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‘Energy Score’ worries for America’s houses?

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Editor's note: Please welcome Ken Harney, a nationally syndicated real estate columnist and author of two books on real estate and mortgage finance, to Inman News. He will be writing a unique real estate column for Inman News that will be featured at www.inman.com twice a month.When Shaun Donovan first mentioned the idea to me shortly after taking over as Obama's housing secretary, it sounded completely commonsense and reasonable. "When you buy a car," he said, leaning across the table for emphasis, "you know very clearly what the energy efficiency of the vehicle is because there's a number on the window. It says, 'Here's the gas mileage.' But we don't know that" when we buy a house, even though it's a much larger expenditure. Most houses come with no stickers, no ratings and no disclosures about how big a fuel guzzler the property is, and how that might compare with other houses on a rating scale. Donovan said he and Secretary of Energy Steven Chu w...