Minneapolis considering home insulation testing requirement for older homes

Minneapolis could be making some changes when it comes to selling your home and it has to do with requirements regarding insulation.

Jesse Rausch of Century Insulation is preparing for changes in housing inspection requirements within the city of Minneapolis.

For the first time in his career, insulation tests could be required for anyone selling a home built before 1980.

“The idea that it would generate more work is appealing to me, but on the flip side, I worry about the little old lady or little old man who may not be able to afford those repairs,” Rausch said.

The proposal was approved by a city council committee Monday after hearing from environmental groups who support the move.

“If you live in one of the coldest urban areas in America, you should know if your home is under-insulated,” said Chris Duffrin, of the Center for Energy and Environment.

“If this amendment results in sellers or new owners in taking cost effective measures, it would be a significant boost in energy cost savings and greenhouse gas reductions,” said Allan Campbell, of the Community Environmental Advisory Committee.

While real estate professionals shared their concerns in the cost to sellers, Rausch is concerned about the method of testing.

Right now, when they test insulation in homes, they use non-invasive infrared technology, but this would require drilling a substantial hole in the wall. Still, supporters say it’s a small price to pay for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Also approved in committee Monday, a requirement that landlords disclose energy costs to prospective renters.

Supporters on the city council believe these steps will help them reach a goal laid out in the city’s Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050.