ECAD Ordinance for Residential Homes
The Austin City Council adopted the Energy Conservation Audit and Disclosure (ECAD) ordinance back in 2009. The ECAD ordinance, as described in the Austin City Code Chapter 6-7, requires that before the sale of their home, owners of a residential building must disclose a home energy audit if all of the following conditions apply to the property:
- Within the Austin Energy Service Area
- The home is located within Austin’s city limits
- The home is 10 years or older
The ordinance places responsibility on the homeowner to get the energy audit and provide a copy to the prospective buyer no later than 3 days before the end of the option period or in the case of no option period, at the time the contract is executed. Should the homeowner violate the ordinance, they could face Class C misdemeanor charges and fines from $500 to $2,000.
The purpose of the audit is to create a verifiable means of offering homeowners new incentives, rebates, and better information to improve their home’s efficiency. However, neither the seller or buyer are obligated to make any improvements.
The ordinance requires that you work with a certified ECAD Energy Professional to conduct the energy audit of any residential property you want to sell and disclose your home’s energy efficiency as part of the real estate transaction. The auditor will:
- Inspect and measure the attic insulation in multiple areas
- Pressure test the duct system and assess its condition and adequacy
- Examine heating and cooling equipment
- Inspect weather stripping around exterior doors, plumbing penetrations beneath sinks, and air tightness of attic entries
- Identify and measure the amount of glass in windows that receive more than one hour of direct sunlight each day
Once the audit is complete, the ECAD Energy Professional will provide the energy audit results to you. The report includes:
- Condition and estimated R-value of the attic insulation
- Percentage of air leakage from the duct system and the system’s general condition
- Age, efficiency, and overall condition of the heating and cooling equipment
- Air leakage around exterior doors, plumbing penetrations beneath sinks, and attic entries
- Total square feet of glass and location of windows receiving more than one hour of direct sunlight each day
- Opportunities for improving the energy efficiency of the home
Homeowners can use ECAD audit results to make energy efficiency improvements that increase property marketability in a competitive real estate market. ECAD audit results can also serve as an effective tool for advertising existing energy efficiency measures.
If you own a single property of five or more residential units, you must follow ECAD Multifamily rules.
Contact TCP Real Estate if you need assistance finding an ECAD Energy Professional or if you have any questions.