Residential energy labeling offers a variety of benefits to homeowners, renters, potential buyers, sellers, and communities as a whole by shedding light on important information that is often overlooked - the energy performance or usage of your home. By informing residents of their home's energy needs, labels empower residents to take an active role in their energy and financial resource management. The ability to estimate energy costs and system needs protects consumers by providing transparency to the costs of operating a home. Home energy labels can help residents to lower energy bills, which are often one of the largest expenses for homeowners, a burden that disproportionately falls on low-income and historically marginalized home owners and renters.
Home Energy Labeling in Vermont
Historically, home energy information has been largely invisible in real estate listings and home sales. Montpelier aims to change this by giving potential owners a sense of home energy performance and costs through an intuitive tool that generates a label of energy information and recommendations unique to each home. Montpelier’s Home Energy Information Ordinance would mandate that sellers in the City provide a Vermont Home Energy Profile (VHEP) label when listing a home for sale. The tool is available for free to all Vermont residents. The label is intended to provide key home energy insights for residents, potential home buyers, sellers, real estate professionals, and appraisers, in addition to helping achieve Montpelier’s goal to become the first state capital to produce or offset all of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2030 and to become a zero-carbon city by 2050. One of the key strategies in remediating reduced energy waste is decarbonizing the built environment through energy efficiency improvements. Considering that 73% of homes in Montpelier were built before 1970, efforts are needed to upgrade the energy performance of the city's building stock.
Home energy labeling stimulates the adoption of home energy efficiency improvements by informing homeowners of which measures might yield the most potential cost and energy savings for a particular property. Visible and accessible home energy information triggers these benefits all while achieving lower energy bills for residents, reduce carbon emissions in the city, and increases comfort, safety and health for homeowners.
VHEP uses public data and information added by the homeowner with an automated energy model to easily produce a label in 10-20 minutes without the cost or accessibility burden of traditional in-home audits. The label includes a summary of the home's energy use and costs and provides resources and recommendations for energy efficiency improvements, often resulting in health and financial benefits.
In addition to the above videos, there are a variety of resources available for residents to learn about the Vermont Home Energy Profile or VHEP: