Austin, TX Energy Audit Law

Mandate for energy audits creates buzz

New business owner Susan Marler, president of Energy Action, is looking forward to June 1.

That’s when the city of Austin’s energy conservation ordinance takes effect, requiring sellers of single-family homes 10 years or older to obtain energy conservation audits. The audits will consist of duct blasting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning system inspections and other tests.

Prompted by the city’s mandate, Marler and her husband, Justin Marler, co-founded Energy Action, which provides energy conservation audits and related consulting, last fall. Industry watchers believe that there will be stiff competition from companies prepared to serve the new energy audit market. Green Zone Home and AirTite Inspections are two local companies that have track records performing energy audits for the Energy Star and Austin Green Building programs. Austin Energy will publish a list of energy audit providers on its Web site by June.

While competition in the green auditing market will likely only get stronger, Energy Action’s altruistic business model could help it stand out from the crowd. The Marlers plan to donate 25 percent of their pre-tax annual profits to local charities.

I’m still trying to figure out how this works in one regard. If I inspect a house and offer my services as a re-modeler that is considered, and rightfully so, a conflict of interest and could result in me losing my license or being fined. BUT A/C contractors are eligible to do these energy audits AND offer the repairs. How is this legal?? How would we even compete with the A/C contractors??


Since these energy audits are pre-listing you should be able to do them without any concern. I also think that not being able to do the repairs might help you since you will have no conflict of interest and will give an honest audit. Maybe by doing a pre-listing audit the people selling would hire you to do the inspection of the house they might buy. Because this law only calls for audits for houses ten years old or older I wonder how big the market will be.

The energy auditor can make repairs and upgrades and is not under the rules of the
TREC code of ethics or SoP. They are working in the same capacity as a contractor
who makes recommendations for home improvements.

The home inspector is under the rules of TREC.

I would not recommend trying to do an energy audit and weatherization on
the same house that you do a home inspection.