Saturday, October 30, 2010

New Energy Efficiency Category for MLS

Plan to provide home performance information will put more power in the hands of consumers before buying a home

WESTBOROUGH, Mass., Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Conservation Services Group (CSG), a non-profit firm based near Boston, today announced a grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to promote residential energy efficiency.  The award will fund a program to establish a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) category for the residential real estate market, enabling homeowners to evaluate a home's energy performance before it is purchased.    
CSG edged out more than 350 proposals, submitted last April, from organizations in 44 states on how to develop scalable approaches for spurring energy efficiency retrofits of existing buildings in the U.S.  The national energy services firm is one of nine winners receiving grants from the foundation that total $2.7 million.  Proposals were evaluated by a panel of experts in real estate, finance, construction, government policy and energy efficiency technologies.  Projects will break down barriers that prevent building property managers, owners, investors and lenders from undertaking retrofits in commercial and residential buildings.
Ed Henry, president of the foundation, said, "We launched this competition to learn what kind of innovative ideas are being incubated that can help spur energy efficiency retrofits.  We were astonished by the positive response and are delighted with the results."
CSG's program focuses on residential buildings in New York State, but the foundation hopes the selected projects will lead to models that can be adapted elsewhere.
CSG's two-year, $348,000 initiative, kicks off in November.  The program involves working with several major Multiple Listing Services, along with other industry stakeholders, such as realtors and builders, to establish an "energy efficiency" category.  In addition to providing consumers with advanced knowledge about a home's power consumption, this new category will encourage sellers to make energy efficiency improvements before putting their homes on the market.  
David Weitz is director of the Applied Building Science Division at CSG and spearheaded the development of the award-winning proposal.  He said, "In the past, people would buy a house without any real understanding of its ongoing energy costs.   Establishing an energy efficiency category, within MLS listings, will help during the selection process by providing homebuyers with another essential piece of information."
Founded in 1984, CSG provides energy savings strategies, program design, management services and technologies to utilities, government agencies, energy services companies, public housing authorities and other groups.  The firm employs 650 staffers nationwide and is headquartered in Westborough, Mass.  For more information, visit
The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation ( is to improve the quality of people's lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and the prevention of child abuse, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke's properties.  The foundation's Environment Program focuses on enabling communities to protect and manage wildlife habitat and create efficient built environments.
SOURCE Conservation Services Group

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