Some cities in Minnesota require by ordinance a Property Maintenance Certificate, or a Truth in Housing (TIH) or Time of Sale inspection when a building is sold. The intent is to provide accurate information to buyers on the condition of the real property for sale and to help the city keep up the quality of buildings available. Every city determines the required inspection elements, such as sump pump/rain leader disconnection from the sanitary sewer system, blower door testing, inspection with an infrared camera, and ranking or certification of energy performance (see Minneapolis' Truth in Sale of Housing), using programs such as the Home Energy Score, Energy Star Home Energy Yardstick,Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index, or Energy Fit Homes - a 2016 certification program specifically designed for energy efficiency in Minnesota’s existing homes, being delivered through existing utility programs.
Some local utilities send customers (including residential renters and owners) statements listing their energy use/costs in comparison to last month, last year and in comparison to similar building types. To help a would-be rental customer pick an energy-efficient apartment, work done in Bemidji during 2016 by Fresh Energy resulted in a sample ordinance through which a city would require landlords to disclose the energy usage for residential rental properties. Beginning in 2021 Minneapolis will require a Truth in Sale of Housing.
Renewable Energy Ready Home (includes EV-ready elements) specifications were developed by the U.S. EPA to educate builders on how to assess and equip new homes with a set of features that make it easier and less expensive for homeowners to install solar energy systems after the home is constructed. Zero Energy Ready Home specifications produce a high performance home which is so energy efficient that a renewable energy system can offset all or most of its annual energy consumption.
Local utility sends customers statements listing how well they are doing in comparison to last month, last year and in comparison to similar building types; incorporate residential blower-door (ACH50 or CFM50) or energy efficiency rating (HERS or equivalent) in truth-in-housing reports. Report sump pump/rain leader disconnection under action 20.3; city buildings under action 1.1
Require an energy audit with blower door test as part of truth-in-housing inspection and include results in all TIH reports.
Require energy use disclosure for specified commercial buildings, using Hennepin County's tools for cities in Minnesota; link disclosure to business recognition/assistance programs; require landlords to disclose the energy usage for residential rental properties; require residential energy disclosure at time-of-sale; report both Energy Efficiency rating and Renewable Energy Ready Home (includes EV-ready elements) site assessment results or certification. Report city policies that incentivize acting on commercial building ratings - recommissioning and retrofitting - under action 2.6
Who's doing it
Fergus Falls - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
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The City of Fergus Falls uses the Minnesota B3 Benchmarking database for the city owned facilities. Otter Tail Power Company uses a monthly energy rating system for their clients. They send out statements listing how well they are doing in comparison to last month, last year and in comparison to similar type homes.
The city of Saint Peter has a disclosure policy for utility ratings for residents and business owners and this is posted on the city's website. Also, the city has online energy analysis where residents and business owners can use to view their energy usage and how can be done to save more.