Well, it’s here. The Nevada Energy Consumption Evaluation Form is officially active as of January 1, 2011. This disclosure is to be provided by any seller, whether they’re working with a real estate agent or not, when selling a home in the State of Nevada.
The four page document,that can be publicaly found here, is broken into four major parts.
Part 1 is the ”Energy Consumption” and deals with the electricity, natural gas, oil, and propan costs and usage within a 12 month period. The months are broken down individually to be filled out by the seller and can be supplemented with 12 months of utility records.
Part 2 is the dwelling unit information. Here the seller will need to disclose any improvements made to the property, within 5 years, that may have reduced or improved the overall energy consumption of the property. Signify whether or not the dwelling unit has any energy star appliances or constructed with a model energy code and provide information to where the property is insulated and what type of insulation.
Part 3 deals with the energy star ratings and age of the homes fixtures. From age to type to efficiency rating, you the seller will be moving from hands and knees to ladders in order to verify something that you haven’t been trained know about.
Finally we reach Part 4, lighting. In this section the seller is responsible for disclosing the type of bulbs used in the property and each type’s percentage of total lighting(get your calculators ready).
Well, there it is. A list of things that some homeowners don’t know exist in their homes much less the specific ratings or usage. Sellers do have the option of using a licensed inspector to fill out the document for a few hundred bucks or try to have it waived by both parties.
While I understand the need to disclose the energy components in a property I don’t understand the usage requirements. Usage is usage. It depends on how much things are being used. A family of five living in a house are more likely to use a higher amount of electric, water, and gas than a single person living in the same property. Is a family of five buying a home being misled by the energy consumption disclosure of a single person seller? Would a single person not buy a property because of the usage report of a five member family? Could this be construed as violation of familial status in Fair Housing? In a market where homeowners don’t have enough to pay their monthly bills, much less an energy inspector, and buyers can barely cover their downpayment and standard closing costs I think we will be seeing a lot of waived disclosures and “unknown” checkboxes filled in.