Condos and covered buildings

Since the launch of the City of Portland Home Energy Score program in January, there is one question, which dominates all others in frequency. Do condos need to get a Home Energy Score?

The City of Portland Home Energy Score Interim Administrative Rules state the following:

“Covered Building” or “Home” means any residential structure containing at least one dwelling unit or house, regardless of size, on its own lot. Covered building also includes an attached single dwelling unit, regardless of whether it is located on its own lot, where each unit extends from foundation to roof, such as a row house, attached house, common-wall house, duplex, or townhouse. A covered building is defined based on the type of structure and physical qualities, regardless of the ownership or whether the property is privately held or part of a homeowner’s association or other ownership arrangement. Covered building does not include multiple housing units that are stacked vertically, such as an apartment or multifamily structure.

That’s a lot of words. Let’s see if we can unpack that a little bit. Here are the most important messages:

1.     Condos and townhomes ARE included in the requirement with one exception

2.     If the condo or townhome is part of a stacked configuration (i.e. there are separate units above or below) it cannot be scored and the requirement does not apply.

That’s it. It does not matter if another condo in the same development has a different configuration, if you own one or more units or are selling one or more units. What matters are the physical qualities of the home in question.

Now that you know if you need a Home Energy Score, head to to find out how to contact an authorized assessor and how to make sure your score gets where it needs to be.