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Corvallis council votes to require energy scores when homes are sold

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City of Corvallis
Starting in April 2023, home sellers in Corvallis will need to include their property's energy efficient rating with the home listing.

People selling their home in Corvallis will need to disclose their property’s energy efficiency rating starting next April. That’s due to an ordinance approved by the Corvallis City Council this week.

The mandate is meant to give an incentive for homeowners to invest in energy-efficiency upgrades that would reduce the carbon footprint of their house.

The ordinance was approved on a 5-4 vote. Some councilors argued that the program should not be mandatory.

"I would like to see it voluntary," said Tracy Yee. "I do think the information is really key, and it's really critical for people to make decisions. But mandating it?"

But council member Paul Shaffer said a mandate would be the only way to achieve the desired goal.

“To have energy scores for all houses is not that onerous a burden, given what’s happened to real-estate prices for people who own houses now," he said. "I think a voluntary program just isn’t going to get us very far.”

Corvallis will become at least the fourth Oregon city to require home energy scores when a house is sold. Other cities, including Eugene, have a voluntary program.

When the program takes effect, violators could be fined up to $500, with the possibility of repeat fines if the listing remains open more than 90 days. The city estimates a home energy efficiency assessment costs between $150 and $200.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”