Tag Archives: RESNET

HERS Energy Scores Gaining Ground As New Building Standard

US GreenBrokers

According to Marie Easley in a recent article from Builder:

Years ago, questioning a group of builders about the biggest problems facing the green and energy-efficient building movement would more often than not elicit a popular complaint: There’s no industry-wide standard.  While that refrain can still be heard today, it seems to be fading out as more and more builders have turned to what may be becoming the industry’s default: HERS scores.

In model homes across the country, small thermometer heat charts are popping up next to thermostats as builders use their Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score to compete with other new homes and, importantly, existing-home inventory.

Even as the number of homes being built in the U.S. has declined in recent years, the percentage of new homes being rated by HERS has been increasing, says Steve Baden, executive director at Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET), which developed the…

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Why is a HERS rating important?

Image from Wikipedia

There are a few basic building blocks you need to grasp to get a solid understanding of Energy Efficiency as it relates to homes.  H.E.R.S. is one of the critical ones.  A HERS rating provides an unbiased measurement of how efficiently a home uses energy.  The HERS rating quantifies the energy performance of a home based on a set standard, and therefore provides an easy way to compare the energy efficiency of different homes.

The measurement or HERS Score is calculated by a certified HERS rater using an energy efficiency software package to perform an energy analysis of the home’s design.   To be certified, a HERS rater must successfully complete RESNET (Residential Energy Services Network) training and abide by RESNET requirements, they do not report to any builder or energy certification program.

A HERS rating of 100 would be the rating for a home built to the current code, but not exceeding code.  A HERS rating of 250 would use 2.5 times as much energy as one with a rating of 100.  A HERS rating of 50 would use only 50% of the energy of one with a rating of 100.

As more people request this information from Builders and Sellers, the HERS rating will become more important in a home sale.  After homeowners discovered a mortgage payment may be affordable, but high utility bills can take the same home and put it beyond their means.

If a HERS rating or Green Building/Retrofit certification is not available for a home you are interested in purchasing make certain you ask for copies of the utility bills before making your offer.  This will give you a good estimate what the home will cost you every month.