In the new American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy report, “Residential Energy Use Disclosure: A Review of Existing Policies,” 14 U.S. residential energy use disclosure laws were examined in order to shed light on how residential energy disclosure policies can most effectively reach homebuyers and renters in single-family homes and multifamily buildings.

While commercial benchmarking quickly is becoming a hot policy in many major U.S. cities, residential policies have popped up in a remarkably diverse spread of jurisdictions, some of which have few, if any, other energy-efficiency policies on the books.

 According to the report, increasing the transparency of information around the home-buying process and increasing consumer awareness of the real costs of home ownership is crucial in a post-mortgage crisis environment. The report states the average homeowner spends about $2,000 every year on energy used in the home, a sum that is greater than the cost of the average home insurance policy and property tax bill combined.