Real Estate Show with Oregon Department of Energy

Real Estate Show with Oregon Department of Energy

Full video transcript below

Real Estate Show with Oregon Dept of Energy

Alice Lema: [00:00:00] Well, hey, Southern Oregon, welcome back to the Real Estate Show. So glad you could join us today. I'm Alice Lema. I'm a broker with John L. Scott Real Estate here in beautiful Southern Oregon and your host of the show. And today we are so excited. We have two folks from the Department of Energy, State of Oregon joining us to talk about the Construction construction projects and the Home Energy Score program. So Roger Kainu and Blake Shelide so happy to have them. They're part of the Department of Energy in the State of Oregon, and our Department of Energy in the State of Oregon does have a lot to say. It influences greatly our construction, our remodeling, our systems and just the different kinds of HVAC's we can put in and talk about windows and hot water heaters. It's gonna be great. It's gonna be great. So looking forward to chatting with them.

In the meantime, let's briefly touch base with our local stats. Our days on market are about, what they were last week. Josephine County is coming [00:01:00] in at 54 days on market. Klamath Falls, 47 days on market, Jackson County, 48 days on market on average. And just a reminder, a normal neutral market is more like four to six months, not two months. So what that says, we're still in a little bit of a seller's market. We still have a few more buyers than sellers. It's still a good time to get your real estate business done.

Now, having said that, interestingly enough, this time last year, we did have more number of properties sold than now, but the prices this time this year are higher. So I just wanna remind people we still have a little bit of a housing shortage and we have the number of properties being sold down. The volume of dollars created by those sales is up, so we're getting more money for the same properties we were last year.

There are not as many [00:02:00] sales as there were last year, but we're bringing in more dollars. So anybody who's waiting to next year, I don't know. I'm not Nostradamus but it just seems like the market is softening, but it's not gonna be any kind of a big crash. But that's partly why we watch this every week and we talk about it. Okay, so there's your local stats for the week.

We're gonna welcome Roger Kainu and Blake Shelide of the State of Oregon Department of Energy to talk to us not only about conservation, but also construction remodeling. And we're gonna talk about the Home Energy Score program. It's not mandatory in southern Oregon right now. Mandatory up north. But it's an interesting program and it allows people to get an inspection of the energy efficiency of their home, which I'm so excited to learn more about. So let's take a quick break from our sponsors and get to our interview.

Well, hey, Southern Oregon, welcome back to the Real Estate Show. So excited you could join us today. I'm Alice Lema, I'm a [00:03:00] broker here in beautiful Southern Oregon with John L. Scott Real Estate, and today we have such a special treat. We have the State of Oregon Energy Department with us today,. We wanna welcome Roger Kainu an Analyst with the State of Oregon Department of Energy, and also Blake Shelide. Did I say that right, Blake?

Blake Shelide: Mm. Close enough .

Alice Lema: Yeah, that's great. And he is a facilities engineer with the State of Oregon Energy Department. Welcome, gentlemen.

Roger Kainu: Thank you for having us.

Alice Lema: Yeah. Well this really is such a treat. Our, our audience loves hearing the facts, you know, from the horse's mouth, so to speak. Before we get started though, let's talk a little bit just about what the Department of Energy is and, and how it's helpful to our citizen.

Roger Kainu: Well, thank you. Yeah. I'm Roger Kainu. And I represent the Oregon Department of Energy. And the Department of Energy helps Oregon Oregonians make informed decisions and maintain a resilient and affordable energy system.

We like to advance solutions to [00:04:00] shape an equitable clean energy transition, protect the environment and public health and responsibly balance energy needs and impacts for current and future generations. That's our mission statement, but more importantly, for those listening, I think understanding what we do would be more important.

And then on behalf of Oregonians across the state, the Department of Energy achieves its mission by providing a repository of energy, data, information, and analysis. We also are a venue for problem, problem solving, Oregons's energy challenges. We have energy education and technical assistance, and we also help advise regulation and oversight of different operations within the energy industry.

