Real Estate News

Province puts the brakes on punishing HER&D program

For nine years, Ontario REALTORS® have been fighting to stop attempts by the province to implement the Home Energy Rating & Disclosure Program (HER&D), also known as mandatory home energy audits.

For those who are not familiar, it’s a two-step program.

First, HER&D would require a home seller to conduct an energy audit before they listed a home.

Then, HER&D would require a seller and the REALTOR® to post the results of the audit to the MLS® listing before the house went up for sale.

It would create a giant piece of red tape, delaying transactions and hurting folks like seniors who are relying on hard-earned home equity for their retirement.

HER&D also took aim at REALTORS® by targeting MLS® and not other methods of selling a home.

OREA Government Relation’s team has thrown everything including the kitchen sink at stopping HER&D.

We made it an issue at our Ontario REALTOR® Party Conference twice – meeting with over 100 MPPs.

OREA GR staff and volunteers wore out a few pairs of shoes, trekking to Queen’s Park to lobby almost every member of the Cabinet, including the Premier herself.

We created a common-sense alternative to HER&D, called the Green Home Assistance Program (GHAP), that helps homeowners by providing rebate dollars to do voluntary energy audits and supporting retrofits.

And, finally, we commissioned research from the Conference Board of Canada that showed the program was a big waste of tax payer dollars.

To say the odds were stacked against us would be an understatement.

So much so, that province doubled down on it in 2016, making it a central plank of their Climate Change Action Plan, targeting full implementation of a province wide program starting in 2019.

The end result wasn’t looking good for REALTORS® and Ontario home owners.

Until two weeks ago.

When, OREA received a letter from the Minister of Energy announcing that the province has decided not to proceed with the implementation of a HER&D program.

This is a big win for Ontario REALTORS®.

Instead of moving forward on HER&D, the province is investing money in a program very similar to our recommended GHAP initiative called GreenON.

Green ON is a program will encourage the installation of energy efficient retrofits which will actually reduce GHG emissions rather than implement a program that would regulate MLS® and do little to reduce GHG emissions.

Home owners can receive rebates for the installation of high performance windows, smart thermostats, new and efficient insulation, and more.

To learn more about the Green Ontario Fund, click here.

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