Minneapolis residents may gain a sense of how much energy will cost when they buy homes and rent apartments if the City Council approves a new energy disclosure ordinance this month.

The ordinance would do three things. First, it would require home sellers to complete two additional inspection tests and provide energy-efficiency information. Second, multifamily buildings of 50,000 square feet or more would have to disclose energy benchmarking data by using Energy Star Portfolio Manager, just as commercial buildings do now. Third, energy-consumption data that utilities collect on all the city’s residential rental housing will be made available to renters in the future.

City officials and council members believe building owners with low-performing properties would be more open to utility and city efficiency programs to reduce their energy use, a strategy that comes with the bonus of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Other cities have similar ordinances, among them Portland, Oregon; Austin, Texas; Berkeley, California; and Boulder, Colorado.

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