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Northwest Appraisers Welcome Real-Market, Green Building Cost Data

Contact:  Fiona Douglas-Hamilton
                  (360) 894-6817
                  fiona@seecsolutions.com

SEEC LLC and Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) today announced the launch of a cost data addendum for high performance homes as supporting documentation to the Uniform Residential Appraisal Report. The addendum responds to appraisers’ requests for credible incremental cost data for homes in their markets that incorporate high performance measures.

“It’s great news to see the appraisal and construction industries collaborating to help reduce appraisal hurdles for high performing, energy-efficient buildings,” said Scott Bergford, CGB, CAPS, owner of Scott Homes. “I am very grateful for this proposal to help support appraisals of high performing homes. We welcome the opportunity to partner in this effort and plan to fill out the evaluation report for each of our homes.”

Builders who drop out of home certification programs or choose not to build more sustainably commonly cite their inability to recoup the cost of incorporating green and advanced building practices. The addendum would provide real incremental cost data that an appraiser could use to support an adjustment for a home with energy-efficiency and green improvements.

“We're continuing to raise the bar and redefine energy-efficiency in new construction,” said Neil Grigsby, initiative manager, NEEA. “To keep builders on board, and in business, they need to be able to recoup the cost of making these improvements. We're excited to be a part of this first step and are committed to educating the appraisal community so that they can make more informed decisions.”

Michael Brunson, the vice president of the National Association of Appraisers (NAA), introduced a draft version of the cost data addendum to a group of stakeholders at the annual High Performance Home and Building Summit in August. Hailing the addendum as a step in the right direction, Brunson said that the addendum, if used properly, could lead to significant changes in green valuation. The Executive Board of the NAA endorsed the form, stating: “The NAA supports, in principle, NEEA’s new Cost Data Addendum for high performance homes as a significant step forward in providing data to residential appraisers about local incremental costs to install energy-efficiency and green features.”

While the cost of green building improvements rarely if ever equates to their market value, appraisers have lacked reliable data to support builders’ claims of higher property worth based solely on the cost of the energy-efficiency and sustainability measures employed. The cost data addendum, which is completed by builders, informs appraisers of improvements that elevate the homes’ performance beyond state and local codes. It also provides the incremental cost of the improvements and the Gross Living Area (GLA). With this information, appraisers could calculate the $Energy or Green Improvement per GLA and apply an offset adjustment toward comparable homes without these improvements provided they can identify a market reaction

To help familiarize high performance homebuilders with the cost data addendum, SEEC is conducting an outreach initiative targeting green certification programs in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

To download a copy of the Cost Data Addendum, visit www.northwestenergystar.com/partners/home-builders.

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About Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance

The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) is a non-profit organization working to accelerate energy efficiency to meet our future energy needs. NEEA is supported by and works in collaboration with the Bonneville Power Administration, Energy Trust of Oregon and more than 100 Northwest utilities on behalf of more than 12 million energy consumers. NEEA uses the market power of the region to accelerate the innovation and adoption of energy-efficient products, services and practices. Since 1997, NEEA and its partners have saved enough energy to power almost 600,000 homes each year. Energy efficiency can satisfy more than half of our new demand for energy, saving money and keeping the Northwest a healthy and vibrant place to live. www.neea.org

About SEEC LLC
SEEC LLC is a group of residential green building professionals and appraisers based in the Pacific Northwest whose mission is to ensure, through education and the development of market value transformation programs with stakeholders, the accurate recording of value for green and energy efficient new homes and retrofits. For more information, contact Fiona Douglas-Hamilton at (360) 894-6817. www.seecsolutions.com