And then we also provide some energy programs and activities, and I'd hand that back over to Blake Shelide who's our facilities engineer. He's a very well educated person, highly [00:05:00] accomplished, and he interrelates a lot with the legislature, the Oregon legislature, to discuss matters that deal with existing buildings a lot. So, Blake, can you.

Blake Shelide: Yeah. Thanks. Thanks Roger. So as, as Roger mentioned, we at the Oregon Department of Energy help provide kind of that unbiased opinion or like an unbiased facts around energy policy, you know, energy happenings around the state. We help inform the legislature. We often provide testimony on energy related issues.

There's currently a legislative task force for building decarbonization that we're just helping to provide input. Or where they're looking at building energy efficiency, building decarbonization to help our state reach its greenhouse gas reduction goals. We also run a variety of programs. So kind of in addition to the policy aspect, we have a variety of programs.

Some of those are incentive based programs. Right now we have you know, through funding through the legislature to provide incentives for solar and, and storage battery storage for homeowners. And we also have kind of a [00:06:00] develop developing program that was passed during the last legislative session that will provide incentives for heat pumps for energy efficient heat pumps for homeowners.

And I guess I'll just take this time to mention now that just recently, over the past couple months, there was federal funding through the Inflation Reduction Act that we're just starting to learn a little bit more about. And certainly we're awaiting guidance from a lot of the federal agencies that will administer this, but there will be significant incentives for Oregon and for all the states, for for energy efficient equipment that can be used.

So just something to kind of keep an eye out for if you're, if you're a homeowner that's thinking about an upgrade to some of your equipment or, or building a new home there could be some incentives coming down the line.

Alice Lema: Wow. That is so exciting. That's so much to talk about. I don't know where to start. So one of the questions that comes up down here, you, you've sort of touched on is when people are doing remodeling projects or doing new construction how do they like, first of all, what are the new standards or guidelines and where do they go to get some of that information and education? Just if they're doing projects [00:07:00] this winter?

Blake Shelide: Yeah, it's a great, it's a great question. So the, the current Oregon so Oregon has what, what are called energy codes that sit with within the building codes. And there's the Oregon residential specialty code that is chapter 11 that defines the energy efficiency aspects of that code that need to be followed.

And that kind of governs and regulates things like building insulation, H V A C equipment, water heating equipment, air tight. And things like that. And Oregon's traditionally been a, been a leader in the energy efficiency code space both on the commercial side and the residential side. Oregon was actually the first state in the country to have a residential code back in 1974, and it's kind of been that way ever since. So you know, a great resource is your local building department. To, to ask questions about, you know, what, what are the code requirements here at the Oregon Department of Energy. We also staff a, a code hotline where you can call myself or call Roger if there's a question about a specific code requirement.

But right now, actually just tomorrow, the code development committee that's kind of underneath the Residential Energy Code Board is just [00:08:00] starting to discuss what will be the next energy code that's gonna be effective in October, plan to be effective around October of next. So it was about a year long development process and the state has goals to achieve certain energy performance targets with that with that code update that we're set through executive orders. So with that 2023 code update, we're set to achieve equivalent performance to what's known as the US Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home Standard. So certainly, you know, aggressive goals, but will reduce cost for, for consumers and achieve a really efficient, a new home.

Alice Lema: And, and what does zero energy mean? Just for those who are not current with the lingo?

Blake Shelide: Mm-hmm. Yeah. So you know, the term, you might have heard the term like net zero energy or zero energy, or even zero energy ready. And in general, the, you know, there's a lot of different, like, nuances to some of the definitions, but in general, it's the ability to generate enough onsite renewable energy over the course of a year to offset the onsite energy [00:09:00] consumption.

And then just one clarification with this zero energy ready home target there's not necessarily, there's not a requirement to install that onsite renewable energy, but the idea is that a homeowner could make that choice after the fact, and the home is efficient enough that if a homeowner were to install some onsite renewable energy, that they could feasibly achieve a net zero home.

