As a real estate broker who works with buyers and sellers every day, and as the 2018 president of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors, I strongly disagree with the Globe’s June 6 editorial “Preventing sticker shock for home buyers.”
To be clear, the association and its members support energy efficiency and actively promote the voluntary and successful Mass Save program.
An MPG sticker on a brand-new, factory-produced commodity such as a car encourages the manufacturer to improve efficiency. However, a misleading score on a similar rating, or energy audit, for a house could penalize the homeowner, not the manufacturer. And unlike MPG or EnergyStar ratings on new cars and appliances, these government ratings would be applied to our large supply of older existing homes in the state, and possibly stigmatize whole neighborhoods.
Buyers have always been empowered to have a home inspection, request utility bills, and conduct an energy audit to learn about a home and make the sale contingent on the results of the audit or inspection.
Unfortunately, the bill being considered on Beacon Hill would not improve energy efficiency. We need to encourage and assist homeowners to make energy-efficient improvements and not mandate, confuse, and shame homeowners with policies that may strip equity and not result in energy improvements.