The City of Austin enacted the Energy Conversation Audit Disclosure (ECAD) Ordinance in June of 2009. The ordinance states that energy audits must be performed and disclosed prior to the sale for most properties that are serviced by Austin Energy. The rationale is that energy audits provide prospective homeowners with valuable information about the energy efficiency of their homes.
Q – What is an ECAD Audit?
A – The ECAD audit is a specialized report that examines four primary areas in a home:
1. Heating and cooling (HVAC) system’s efficiency
2. Air infiltration: duct performance, weather stripping, etc
3. Windows: shading, solar screens
4. Attic insulation
Q – Who conducts the ECAD audits?
A – ECAD audits will be conducted by professionals who have been certified by a professional organization and registered with Austin Energy as approved contractors for this program. To see a list of all the ECAD auditors who have registered for the program click here.
Q – Is the ECAD taking the place of a home inspection?
A – No. The home inspection, which is generally done by the buyer, addresses the structure and systems in the home. The ECAD, which is done by the seller, addresses energy efficiency only.
Q – How much does an ECAD audit cost?
A – For a typical single family home with 1,800 square feet or less, and just one HVAC system, the cost for an audit should be under $200. Prices generally depend on the size of a home.
Q – When does the audit need to be completed?
A – The energy audit is required as part of the sellers’ disclosure, so it should be completed before the home goes on the market. The buyer is supposed to receive the energy audit no later than 3 days prior to the end of the option period, so it’s a good idea to have the audit completed early.
Q – How long is an energy audit good for?
A – The audit is good for 10 years.
Q – Are there any properties that don’t have to have an audit completed before selling?
A – Yes, if your home was built less than 10 year ago, you don’t need to have an audit. Properties that are in foreclosure or probate are exempt from providing an audit. If the property participated in an Austin Energy rebate program that resulted in at least $500 of rebates in the last 10 years, it is also exempt.
Q – I heard that condos were not required to provide ECAD audits. Is that true?
A – Initially condos were exempt from this ordinance, but that changed in 2011 so now an audit is required for the sale of a condo.
Q – What if I don’t get an EECAD audit when I sell my home in Austin?
A – Although some Realtors and clients are still not up to date with the requirements and it may be possible to slip through a transaction without following this regulation, there are penalties. Non-compliance with ECAD is a Class C misdemeanor with fines from $500-$2,000.
HOW CAN WE HELP YOU TODAY?