Alice Lema: That's pretty exciting. Yeah. Do we have any any of those net zero homes yet in Oregon?

Blake Shelide: Oh, I'm, I'm sure that we do. I don't have a database at my like at, you know, at the ready now, but I'm, I'm sure Roger might know if there's some examples, but I, I've no doubt that there are some

Roger Kainu: Yeah, I'd, I'd have to say that there sure is. Mm-hmm. , there's, there's lots of. Let me back up and just say, Blake indicated that Oregon has a very progressive energy code, so it sets a bar that's pretty high, and if you look across the United States, you'll see that the whole left coast of the United States is very progressive in terms of energy performance.

And that's a, that's a good thing. We also [00:10:00] have, you know, like he indicated, we also have the direction to go further and that would really provide even higher performance. Now, on top of that, Oregon is progressive in terms of having higher building performance programs. You may have heard of the Energy Trust of Oregon.

There's other utilities within the state that operate high performance building programs. So they provide incentives for folks that wanna go even above what Oregon's code is. So it's kind of a, a best of both worlds where you have a high statewide code, then you also have the ability with incentives to jump even higher than that and build to a higher level.

Alice Lema: And it's very exciting that some of the federal funding is being sent Oregon's way. Is that because Oregon is so much on the forefront of that, or was that energy, those energy dollars kind of spread out over the United, all the states?

Roger Kainu: Yeah, it is. It is federal [00:11:00] funding and it does apply potentially to all the states. States will need to make applications with a plan for how to utilize the funding. But I think the infrastructure that Oregon's got in place with the history of efficiency and history of these incentive programs and you know, a strong energy infrastructure will certainly support the Oregon plan to implement these programs.

Alice Lema: Mm-hmm. And do we have any ideas that federal money, did they have any strings attached or is Oregon allowed to, to apply those energy dollars where they see best?

Blake Shelide: There are performance requirements and a lot of the incentives would go like directly to a, to a homeowner or to a builder, but then flow through a state. Our, a state agency. And there's tax credits too that, you know, as a state agency we wouldn't really be, be involved with, but that could be a potential there too. But but there certainly are like efficiency, performance requirements with that, that are attached to some of the, the funding where you've gotta meet a certain efficiency level or a certain performance level for that equipment to [00:12:00] qualify.

Alice Lema: Mm-hmm. . And are these the energy codes that we have in place now can you talk a little bit about how they're sometimes applied differently in the major metro areas than they are in the less populated areas? Cause I think people have some concerns sometimes when they hear all these rules and regulations.

Blake Shelide: Right. Yeah. So one, one thing that Oregon does have that is actually fairly unique is that we do have a statewide uniform energy code. So, you know, the code in Portland is the same as the code in Eugene is the same as the code in Medford is the same as the code in John Day. You know, it's, it's the same, the same energy code like across the state.

You know, and Oregon has had there's, there's various energy code compliance studies that have been conducted that look at code compliance around the, around the state. And Oregon's had, I think because of that, you know, supported by that uniform code that a builder knows they can build in any different city.

And it's gonna be the same requirement. Oregon's had really high compliance rates with, with our energy code requirements over the years. So, you know, I think in general that, you know, a new homeowner can be pretty confident that their [00:13:00] home is being you know, built to the energy code and that they're meeting the code requirements and getting, getting an efficient home.

Alice Lema: Oh, I see. So we have a standard statewide set of codes and then the the difference in the metro area application must be more about the energy inspections or something. There was some different handling of the different geographical areas.

Blake Shelide: So, yeah, it you know, it's something that we probably can't you know, speak to, cuz I don't have a lot of visibility into the actual operations of individual building departments. But you know, I know building departments try really hard to, to make sure that all the energy code requirements are met. But of course there's resource and, and time limitations sometimes that are there. But, but like I mentioned before, Oregon's got a, a pretty strong history of compliance with, with the energy covered across the state. But you know, I'm sure that there are, there are one-offs where there might be an issue with you know, a particular aspect of the energy code might, may be getting missed.

