Rhode Island State House

via General Assembly Press Office

The Senate has approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Dawn Euer to require real estate disclosures of home energy costs.

The legislation is aimed at giving buyers an accurate estimate of the true costs of operating a home they are considering purchasing, and to help them consider the costs and savings associated with making improvements to make the building more energy efficient.

“Utility costs can be the second-highest bill homeowners face, behind only their mortgage. They should have information about how much they will be before they commit to the purchase. With that information, they can plan their budget and come to a better understanding about whether the home needs improvements to increase its energy efficiency. Energy consumption should be a consideration involved in purchasing a home, and this disclosure will give buyers the information they need to weigh that factor,” said Senator Euer (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown).

The legislation (2019-S 0479), approved July 11, would add an annual building energy cost estimate produced by an approved energy rater to the list of disclosures that sellers must provide to buyers. The bill also requires that the Office of Energy Resources create and maintain a list of approved energy raters who provide reliable annual utility cost estimates.

The bill has been sent to the House of Representatives, where Rep. Lauren H. Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport) is sponsoring companion legislation (2019-H 5774). The Senate bill is cosponsored by Sen. Melissa A. Murray (D-Dist. 24, Woonsocket, North Smithfield), Sen. Frank Lombardo III (D-Dist. 25, Johnston), Sen. V. Susan Sosnowski (D-Dist. 37, South Kingstown, New Shoreham) and Sen. Bridget G. Valverde (D-Dist. 35, North Kingstown, East Greenwich, Narragansett, South Kingstown).