News Analysis

Austin Requires Energy Audits and Labels

The Energy Conservation Audit and Disclosure (ECAD) ordinance requires owners of houses more than ten years old to have an energy audit performed before resale. The results of the audit, which include suggested energy-efficiency improvements, must be disclosed to prospective buyers. Houses that are younger than ten years, or have had energy-efficiency improvements performed through Austin Energy programs within the past decade, are exempt from the requirements.

According to Nathan Doxsey, who sat on the task force that developed the ordinance, the goals of ECAD were originally much broader, including both audits and mandatory energy-efficiency improvements. Resistance from the real estate industry meant that only the audits made it into the ordinance, and even now, says Doxsey, “I still hear grumbling.” Much of the concern has to do with the cost of the audits—about $300—that Doxsey says many real estate agents are paying themselves to avoid aggravating sellers, who are responsible for the audits under the law.

Published July 30, 2009

Wendt, A. (2009, July 30). Austin Requires Energy Audits and Labels. Retrieved from