortgage brokers charged with finding ways to make existing Austin homes more energy efficient has proposed requiring energy-efficiency audits and incentives.
The task force’s final report will go before various city boards and commissions before reaching the city council for consideration later this fall.
If the council follows task force recommendations, home sellers would be required to have an energy audit, costing no more than $300, and include the results with other disclosure information when the home is listed on the market.
The audit would include a visual inspection and tests of mechanical and air-conditioning systems for leaks. The audit would inform potential buyers of improvements that would have a payback period of seven years through energy-efficiency savings.
The recommendation proposes goals for the percentage of homes that would be upgraded by their owners, such as 25 percent of all homes sold the first year of the ordinance. But the task force did not advocate requiring upgrades if the goals are not met. Instead, it urges the council to re-evaluate the program every two years to assess its effectiveness.

Source: Austin American-Statesman