Alice Lema: Mm-hmm. . Yeah. And definitely leading the way. That's so fun that we were one of the first in the seventies. That was a big move back then.

I was [00:14:00] around . Yeah. How was that? So we're talking to the State of Oregon Department of Energy Roger Kainu and Blake Shelide. Very happy to have you on today. Before we take our first break, do we wanna talk a little bit about the energy inspection idea and kind of what that entails, and then we can talk more about it after the break?

Roger Kainu: Sure. I can handle. So I think what you're intending to say is, and, and I think you alluded to it, and the last comment there was about the home energy score, and that's where we have state certified assessors come out to homes and actually come on site into your home and do an assessment of the home and deliver a score back to you so you know what the energy performance rating is of your home.

Alice Lema: There you go. That's right. And we've talked about that before when, when we were with you, I think last year. Yeah. So we're gonna have to take a quick break. Lots and lots of interesting stuff [00:15:00] from the State of Oregon Department of Energy. So thankful you guys took the time to talk to us today. We're gonna take a quick break from our sponsors. We're thankfully brought to you by the Rogue Valley Association of Realtors, also known as RVAR, John L. Scott Ashland and Medford, and Churchill Mortgage, Guy Giles will be right back. Do not touch that dial.

Well, welcome back to the Real Estate Show folks. So glad you could join us. We have a great educational conversation going on with the State of Oregon Department Energy. We've got Roger Kainu here with us today. He's an analyst and also Blake Shelide. He is the facilities engineer. And we're learning tons and tons. So before the break we were talking, just starting to talk about energy inspections and, and those kind of codes. So Roger why don't you finish your thought on, kind of explain to people what that's all about.

Roger Kainu: Well, yeah, before the break we briefly mention home energy scoring, and that's that's been a long process for the state to put this framework or or program together. [00:16:00] And back in 2009, we looking at it and had a lot of different directions from the legislature to pull together people what's known as task force together to kind of look at how, how should we build a home energy score system within the state that's statewide.

That's something that's consistent and accurate and easier for folks to understand. And when I got involved in this back then, it, it was just, it seemed like just a thing to do because if there's one thing, and I've been doing this a long time, if there's one thing I know is as building science analyst, we like to really make things complicated.

We like to talk about details to the nth degree, and Blake is, is one of the best at making lots of details sound, very easy to understand. But for the most part, You know, with experience in talking to people outside of my energy industry, I noticed that you can't keep their attention if you're talking about the U value of a window or the R value of your insulation and what does air change per hour [00:17:00] mean and all that sort of thing.

I mean, people just, they don't want to take the time to understand that. However, they do want the information, they want it in a way that's comprehensive, that's accurate. It's consistent. So it, this was just an easy thing for me to get involved in and the Home energy score is what we developed over the years, and it's a statewide scoring tool.

So, but the, the legislature wanted us to have, Certified and licensed assessors that would come on site to anyone's home that requested it. They, they come in and they're fully trained and they will pull 40 different characteristics of your home. 40, mm-hmm. Yeah. I mean, it, it goes from the orientation of your home, home, whether it's north or south, or east or west. Which way does it face? And also the window U values. So the, the, the resistance to heat or cooling moving through the window. They pull characteristics like what kind of H V A [00:18:00] C system you have, what kind of fuel fuels the H V A C system, what the age is with the, the wall insulation, the attic insulation, all those kind of things matter.

And you take all those 40 characteristics and you input 'em into a system or a calculation engine. And we use the one at the United States Department of Energy. They have some really smart folks out there at in Washington, DC and, and they use a lot of national labs that run these programs and they came up a with a way to say, hey, here's the estimated an annual energy use for your home.

