When selling your home, it is important to familiarize yourself with the Energy Conservation Audit and Disclosure (ECAD) ordinance. Put into effect by the City of Austin on June 1, 2009, the ordinance requires home sellers to obtain an ECAD audit and to disclose the results of the audit to potential buyers if certain conditions apply.
In accordance with the ECAD ordinance, you must provide audit results to potential buyers if your home is ten years old or older, if it is within Austin City Limits and if it is serviced by Austin Energy. If your home meets all of these conditions, you are required to provide the information to potential buyers no more than three days before the end of the option period. If there is no option period in the sales contract, the audit results must be disclosed prior to executing the sales contract.
Under some circumstances, you are not required to complete the ECAD audit prior to the sale of your home. For example, you do not need to complete the audit if your home is in foreclosure or pre-foreclosure. You are also exempt from the ordinance if you are simply transferring the title of the property to a family member without payment or if the property is transferred in accordance with probate proceedings, a court order of the dissolution of marriage. If you participated in Austin Energy Rebate Programs within ten years from the time of the sale and you either received $500 or more in rebates or you performed three energy efficiency measures, your home is also exempt from the ordinance. Finally, your home is also exempt if you participated in the Austin Energy Free Weatherization Program less than ten years prior to the sale of the home.
Even if you are not planning to sell your home any time soon, participating in an ECAD audit offers many benefits. This is because the audit examines your heating and cooling system efficiency, your air infiltration, your windows and your attic insulation. With the information gained through the audit, you can increase your home's energy efficiency. Furthermore, the audit is good for ten years, so getting an audit now will help cut out one extra step when you do decide to sell at a later date.
ECAD audits typically cost somewhere between $200 and $300 for a home of average size. The audits must be conducted by professionals who are certified through either the Building Performance Institute or the Residential Energy Services Network. These professionals must also be registered by Austin Energy and approved as an ECAD auditor.