Starting this week prospective home buyers in Minnesota and western Wisconsin will have an easier way of assessing which houses on the market have certain energy efficiency features. Sort of like checking the MPG when shopping for a new car.

The NorthstarMLS (Multiple Listing Service) and the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC) have starting added new fields for the the HERS (home energy rating system) rating and various types of green-certification .

BATC endorsed the idea and lobbied hard for it based on consumer research it did when developing MN Green Path, its two-year-old green certification and energy-testing program.

 “Our agents have made it very clear that information on energy ratings and green features are very important to their homebuyer clients,” said John Mosey, President of NorthstarMLS. “We concluded that adding these two fields and accompanying documentation to our home listings is the most effective way to offer a simple yet powerful tool for Realtors to better meet the needs of their individual clients.”

The HERS score, by the way, is the a home’s energy efficiency is measured, and it was developed by RESNET, an independent, non-profit organization that sets national standards for energy ratings, ensuring accuracy and consistency. The topic of energy efficiency and building standards will gain even more urgency when Minnesota adopts the next generation of building codes sometime next year - that new code will like include energy testing.

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