CEE and the City of Minneapolis report on the power of home energy tracking and disclosure

Nov 30, 2022
City of Minneapolis

Before a home is sold in Minneapolis, Truth in Sale of Housing (TISH) inspectors collect data for an energy disclosure report. The report tells the homeowner and prospective buyers about the home’s energy performance, as well as opportunities for improvement. Energy disclosure builds consumer awareness of energy performance in single-family homes to increase the uptake of energy efficiency improvements. The goals of energy disclosure are to create a more informed market, spur investment in energy improvements, reward homeowners who have completed energy improvements, and provide the scale and data needed to achieve climate goals.

Energy disclosure has been part of the City of Minneapolis’ TISH pre-sale inspection since January 2020. The City partnered with CEE and CenterPoint Energy to broaden the existing TISH inspection to gather data on key home energy efficiency attributes such as insulation and heating equipment. Over 65% of Minneapolis single-family homes have inadequate insulation and 40% have old or inefficient heating equipment, so there are significant opportunities for residents to save energy through cost-effective energy improvements.

Over 65% of Minneapolis single-family homes have inadequate insulation and 40% have old or inefficient heating equipment.

Program efforts include generating quality reports, connecting with market stakeholders to increase awareness and support, and referring homeowners to resources to make energy efficiency upgrades accessible and motivating.

Grace, a homeowner who recently purchased 1912 bungalow, noticed how difficult it was to keep the home warm during winter. The Energy Disclosure Report for her new home indicated a low energy score, so she contacted the energy advisor listed on the report for guidance on upgrades to improve her home’s score and her comfort.

"The report was helpful, but what really made things achievable was being able to talk about my specific home with someone knowledgeable."

Grace, Minneapolis homeowner

The advisor arranged quotes from rebate-eligible contractors for Grace. Grace made a number of upgrades to her home, including dense-packing the walls with insulation and adding spray foam insulation to the attic. “The 0% financing from the City of Minneapolis was a huge factor in making the upgrades possible,” Grace said.

Since the program began, nearly 16,000 homes have received an Energy Disclosure Report as part of their TISH inspection. These reports generate valuable data on energy efficiency attributes in Minneapolis’s housing stock.

The ultimate goal of this program is to motivate more homeowners to complete energy efficiency improvements. In 2021, TISH residences accounted for 33% of the total rebated insulation upgrades in Minneapolis. To date, over 800 residences have completed an energy improvement, saving homeowners over $150,000 in energy bills.

The program has the potential to help Minneapolis homeowners save substantial money and energy through 2030. Based on the first two years of programming, the reports are projected to lead to 5,300 energy upgrades by 2030. This will equate to 112,000 dekatherms of cumulative energy savings, nearly $1 million in natural gas savings for residents, and over 5,800 metric tons of CO2 equivalent emissions reduced.

View the full report.


Related Links

CEE Energy Disclosure

City of Minneapolis – Truth in Sale of Housing