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  • Writer's pictureRob Larson

Measuring The Value in Home Energy Performance Ratings

The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is the primary utility used by Real Estate Sales Professionals (REALTORS and non-NAR Members) to describe the property being sold.  The National Association of Realtors has adopted the RESO (Real Estate Standards Organization) Data Dictionary as a requirement for all NAR members. Today, RESO standards are leveraged by nearly two million real estate professionals.  Through the work of various organizations, including the US Department of Energy, Earth Advantage, Build it Green, builders, and many other industry experts, the RESO Data Dictionary contains a standard method of communicating Energy Performance Ratings.  Thanks to the NAR mandate, this common language is required across the US and Canada.  The RESO Standards are also being widely adopted across the globe.

The “Green the MLS” initiative was part of the early NAR efforts that was the genesis of what we have in the RESO Dictionary today. Currently the Dictionary includes energy performance ratings, power production, and power storage, and continues to be driven by a growing worldwide constituency.

The RESO Data Dictionary is available in several formats (wiki, csv, xml) and currently supports English, French, and Spanish. The RESO Data Dictionary Wiki is the primary access point. It contains multiple versions of the Dictionary, access to other formats, a hierarchal index, and a search function to aid in research.

Germain to measuring the value of upgrading a home for energy performance, production, and storage is RESO’s standardized method of disseminating data to the tools used by Real Estate Professionals (Brokers, Agents, Appraisers, etc.) and to the services used by the consumer (Zillow,,, etc.)  By providing data that aligns with the methods of measuring home performance, and the capabilities of power production and storage systems, the body of listing sales data provide the tools to analyize and recognize the value in such investments at the point of home sale.

The Data Dictionary resource designed for home performance rating systems is called the PropertyGreenVerification Resource.  It currently includes 18 national rating systems but is based on a notion of extensibility and omissibility.  Any new rating system can be quickly added as a “local value” at any time, and we also welcome the recommendations to the dictionary's “standard values.”  Standard values ensure that data producers share the same data in the same way, making consumption of the data from different sources consistent resulting in a lower cost and faster time to implement. The Data Dictionary also supports home energy production and power storage.

The PropertyGreenVerification Resource contains 15 fields to capture data relevant to home performance rating systems.  These fields include the Type (the name of the rating system, e.g. HERS), the issuing body, the rating, relevant metrics, year, version, status, URLs, and more.

By providing consistent data about the property, we are providing an important groundwork to help the consumer realize the value in their investments at the point of home sale.  The inclusion of performance and energy related features of a property help ensure the practice of comparative pricing includes clear and daily examples of the return on home energy performance investment.

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