Here is a score from one to 10. And gosh, it, it is just been so easy to communicate a lot of information in a very simple way. So think about miles per gallon on your car. If you go to buy a car, you, you can see the sticker that's on your window. And that gives you an estimated miles per gallon. It's easy for a consumer to make a decision based on that one thing.

So we try not to tell real estate agents [00:19:00] that like, this is the the new thing. This is the Messiah of all things. That's gonna change Everyone's buying decision. No, it's one piece of information. That score is one attribute. It's like a granite countertop. It's like, a full bathroom is just one thing, not good or bad, it's just more information.

And we found that realtors have really got on board in the cities that we operate in. We finally get their attention and we can teach realtors. We do a lot of presentations. We can teach realtors how to use the Home Energy Score system as a benefit to them. They can sound super knowledgeable to their potential buyers or their clients, and with that, they, they just increase and up level their professionalism. It's been a wonderful thing, actually.

Alice Lema: Well, and more data is, You know, it's like that's what makes good consumer choices is having more information. And I love that. I didn't realize this started in 2009. That was such a long time [00:20:00] ago. Yeah. So are we able to talk a little bit about the technology for, let's say, heat pumps? Like what makes a good heat pump? Is that something we could explore briefly in this conversation?

Roger Kainu: Blake, do you mind handling that one?

Blake Shelide: Yeah, I can, I can jump in there. Happy to try to help. So, you know the way that, so, you know, homes can have different heating systems. Some homes have just electric resistance, heat, which is like an electric baseboard or like a little cadet heater that's in the wall.

Some homes have gas furnaces, some homes have heat pumps. You know, heat pumps from an efficiency standpoint, if you're comparing like an electric resistance heater, that pretty much the energy that you put into it comes out as heat. It's about a hundred percent efficient, a heat pump it kind of sounds strange, but heat pump actually has about a 200 to 300% efficiency.

And you think like, how does that, how does that work? Like, is there and there some sort of physics laws that, that wouldn't allow to get more energy out of it. But the reason, the way that that happens is the heat pump isn't actually generating the heat that it puts into a home. It's really just moving it from [00:21:00] one place to another.

So a heat pump works kind of moving the available energy and the heat that's outside, into the home through through a compressor, through just a refrigeration cycle. And it's really actually very similar to the way that just your typical air conditioner works or your typical refrigerator works.

It's just going in reverse. So instead of like moving in your air conditioner works by kind of moving the heat from inside the home to the outside and cooling the inside of your home. A heat pump is just the same, but just in the opposite direction. And by doing that, it, it can have, you know, up to like a 300% efficiency.

And you know, another part of you know, heat pumps that sound kind of strange is how can you heat my home when it's 30 degrees outside with the air that's outside, or 20 degrees outside? But there's actually heat pumps that are in development now that can provide sufficient heat to the home down to like zero in some cases. So we, we see a lot more cold climate, cold application heat pumps. And heat pumps are really common in, in a lot of places in the country to provide heat. In, in a, you know, in most, a lot of places in Oregon have a, a [00:22:00] relatively temperate and moderate climate and don't experience negative 20 degrees very often, or even like consistent temperatures at zero degrees or heat pumps are a great application to provide the heat to a space.

And they, they typically do have a backup source of heat as well, Typically electric resistance, heat, or in some cases it can be like a gas furnace that if it were to get cold enough outside that a heat pump couldn't just keep up, there's still a backup there. The homeowner doesn't experience any discomfort.

Alice Lema: So how does the technology move forward from that? If you're already getting 200 and 300%? Where do you go from there?

Blake Shelide: Yeah, they're, well, they're incrementally getting more and more efficient. So, you know, jumping up from, you know, one efficiency level to another. But I think where the, the biggest opportunities are would be in cases where a homeowner might not have a heat pump, or they might be heating with just a, like electric resistance heat to make a change out.

