GREENING THE MLS
Read more to learn about our work and help us make an impact

What is the West-Penn MLS?


  • The West Penn MLS is the key source of information for realtors, home buyers, and appraisers.​
  •  Without up-to-date fields:
    • Sellers are not able to highlight important improvements that will allow them to see a return on their energy efficiency and green investments.
    • Agents are unable to properly highlight important features of a home.
    • Buyers cannot search for the energy efficient and eco-friendly features that are important to them.
    • Appraisers are not able to accurately appraise the value of a home (because they cannot identify comparables via the MLS) and lenders are unwilling to lend on the increased value of an energy efficient or green home.
  • This results in lost opportunities for realizing the value of these improvements and quantifying their market impact.


 Supporting Data

  • A study by the National Association of Home Builders found that ENERGY STAR® for New Homes label was ranked “very important” by 91 percent of new home buyers, putting it in the top five “must haves” among 120 features.
    • NAHB’s 2016 study found that 4 of the top 10 new home features are focused on energy efficiency. On Average, home buyers will pay an additional $10,732 for a home to save $1,000 a year in utilities
    • A 2017 updated study by Dodge Data and Analytics partnered with NAHB found that 29% of single family home builders have built a net zero home in the past two years and an additional 44% plan to do so in the next two.
  • The 2017 National Association of Realtor’s annual Home Buyer/Seller Profile found that 84 percent surveyed said a home’s heating and cooling costs were “important” or “very important” regardless of the age of the home.
  • The McGraw-Hill Construction Green Building Outlook foresees that green construction and remodeling will grow to 38 percent of the overall market by 2016. 
  • An April 2016 study by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy ranked Pittsburgh in the top ten cities in the nation in which low-income populations are most impacted by “energy burden,” or the amount of monthly income spent on energy costs.
    • The country wide energy burden is 3.5%. In Pittsburgh, it is more than double that at 8.6%
    • For African Americans in Pittsburgh, it is almost double even that at 16.1%.


 What’s happening nationwide

  • NAR’s Green Resource Council has published a Green MLS Implementation Guide to help with the process.
  • The Appraisal Institute has produced a “Green and Energy Efficient Addendum” to assist with valuation of these features.
  • The Real Estate Standards Organization provides standardized fields for MLSes that want to integrate this information.
  • The Council of MLSes, of which West Penn MLS is a member, strongly encourages use of green fields.


 Other Green Multi-List Services

  • In 2015, the Council of MLS (Multiple Listing Service) announced that 52 percent of its members nationwide now offer fields for home energy information.
  • It’s not just California and New York. Unexpected regions, like Cincinnati and Louisville have integrated green fields.
  • The TREND MLS, which serves the Philadelphia region, integrated energy-related field in  2009.


Take our 10-minute survey to help us understand the demand for green features in our region's homes.  You will be entered in a prize drawing for your time.