Shopping for a home that’s energy efficient isn’t always easy. While hardwood floors, two-car garages, and swimming pools are typical searchable attributes in resources such as a Multiple Listing Service (MLS), energy efficiency data and green building certifications are not so easily found.
But some states are changing all that. Colorado and Illinois began adding energy and efficiency features to their MLS systems a few years ago.
The Colorado chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, the state of Colorado, and the National Association of Realtors’ Green Resource Council joined forces to green their MLS, helping “support the flow of green home information and performance data between the players in the marketplace.” Tim Plant, the director of the Governor’s Energy Office of Colorado summed up the effort: “This is an important step for our New Energy Economy. Homes that save energy, or produce their own, need to be recognized for the value they provide the owner through utility bill savings and greater comfort.” Click here to watch a video about Colorado’s efforts and what information they now include in their MLS.
Illinois began improving its MLS in 2009, enabling buyers to search different green features and levels of LEED certification in the Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED) MLS of the Chicago area. Since then, potential homeowners have also been able to search for things like energy ratings, certain green attributes, and even a city’s walkability through a rating called Walk Score. Last March, the MRED added additional green design, disclosure, and data verification information, including data from the state’s Illinois Home Performance program.
OTHER STATES COMING SOON
Several other states, including Minnesota, are also looking into greening their MLS systems in ways that will assist homeowners in finding energy-efficient homes. For more information, contact Alison Lindburg at 651-294-7140.