And there's a variety of different types of heat pumps. There's like whole home distribution systems where you [00:23:00] have like one central heat pump that's providing through a fan and through ducting air to the different rooms in the space. And then you might have also seen recently there's been a lot of development or sometimes known as ductless heat pumps.

Alice Lema: I was just gonna ask you that question.

Blake Shelide: What, what heat pumps and those can be great applications where, you know, maybe a homeowner doesn't have a central air conditioner or central furnace system and the existing duct work to plug into. And they wanted to provide that heating and the cooling to like the family room or to a bedroom.

Or just like certain areas a home and mini splits, ductless heat can be great applications in those, those .Situations we, I have a, I have a mini split in our family room and it works fantastic.

Alice Lema: Yeah, they're great and quiet now. Yeah. Oh yeah, Roger, I'm sorry. Go.

Roger Kainu: Oh, that's it. I was just agreeing with their, their quietness.

Alice Lema: Roger for the, the ductless mini splits, this is just getting hold down here in southern Oregon, how does the energy score work with that kind of a, a system? [00:24:00]

Roger Kainu: Sure. That's just another one of the characteristics that we gather when we come on site as an assessor. And that would, that would improve the score if you had a ductless heat pump or a, a regular forced air whole house heat pump.

Alice Lema: Mm-hmm. . So are the ductless gonna be score? Are you saying they're scored a little higher then?

Roger Kainu: Sure. Yeah. Because of their efficiency has nothing to do with anything else other than they're just more efficient. Mm-hmm. .

Alice Lema: Wow. So do we have realtors ever complaining that the energy score is directing the system technology a certain direction, like more towards mini split than, than the traditional heat pump duct ducted system?

Roger Kainu: Honestly, I, I haven't heard that argument from realtors. They've, they've stayed out of the technological debate.

Alice Lema: That's probably good, huh? ?

Roger Kainu: It would be an okay challenge. Yeah. But you know, very few people can explain things like Blake just did. That's, that's a very good explanation. . [00:25:00]

Alice Lema: Yeah, that really was Cause we've had H V A C people come on. And sometimes they can be simple and people get it, and sometimes you can't, and it's a common question, what is a heat pump? , right? Yeah. So how is the energy score process going now? It, it was applied up in the Portland area first, wasn't it? Is that correct? That correct? So how's that all going?

Roger Kainu: It's going well. We first established a program actually in the Eugene, Eugene, Water and Electric Board. They started the first home energy score program. By, Yeah, by using University of Oregon students. They, they were trained as assessors, which was a great deal for not only the student, but the utility to use.

Then helping people understand their energy use in that area. And it didn't hurt when the utility was paying for those assessments to be done. So that's, that's been successful. But that was back in 2017. In 2018, Portland launched the Home Energy score program in their city limits, and they went to their [00:26:00] council, and the council decided to make it a mandatory home Energy score program. Which is, is a point of contention with a lot of people because I mean, how many people really like mandatory things in their life, right? Not many. But the argument really around mandatory and voluntary is really about do you really wanna get something done? Because right now in Medford you have a voluntary home energy score program, and there's not a whole lot of home energy scores being conducted in Medford or anywhere else in the state.

It takes that mandatory feature to really gain traction, make people pay attention. And the way it works is you have a home that's listed for sale. The mandate says at the time of listing, the realtor must contact a Home Energy Score assessor. Get that assessment done. So they have a score and then that score goes into a tunnel, and that tunnel ends up providing the information even to your smartphone. So you can review what your score is on your [00:27:00] smartphone.

Alice Lema: Oh, that is super cool.

Roger Kainu: Yeah. In the multiple listing service, you can see it. You can see it on vendors like Zillow and Redfin and others. So people are pretty savvy about these devices nowadays and the way they look at real estate. And when I've had more than one, call me up and say, Hey, I can see that this property is a two and this property is an eight. What does that mean? And so sometimes they'll call and they'll ask about what those.

