Home buyers — how to use the Home Energy Score

young couple with toddler on their laps sitting on old brick stairs in front on house
The Home Energy Report is a useful tool to help you “see inside the walls” of the homes you are considering buying. The Home Energy Report lets you compare the full costs of owning and operating each home on an apples-to-apples basis.

Check the score

You should see a Home Energy Score in advertisements for homes. But, you don't have to wait for a seller or real estate professional to show you the Home Energy Score and Report for a house - if there is a Score, it will be available on the Green Building Registry. Simply search for the property address. Visit the Read a Home Energy Report page for more details on how to read and compare different elements of the Report.

See a listing without a Home Energy Score?

There are exceptions for some home types. Mobile, manufactured homes and floating homes are not included in the requirements and multi-family complexes with stacked units are not be expected to have a Home Energy Score. There will also be certain instances where a home is exempt including foreclosure, condemned or uninhabitable properties. These homeowners have applied for and received exemptions from the City. If you want to check whether a home you are considering is required to have a Home Energy Score, please contact the Portland Home Energy Score help desk at hesinfo@earthadvantage.org or 503-278-5347.

Benefits for new homeowners

If you are planning to purchase a home that needs energy improvements, the Home Energy Report is your roadmap to a more comfortable and affordable living space. Depending on the mortgage lender and product you select, there may be an opportunity at the time of your sale to wrap the cost of your planned improvements into your financing package.

WithFannie Mae’s HomeStyle Energy mortgage, borrowers purchasing a home or refinancing an existing mortgage can make upgrades to reduce utility costs and improve the comfort and safety of their homes. This includes improvements recommended on your Home Energy Report. HomeStyle Energy eligible upgrades also include solar. Talk to your mortgage lender to see if they can offer this option.

For more information about how these financing options work and can be used to get your home upgrades done, check out this video.