Montpelier begins crafting energy efficiency standards for landlords, agents

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City officials in Montpelier are asking landlords and real estate agents to help them make the city more energy-efficient.

A change in the city charter narrowly approved by voters on Town Meeting Day allows the city to create energy efficiency standards to help reduce energy usage in buildings.

Those standards would require property owners to disclose the energy efficiency of their buildings when they’re up for sale or for rent

“One of the hopes is that we can craft an ordinance around energy disclosures at the time of listing for sale for buildings,”Mayor Anne Watson said.

To help with the details, council members voted Wednesday to offer the city’s real estate agents a seat at the table. Watson says the council has invited them to a breakfast meeting at City Hall on July 26.

“We’re going to do a little bit of overview of what’s been done around the country, the work that Efficiency Vermont has done in the past, too, as well as national organizations,” Watson said. “And we’re hoping that we can have a successful model here and something that, potentially, could be replicated either throughout the state or by the state.”

Building consensus around the new standards may not be easy. In March, the charter change passed by fewer than 30 votes. A public meeting about is scheduled for August 20.

City Council also held a lengthy discussion on loitering Wednesday night. People who are and have been homeless spoke out as part of it, as did Montpelier police, business owners, a state representative and others.

By its next meeting in four weeks, the council will likely be ready to take formal steps toward creating a Montpelier-Barre-Berlin regional task force on improving services for the homeless population.

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