Alice Lema: See, I think I agree with you. The mandatory thing is hard for some people, but this idea that we can get more information about these different properties and it's concise, it's not emotional, and it's thorough. This is just gonna be an amazing thing. So we wanna talk more about this. We've gotta take another break. I'm sorry guys. Roger Keniu and Blake Shelide from the Department of Energy, State of Oregon. We'll be right back after a quick word.

Well, welcome back to the Real Estate Show. I'm Alice Lema, broker John L. Scott here in beautiful southern Oregon getting a wealth of information from our [00:28:00] very own state of Oregon Department of Energy. We have Roger Kainu and Blake Shelide here helping us understand what's new, what's already in place. And we were just talking to Roger right before the break about the actual new energy inspection. There's more words than that, but it's basically an energy inspection of your house.

Roger Kainu: Correct. Thanks Alice. Yeah, we were discussing about the rollout of the Home Energy Score program in Oregon. It started the Eugene Water and Electric Board, and then it moved to Portland and they developed a mandatory scoring program.

You know, Portland's a big metropolitan area, was about 650,000 people. And so it created a lot of interest right away. Homes were being put up for listing, and that's when the home energy score gets done, although you can have it done at any point in time.

Alice Lema: Oh, that's good to know. Yeah, that's good.

Roger Kainu: The policy mandate though, requires that [00:29:00] whenever a home is put up for sale, that you get a home energy score conducted. And then that score gets moved into what we call the Green Building Registry. But it's actually then available to go into the multiple listing services and to vendors such as Redfin and Zillow.

So folks can see whether or not a home that they're interested in actually has a score. And, and that that may make a buying decision for them. It may not. Some folks, they don't have any understanding about energy efficiency and what that means. Others are looking, four bedrooms versus three.

It's just a point of information. That's all it is. And for those folks that want more information, this is a good way to get it to 'em.

Alice Lema: Well, it sure seems like, especially, I'm sorry, but seniors on a, a fixed income, they're constantly talking to US realtors while we're in the house about what it's gonna cost to run the house, right?

Roger Kainu: That's correct. And for lo, for many years, we've all always given consumers or your potential clients, the high and low of an [00:30:00] energy bill will try to call a utility and get a high and a low, but that's all based on the occupant interactions. Like you might have a client that is a solo person or a couple and they're looking at a property that's been lived in with five people in it.

And the, the energy usage of that home is gonna be much different. The home energy score helps evaluate what that property is like without all the occupants in it. So you can compare it to other houses equally. You can equal comparison. Yep. Yeah, absolutely. Of, of homes, like homes. And then after we implemented the program in Portland, we were able to move a program, the same kind of mandatory scoring program to Milwaukee. And then after that, the next year we moved over to Hillsborough. So now we've got much of the metro area that's covered by home energy scoring. In the meantime, I've been working with many other cities like Hood River and Ashland, and Corvallis and Eugene, and Bend [00:31:00] and discussing, sharing the benefits of home energy scoring.

We see what's been done in this metro area, in the Portland area, and we're more than happy to come out and help city staff and councils bring program work to their areas as well. And like I said, it's, it's the big issue, it seems to be whether or not it should be a mandatory program versus voluntary.

You can have voluntary right now. Anybody can call up and get an assessor to come to your home. Now will you do that? That's another issue. But if it's mandatory at the point of sale, you can easily get that home energy score. And then the city starts to understand in terms of how much energy is being used within a city. Folks get all that energy use information right to their smartphone. So it works out really.

Alice Lema: Yeah. I just think this is incredibly exciting. And you had mentioned before the break that there's a voluntary program in the southern Oregon area. Can you speak to that? So people know how to move forward if they want to?

Roger Kainu: I sure can. Yeah. I've been working a lot with the city of Ashland which I don't [00:32:00] remember the other county that there's Josephine and Jackson. Josephine, Klamath. That's it. That's it. Have worked with those folks down there? And this is really a different program. It's very interesting to me.

