Charlottesville’s LEAP One of 10 Communities to Test “MPG for Houses”

From the Press Release:

White House Selects Charlottesville’s LEAP as Pilot for Home Energy Score Program
“One of 10 Communities Nationwide to Test Score Akin to MPG Label for Cars

The White House today announced that Charlottesville’s Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) was selected to help pilot a new Home Energy Score Program, similar to a miles-per-gallon label for cars, before it is rolled out nationally next summer. LEAP’s Executive Director Cynthia Adams was in Washington, DC, for the announcement today which was attended by Vice President Joe Biden as Chair of the White House Middle Class Task Force, Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality Nancy Sutley, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan. LEAP will now be one of the first to offer this valuable tool to customers and stakeholder partners in Charlottesville and the surrounding counties of Albemarle, Greene, Nelson, Fluvanna, and Louisa and will help improve the program before it is rolled out nationally.

“We know that in the U.S. buildings account for 70% of our electrical and 40% of our overall energy use, and yet until now we have had no practical tool for quantifying the relative performance of these buildings. Consumers need access to accurate and reliable information about the places where they spend time and energy,” said Adams. building labeling program like the one created by the Department of Energy and piloted by LEAP and others could help increase the asset value of our energy efficient homes and create market-based incentives for energy improvements. The end result is to effectively save residents money and create jobs in the local community.

If this program takes hold, the property values of existing, non-energy-efficient homes may be negatively impacted. And newly-built may have a positive impact. Combine these with Location Efficient Mortgages and we might be witnessing a game-changer.

Update 13 November 2010: I asked the NAR for their response/reaction to this program and they were kind enough to forward the letter they sent to the Administration.
This is the letter from the NAR (PDF) End Update
From the (obviously biased*) NAR:

I’m a Realtor®. What does this mean to my business?
If Congress or the EPA imposes mandatory federal energy efficiency requirements, property owners’ ability to sell their home or building without first having to conduct energy audits and improve its heating and cooling system, windows, insulation and/or lighting would be at risk.

Green – It’s about Saving Money.
Energy Efficiency and Climate Change – Issue Summary

* and a trade group should be biased for and towards its members.

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