UtilityScore shows how home improvement projects reduce utilities costs

UtilityScore recommends energy-efficiency improvements and financing options
  • UtilityScore is recommending home improvements that will cut down on utility costs, estimating the savings that will result from those improvements and showing loan options for financing the projects.
  • UtilityScore's scores -- which rate a home's utility costs on a scale of 1 through 100 -- are now appearing on HotPads, a rental site operated by Zillow.

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Consumers who snag homes that look like bargains sometimes make an unpleasant discovery: High gas, electric and water bills that bite into any savings on property price. UtilityScore previously rolled out scores to help consumers avoid these rude surprises. Now UtilityScore -- which was created by energy consulting firm BKi and is backed by the startup accelerator Y Combinator -- is offering insight into how to improve those scores, recommending home improvements that will cut down on utility costs as well as loan options for financing the projects. UtilityScores also are receiving airtime on HotPads, a rental site operated by Zillow Group. HotPads has slapped the scores onto some listings, with the aim of giving renters a "truer picture of what the costs are to live in their next home," said HotPads General Manager Douglas Pope said in a statement. Enter an address into and the site will now show estimated savings fo...