The Department of Energy and the National Association of Realtors have developed a program to educate real estate agents about energy conservation. The association hopes to train 100,000 agents by 1982.
The course is designed to help agents assist buyers in judging the energy efficiency of houses.
More than 5 million homes are sold each year, and agents participate in about 4 million of these transactions, the NAR says. Choosing more energy-efficient homes or incorporating energy-saving features in existing properties can save buyers up to 50 percent on energy bills, DOE maintains.
The Energy Department and the association collaborated on the four-hour course, which will be given by more than 200 instructors nationwide through NAR's state and local boards.
"We at DOE are particularly pleased with this program because it is an example of continuing cooperative efforts between DOE and the private sector aimed at two vital national interests, saving energy and keeping down consumer costs," said John C. Sawhill, deputy secretary of energy.
DOE said the course will help agents understand how houses use energy and will teach them how to determine the annual energy costs per square foot for a property.
Also included are features to look for in listing a house, and what features to point out when showing it.
Features that can affect home energy costs include: use of insulation, storm windows and doors; caulking and weatherstripping; the type of heating, cooling and hot water and life style of the owner (number of occupants, average thermostat setting, etc.) DOE said.
The agency said the program is part of its effort to include awareness of energy efficiency in all aspects of housing transactions, from the buyer and seller through the secondary mortgage market.
The DOE-NAR program is being directed by the buildings division in DOE's office of the assistant secretary for conservation and solar energy.