MAR President Rita Coffey Responds to the Boston Globe’s Home Energy Editorial

As a Realtor® who works with buyers and sellers every day and as the 2018 president of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors®(MAR), I strongly disagree with the Boston Globe’s editorial “Home energy audits can prevent sticker shock for home buyers.”

To be clear, MAR 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 like a car encourages the manufacturer to improve efficiency. However, a misleading score can 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 very 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, this bill will not improve energy efficiency. We need to incentivize, 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.

View the Boston Globe editorial by clicking here.