The city of Bend is considering a home energy score program. To be clear, what’s being proposed is a mandate, not a choice, and failure to obtain an energy score for your home at the time of listing could result in initial fines of up to $750. How did we get here? In 2019, the city of Bend passed its Community Climate Action Plan (CCAP) — a wide-ranging set of strategies focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Some of the programs outlined in the plan were goals for the city — for example, “Provide 100% renewable electricity supply to the community.” For the community actions, the plan stated it would, “encourage and incentivize businesses and residents, through voluntary efforts, to reduce GHG emissions and fossil fuel use.” One of the strategies was a home energy score program, a tool that is used to evaluate certain features of a home (windows, insulation, etc.) in order to provide a numerical score designed to rate its energy efficiency. A helpful tool and an option that is currently available in our community. In the plan that was approved by council, getting a home energy score was not a requirement. That plan received broad public support. But now the City’s Environment and Climate Committee is recommending a mandatory home energy score program. The city is now accepting public comment on the draft ordinance at tinyurl.com/BendHES. Ask the City Council to honor the intent of the Climate Action Plan and its voluntary actions for the community.
— Susanna Abrahamson, Bend