Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED), Chicagoland’s multiple listing service (MLS), reported that the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has ranked America’s 34 largest cities on energy efficiency in five key areas. Chicago’s score resulted in it being ranked No. 9 by ACEEE. The report cites best practices, which include Chicago’s requirement that home energy use be disclosed as part of real estate transactions.
MRED’s recent MLS system enhancements added utility costs fields to aid real estate professionals comply with the disclosure requirements of the Chicago municipal code. Under the code it is required that utility costs be disclosed to prospective buyers for detached, attached and 2-4 unit properties. To accomplish this, MRED has added monthly and annual electricity/gas costs to its MLS listing database. Listing reports for the property then contain the estimated utility costs.
To populate these data fields, the MRED system provides easy to use “Lookup Estimates” links. Agents click on those links and enter the seller’s Utility Account numbers. The system then interrogates MyHomeEQ.com, a home energy efficiency website created by CNT Energy, a division of the Center for Neighborhood Technology, and receives back the appropriate data for gas and/or electricity estimated costs. A Disclosure of Utility Costs report is also generated, and can be attached to the property listing within the MLS and is then available for presentation to possible buyers.
“The MyHomeEQ connection demonstrates our continued commitment to what we call ‘Public Service Apps’,” said MRED CEO Russ Bergeron. “We must all have a greater environmental consciousness. Enabling consumer access to energy costs information is critical. Not only do we demonstrate the energy efficiency of a home, but we strengthen our goal to determine and communicate the true cost of ownership. We are proud to be a contributor to Chicago’s recognition as a leader in energy efficiency.”