ECAD For Multifamily Properties
Information for Property Owners and Managers
The Energy Conservation Audit and Disclosure (ECAD) ordinance requires that Austin multifamily properties that receive electricity from Austin Energy have a specialized energy audit of the residential units. Multifamily property owners and managers are responsible for complying with ECAD.
You must have a qualified ECAD Energy Professional conduct the energy audit in the calendar year the property turns 10 years old. The energy audit is valid for 10 years. You must provide the energy audit results to current and prospective residents.
You must conduct an energy audit if your property in the Austin Energy service area and within Austin city limits.
See if Your Property Qualifies as Multifamily under ECAD
ECAD defines multifamily properties as any property with five or more residential units. If you own a residential property with less than five units and plan to sell, you must follow ECAD for Residential Customers rules.
- If you own a building of five or more condominium units, you must follow Multifamily ECAD rules.
- Condominiums with one to four units must follow ECAD for Residential Customers rules.
Audits Reveal Improvement Opportunities
Property owners can use ECAD audit results to improve energy efficiency, which helps protect the environment, reduces resident turnover, and increases property marketability.
Since energy efficiency makes buildings more distinct and attractive in the competitive multifamily market, ECAD also serves as an effective tool for owners looking to advertise existing energy efficiency measures. Multifamily ECAD energy audits cover:
- Air conditioning and heating system efficiency
- Air filtration, duct performance, air sealing in plumbing areas, and weatherstripping
- Attic insulation
Provide Energy Audit Results to Your Residents
Energy audit results should be posted at your property for all current and prospective residents to review.
For current residents, you must provide a copy of energy audit results upon request and automatically upon lease renewal.
You must disclose energy audit results for prospective residents by making the results available when they apply for a lease. Prospective residents must be able to review the results before you accept any application fees. Property owners who implement energy efficiency measures can use the ECAD audit results as a selling point to prospective residents.
The Austin Energy Guide
An Austin Energy Guide for your property must be included with the audit results. It provides your residents with an estimated average monthly energy cost. You and your residents can use the Austin Energy Guide to compare similar properties.
Energy Professionals Conduct Audits
A qualified ECAD Energy Professional must conduct your ECAD audit. ECAD audits are comprehensive and require specialized equipment. The Energy Professional provides you with a copy of the energy audit to Austin Energy as well as Audit Results to provide to residents.
ECAD energy professionals set their own prices. We recommend that you get at least three estimates and check references.
You May Be Exempt from ECAD
You may qualify for an Energy Audit Exemption Certificate if your property has received an Austin Energy rebate for the following improvements within the past 10 years:
Email ECAD or call us at (512) 482-5346 for information on energy efficiency improvements done on your property through Austin Energy programs.
Austin Energy Can Help You Offset Cost of Improvements
Unless your property is a High Energy Use property, ECAD does not require that you make energy efficiency improvements. However, if you want to make energy efficiency improvements based on your audit results, Austin Energy provides rebates and other incentives to make upgrades.
Help for High Energy Use Properties
The ECAD ordinance does require High Energy Use properties to reduce energy use by 20%. A high energy use property uses more than 150% of the average energy of other multifamily properties in the Austin Energy service area.
Austin Energy can help you meet this requirement with rebates and other incentives to make energy efficiency improvements.
You must provide prospective residents with the property’s high energy use notice when they apply for a lease and to current residents upon lease renewal.
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 for the Multifamily Housing presentation gives a brief overview of ECAD, what is required, and energy efficiency tips and resources to improve your property.
- See our Answers to Frequently Asked ECAD Questions for Multifamily Properties.
- You can also refer to Chapter 6-7 Energy Conservation of the Austin City Code (pdf).
Please call 512-482-5346 or email us if you have any questions or need additional information about the ECAD ordinance.