And that's where the realtors actually picked up the, the lentil and decided they're going to run a program in the city of Ashland. And them getting behind it and understanding what the program's about. Whenever they talk to a client, they can promote the Home Energy Score program and have them understand what the features are, the characteristics of the home, the operations of the home, and they can get a score for that homeowner.

We think it's just a wonderful thing that Ashland's done and you know, getting realtors behind it has just been an absolute benefit.

Alice Lema: So are there energy assessors in Southern Oregon?

Roger Kainu: There is, there's not, not very many, but we do have a few popping up now, and as soon as they hear about the market down there, the opportunity to do scores, they will come.

Alice Lema: So is it an in person, a per, like a [00:33:00] human, comes to your property and analyzes it, correct?

Roger Kainu: Yes, it is.

Alice Lema: So how do, how do they measure the importance of windows? Cause we still have a lot of old houses down here in southern Oregon, and they either have single pan windows or what we used to call storm. We have two pieces of glass, but there's cold air going in and out of all of it,

Roger Kainu: Right. When they come on, on site, the assessor will look at the window and they'll actually evaluate. They, they know the age of the home and they'll ask whether or not the, the windows have been replaced. They'll take a look, Is it vinyl, is it double pane? Is it triple pane, which I doubt it is. Or is it even single pane wood windows?

 Those things, those characteristics all matter and they go into a calculation engine that determines what that score will be.

Alice Lema: Mm-hmm. ? Mm-hmm. . And how, how many pages is the report usually?

Roger Kainu: Actually it's two pages. The first page gives you a lot of kind of graphical information. It shows, gosh, what the annual energy use is estimated to be. It shows [00:34:00] who the assessor was, what you know, and how to get in touch with them for another assessment if you want. And then it also gives you the one to 10 score on a scale, and it discusses like what the average is around in the area.

Alice Lema: Oh, really? So you can compare it to the, the neighborhood. Sure. Oh, that's super cool.

Roger Kainu: Then it also gives you some greenhouse gas estimates. Like what? What's the carbon reduction factor for this home? It gives you just a small, real brief little picture of that for those people that really want to know about carbon reduction. Mm-hmm. and. And then it also on the second page, and this is, I like to highlight this because I think this is overlooked a lot of times, but it's super important and that is based on that score and all the characteristics, the second page will tell you what upgrades you can do to your home and in what priority. That's super important because I don't know how many people's home, wandered around in trying to help 'em and they wanna put new windows in a lot of times when it's really [00:35:00] the HVAC system that's creating most of the issue.

Alice Lema: Wow, that. Is so interesting.

Roger Kainu: Yeah. So having those priorities at hand is a, a real benefit to the homeowner.

Alice Lema: Mm-hmm. . And that also helps you predict the future value of the improvements you're doing. I would think.

Roger Kainu: Oh, sure. Absolutely. We can do that.

Alice Lema: That is so, so cool. So we only have a minute left. We're gonna have to have you guys back on. There's just like a whole page full of questions we didn't get to ask you. But if somebody in Southern Oregon needs to get ahold of an assessor, who do they call? Do they call you? Is ther like a website. What do we do to get people on the boat here?

Roger Kainu: Have 'em go to the Oregon Department of Energy. On the left side of that page, there's a, a link there for home energy scoring. And you can find me on that page. You can find a lot of information. There's a link on that page that pulls up and blows up to all the assessors that are available and, and most of them will travel to your area if they don't live in the area.

Alice Lema: Well, [00:36:00] I'm gonna check it out. I'm gonna see if I can order some this week for some of my clients so we can be in front of it. Thank you gentlemen. We've been talking to State of Oregon Department of Energy, Roger Kainu and Blake Shelide. Can't wait to have you back on. Thank you so much.

Roger Kainu: Thank you, Alice.

Blake Shelide: Thank you very much.

Alice Lema: This broadcast will be repeated tomorrow, Sunday at 6:00 PM Go have a fabulous weekend bye now.

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