CNTe Leading the Effort for a GreenMLS

Photo from GreenMLS Toolkit – www.greenthemls.org

Photo from GreenMLS Toolkit – www.greenthemls.org

CNT and our affiliates are dedicated to making communities more economically and environmentally sustainable and providing information that helps people make more informed decisions. That includes making the energy use of our buildings more apparent so people know what they’re getting into when purchasing a new home.

CNT Energy is at the forefront of efforts to make energy information transparent to the real estate market and to get the market to place greater value on energy efficiency. The efforts are making an impact from national best practices to the local scene.

GreenMLS is an approach to organizing a multiple listing service (MLS) to make it easier to market, search for, and appraise the value of green homes. This month a new release of the GreenMLS Toolkit was introduced at the National Association of Realtors’ annual mid-year legislative meetings in Washington, DC. The toolkit is designed around CNT Energy’s value chain design for green homes.

The framework encourages a flow of information about the energy performance of a home that in turn creates a flow in value. It starts when a green contractor or builder gives the homeowner documentation upon completion of work. For example, a performance report or building certification enhances descriptive information about a home in GreenMLS fields. It allows a buyer or appraiser to validate those fields when it is time to make or assess a contract price on a home. As buyers and appraisers feel more confident about the validity of green home information in a multiple listing service, experts expect that the market will begin to place a premium on green homes due to their energy saving features. That in turn is expected to increase demand for homes built or remodeled for greater energy efficiency and green performance.

CNT Energy’s value for green homes framework is directly connected to our efforts to make it easier to understand the energy efficiency of an existing home. Our MyHomeEQ energy scoring tool provides consumers with instant insights about the energy efficiency of their individual homes. At the local level, CNT Energy is piloting this program in coordination with utilities ComEd and Nicor in Riverside, Illinois. We are also pioneering MLS design that makes it possible to present MyHomeEQ data in MLS listings. The goal is to equip buyers with additional resources that help them choose a home based on both the mortgage and other major home owner expenses, including energy costs.