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?
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.