Ordinance FAQ

Q: What is the Ordinance?

A: This is a point-of-sale ordinance that applies to anyone selling their home. Sellers must have an Energy Audit performed on their house and disclose the results to prospective buyers.

Q: When does the energy audit need to be done?

A: Homeowners selling their home must provide the audit to the buyer three days before the buyer's option period expires. 

Q: Who must comply with the new Ordinance?

A: All residential, commercial or multi-family facilities that are in Austin city limits, and receive electricity from Austin Energy. For residential this includes single-family homes, homes with 4 units or less, and condos. 

Q: Who is allowed to perform these energy audits?

A: Energy audits must be conducted by a person certified by either RESNET or Building Performance Institute. In addition all auditors must be registered with Austin Energy.

Q: How much do these audits cost?

A: Price ranges depend on the square footage of the house. Pricing starts at $99 and goes up to $300 for a 2,500 sq. ft. house.

Q: Is this part of the disclosure required by TREC?

A: No. Because this is a municipal ordinance the energy audit is not a part of the TREC seller’s disclosure form. This is a required disclosure for homes that receive electricity from Austin Electric Utility.

Q: When did the Ordinance take effect?

A: The ordinance took effect on June 1, 2009. This means that every house sold on or after this date must comply with the ordinance.

Q: What are the penalties for not complying?

A: The fine for non-compliance will be between $200-2,000. This is in line with code violation penalties.

Q: Are there any exemptions or variances?

A: Yes. The City may grant a variance due to special circumstances. A variance may be granted if it is determined that compliance would cause undue hardship, or if the applicant submits an application for a permit to substantially remodel or demolish the house. In addition, there are some Exemptions.