Mandatory home energy audit reports can cost home sellers thousands of dollars in lost home equity. Those with less than ideal energy audit ratings will face pressure from homebuyers to either spend thousands of dollars to improve the energy rating of their home or lower their sale price.
The following is a letter I sent to our MPP of Peterborough.
Mr. Jeff Leal
MPP - Peterborough
Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs
1421 - 99 Wellesley St W, 1st Flr. Whitney Block
Dear Mr. Leal
As a REALTOR® in your riding I am writing to express my concern at the proposed initiative under the Green Energy Act, 2009 requiring mandatory home energy audits on residential real estate transactions.
Mandatory home energy audit reports will cost home sellers thousands of dollars in lost home equity because a less than ideal energy audit will create pressure from homebuyers to lower their sale price. As a result, millions of homeowners living in older housing are at risk of losing hard earned equity in their homes.
Not only will mandatory home energy audits impose additional costs on home sellers they will do very little to enhance energy conservation in Ontario. If, for example, a home seller reduces their selling price by $10,000 to offset the results of a poor energy audit, there is no guarantee that the purchaser will use that $10,000 to buy energy efficiency upgrades. The purchaser is more likely to invest in cosmetic alterations to the house, to buy new furniture or simply save the money.
I support energy conservation and environmental stewardship. Like homeownership, the benefits of going green extend beyond the confines of the home to the entire community. Yet it appears that only owners of single detached homes will be subject to the mandatory home energy audit requirement. If energy conservation and environmental protection benefits everyone, why is the government targeting single detached home owners?
I would like to see the government strengthen initiatives that provide incentives to homeowners to improve the energy efficiency of their home. Since the majority of renovation dollars in Ontario go toward cosmetic alterations and repairs, homeowners need added incentives to make investments in energy efficient retrofits. An energy audit report alone will not spur homeowners to improve home energy efficiency.
Please tell Premier Dalton McGuinty and Minister George Smitherman that the government should be helping Ontarians to achieve their dream of homeownership, not raising costs and lowering equity. Please ask the government to amend Bill 150 to make home energy audits voluntary.