Starting June 1, 2009, houses for sale within the City limit of Austin, TX, must complete an energy audit on their home. This includes homes currently under contract, so if they're slotted to close sometime in June, you better get your audit complete NOW!
For the Energy Audit, you must use someone on the Austin Energy approval list, shown below. Austin Energy doesn't warrant any of their work and doesn't prefer one over the other, but these are the people who have applied to be approved and have gone through the training as to what the audit should cover.
To clarify who needs an audit, it is only homes within the CITY of Austin, not everyone who uses Austin Energy. There are many areas that have an "Austin" address but are actually outside the city limits, like Steiner Ranch. These people do NOT have to do the audits.
The easiest way to know if you are within the actual CITY limits of Austin is to go to the Travis County Appraisal District's website, look up your property, and if it says you pay CITY OF AUSTIN taxes, you have to have an audit if you plan on selling your home.
If you're still unsure, there is a phone number (512-972-STAR) that you can call, and they'll ask you a series of questions that will give you a answer.
Here are the exemptions, courtesy of the Austin Energy website:
- Foreclosure sale, trustee's sale, or deed in lieu of foreclosure
- Pre-foreclosure sale, in which the seller reached an agreement with the mortgage holder to sell the property for an amount less than the amount owed on the mortgage
- Threat or exercise of eminent domain
- Gift from one family member to another family member without consideration
- Court order or probate proceedings
- Decree of legal separation or dissolution of marriage or property settlement agreement incidental to such a decree
The cost for this audit will be, on average, $200-300 depending on age, size, and company used. Your audit results will need to accompany the seller's disclosure that you provide your buyer. As a homeowner/seller, you are not obligated to "fix" anything on the audit, unless you want to. It is just for informational purposed for the new prospective home owner to know what they should do and how much it might cost, in order to get their home more energy efficient.
By the way, Austin Energy is expecting many people who are not selling to actually obtain audits as well, so they can work on making sure their homes are energy efficient. Just be prepared for the homes trying to close to get priority.
This is a brand new ordinance coming into effect in just a couple of weeks, so if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me and I'll answer your questions as best as I can.
**Are You Packed Yet?**
Austin, TX and the surrounding areas of Lakeway, Bee Cave, Westlake Hills, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Spicewood, Circle-C, Steiner Ranch, and everywhere in between... Whether you're buying or selling, I'll be with you through the entire process.