Does your home have a miles per gallon rating? Well of course not, but wouldn’t it be nice to know how energy efficient your home will be before you buy, and how much you can anticipate spending on utility bills? This is especially important when you are buying a brand new home that doesn’t have a record of utility bills.
You’ll be happy to know there actually are energy ratings for homes that tell you how energy efficient they are and what you can expect your utility bills to be! The HERS (Home Energy Rating System) Index is a scoring system which was developed to provide a standard measurement of a home’s energy efficiency and expected energy costs. HERS is the housing equivalent of MPG (miles per gallon) rating you are accustomed to with cars & trucks.
The HERS rating system is most commonly used to rate new construction. It is based on a standard new home built to code, which is given a score of 100 on the HERS Index. The lower a home’s score, the more energy efficient it is in comparison to a similar home, built to current code. More specifically, each 1-point decrease in the HERS Index corresponds to a 1% reduction in energy consumption.
This translates directly into savings on utility costs for the new homeowner. That includes electricity, natural gas, water heating, heating/cooling, and service charges. High performance homes score lower on the HERS Index. A home energy rating of 50 means that home is 50% more efficient than similar homes built to current code. More impressive is the fact that these high-performance homes can be 60 to 80% more efficient than comparable homes that are ten years old!
The HERS rating is conducted by independent energy professionals, certified by the Residential Energy Network (RESNET). Home builders often have these ratings done on their new homes in order to earn the ENERGY STAR, US Green Building Council’s LEED, or National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Green Certified ratings. These standards help give you peace of mind that the home you are buying has been inspected and certified by an independent 3rd party.
You wouldn’t buy a new car without a miles per gallon rating, so don’t buy a new home without a home energy rating! All you have to do is ask. The builders who have home ratings done on their new construction are following the latest industry standards for energy efficiency, comfort and health, When you buy a home with a HERS rating, you know that you are getting a home that is more efficient than a comparable brand new home just built to current code. You know you will save money on your energy bills and be more comfortable in your home. And a strong HERS rating can give you a higher resale value when it comes time to sell!
To learn more about the HERS Index, including how it is calculated by a home energy rater, visit https://www.hersindex.com/hers-index/.