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Populating the MLS with Energy Information: A Progress Report

When home buyers are able to compare the energy features of buildings as part of the purchase process, it can impact home values, elevate energy to a point of discussion between buyer and seller and, most importantly, influence the level of energy upgrades undertaken when making home improvements after purchase. The way most buyers get their information about potential homes is through one of the 700 local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) in the U.S. However, until recently, including complete and reliable energy information in the MLS has been spotty at best. But that is beginning to change.

Energy efficiency and renewable energy information now have standardized fields in leading MLS systems. Efforts are under way to recognize and encourage all MLS systems to include these fields, and projects are under way in several jurisdictions to auto-populate this energy information into the local MLS. Through auto-population, existing data sets like U.S. DOE’s Home Energy Score or solar photovoltaic (PV) system databases can be automatically uploaded and associated with a specific address in the MLS.

This paper provides a survey of on-going efforts in the U.S. that are working on energy information in the MLS and will dive more deeply into a few case studies that highlight some lessons learned regarding technology solutions and stakeholder engagement and guidance for future MLS energy information efforts.

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