ECAD for Residential Homes
Information for Home Sellers, Buyers, and Real Estate Professionals
The Energy Conservation Audit and Disclosure (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
- Within the Austin city limits
- 10 years or older
The ECAD ordinance simply indicates who is responsible for obtaining the energy audit. ECAD does not require that you make improvements.
Homeowners can also proceed with an ECAD audit at any time prior to putting a house on the market.
Energy Audits Reveal Improvement Opportunities
ECAD requires that you work with a certified ECAD Energy Professional to conduct an energy audit of any residential property you want to sell and disclose your home's energy efficiency as part of the real estate transaction. This audit covers:
- Air conditioning and heating system efficiency
- Air infiltration, duct performance, air sealing in plumbing, and weatherstripping
- Attic insulation
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.
Make Sure Your Property is Covered under Residential ECAD
ECAD defines residential properties as:
- Single family homes (including townhomes)
If you own a single property of five or more residential units, you must follow ECAD Multifamily rules.
- Condominiums with one to four units must follow Residential ECAD rules.
- If you own a condo with five or more units, you follow ECAD Multifamily rules.
ECAD is Important for Real Estate Transactions
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Selling a home in Austin older than 10 years old?
|ECAD requires you to use a certified ECAD Energy Professional to conduct an energy audit on your property prior to sale.
Buying a home?
Make sure your Seller’s Disclosure Notice has the energy audit results if the conditions on the home's age and location apply.
A Real Estate Professional?
Know ECAD rules so you can better serve your clients.
The Austin Board of REALTORS® has ECAD resources that help you educate your clients about their responsibilities under ECAD.
Austin Energy’s Toolkit for Real Estate Professionals will help you prepare for conversations with your clients about the ordinance requirements.
Energy Professionals Conduct Energy Audits
A certified ECAD Energy Professional must conduct ECAD audits. ECAD audits are comprehensive and require specialized equipment. The Energy Professional provides a copy of the energy audit to Austin Energy as well as an Audit Certificate to attach to the Seller’s Disclosure Notice.
Energy Professionals set their own prices. The estimated cost of an audit is about $200 to $300 for a typical single-family home 1,800 square feet or smaller with one air conditioning system.
We recommend that you get at least three estimates and check references.
Austin Energy Can Help if You Want to Make Improvements
ECAD does not require you to make energy efficiency improvements to your home based on energy audit results. If you choose to make energy efficiency improvements, Austin Energy provides a variety of energy efficiency upgrade incentives that help you pay for upgrades.
View our Guide for Homebuyers, Homesellers, and Homeowners (pdf) to learn which Austin Energy incentives can help homeowners meet ECAD requirements.
If you have made energy efficiency improvements to your home through Austin Energy programs, you may qualify for an ECAD exemption. Austin Energy will provide homeowners or prospective buyers with information on energy efficiency improvements done on a home through Austin Energy programs. Email ECAD with your home’s address.
Sellers May be Exempt from ECAD
Sellers may be exempt from ECAD requirements if they meet certain conditions.
Sellers May Qualify for a Variance if the Buyer Is Making Major Improvements
You may qualify for a variance if your home’s buyer meets certain conditions.
ECAD is the Law
ECAD is a law similar to other energy ordinances in the nation and the world. Non-compliance with ECAD is a Class C misdemeanor with fines from $500 to $2,000. Anyone may file violations with the City of Austin Municipal Courts for review and action.
Our ECAD Resources can provide you with additional information and documents so you can learn more about the ordinance and related requirements.
Please call 512-482-5346 or email us if you have any questions or need additional information about the ECAD ordinance.