SECTION 1. (a) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, a seller or agent acting on behalf of the seller shall complete an energy assessment through the Mass Save program as overseen by the department of energy resources prior to the time of listing the home for sale, provided that no additional fees shall be imposed or collected in connection with the home energy assessment. This section shall apply to a seller of a single-family residential dwelling or a multiple-family residential dwelling with fewer than 5 units, or a condominium unit.
(b) The seller or agent acting on behalf of the seller shall disclose to a buyer or prospective buyer information obtained from the energy assessment of the dwelling at the time of listing or prior to the signing of a contract to purchase, whichever comes first.
(c) This section shall not apply to sales of residential dwellings in the following circumstances: (1) a foreclosure or pre-foreclosure sale; (2) a deeded or trustee sale; (3) a transfer of title related to the exercise of eminent domain; (4) a sale from one family member to another family member; (5) a sale under court order; (6) a sale under degree of legal separation or divorce; (7) the dwelling is designated on the National Register of Historic Places or the Massachusetts Register of Historic Places as a historic building or landmark; (8) the dwelling had an energy assessment within the last three years through the Mass Save program or another qualified energy efficiency provider as determined by the department; (9) the dwelling was constructed within the last three years and can demonstrate compliance with the most recent energy provisions of the state building code for residential buildings; or (10) the dwelling has completed a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) rating as offered by a RESNET qualified home energy rater in the last three years as part of certification to be an ENERGY STAR home.
(d) The energy efficiency advisory council in consultation with the department, shall track and assess the number of home energy assessments undertaken as part of its annual report to the department and the joint committee on telecommunications, utilities and energy on the Mass Save energy efficiency programs.
SECTION 2. (a) The department shall design and implement an energy rating and labeling system for use by sellers of residential dwellings to disclose the energy performance of that dwelling to potential buyers at the time of listing. The label will be provided to owners of residential property as part of the Mass Save energy assessment or other qualified energy assessment as determined by the department.
(b) Said energy rating and labeling system shall provide a consistent scoring method regarding the energy performance of residential dwellings that provides information to potential buyers based upon the physical assets of the property. The energy rating shall consider, but not be limited to, information regarding annual energy consumption, energy costs for electricity and thermal needs, and annual carbon emissions. In designing the system, the department shall consider the energy rating and labeling system used as part of the Mass Save Home MPG Pilot, the RESNET Home Energy Rating System the U.S. Department of Energy's Home Energy Score, and other energy rating and labeling systems used in other jurisdictions as it determines appropriate.
(c) The department shall adopt the energy rating and labeling system for residential dwellings no later than December 15, 2015, and shall begin implementing the system no later than June 30, 2016, or six month after the enactment of this statute, whichever is later.
(d) The department shall provide recommendations on implementing an energy rating and labeling system for residential rental property transactions no later than December 15, 2015, or six months after the enactment of this statute, whichever is later.
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