RESNET’s HERS Index has been getting a whole lot of press recently. It’s steadily gaining traction with builders and home sellers, who are marketing their homes via HERS Index Scores. Homebuyers are now comparing houses based on their scores before they decide to buy.

After all, a lower HERS Index Score means a more energy efficient home, which translates into lower energy costs for both homeowners and potential homebuyers.

  • A standard American resale home is rated at 130 on the HERS Index.
  • A standard American new home is rated at 100 on the HERS Index.
  • A home with a HERS Index Score of 50 is 50% more energy efficient than a standard American new home.
  • A home with a HERS Index Score of 150 is 50% less efficient than a standard American new home.

If you’re a homeowner looking to sell your home, you have to get an energy rating.

What’s an Energy Rating and Where Can I Get One?

A home energy rating is a comparative analysis of how energy efficient your home is when compared to similar homes. In other words, a certified RESNET Home Energy Rater will conduct a series of tests on your home to ascertain how efficiently it’s performing. Based on the performance results, the rater will issue the home a HERS Index Score (which shows how well your home rates in terms of energy efficiency) and provide you with a detailed report highlighting the energy problems in the home.

What’s Tested during an Energy Rating?

A certified RESNET Home Energy Rater will conduct testing (i.e., an air leakage test, duct leakage test and combustion safety testing) in such areas as:

  • All exterior walls (both above and below grade)
  • Floors over unconditioned spaces (e.g., garages or cellars)
  • Ceilings and roofs
  • Attics, foundations and crawlspaces
  • Windows and doors, vents and ductwork
  • HVAC systems, water heating system, and thermostats

Why Get an Energy Rating?

As a homeowner, an energy rating provides you with a good idea about issues like:

  • How much your home is really costing you
  • How you can cut your energy costs
  • Discover cost-effective ways to increase your home’s comfort level
  • Help add to your home’s resale value

If you’re in the market to buy a home, well, there’s no better way to establish the real cost of one than by its HERS Index Score. The cost of a home is more than just the mortgage – it’s also your monthly energy bills. By reviewing homes by their HERS Index Scores, you can tell which one is more affordable, sort of like comparing the MPG (miles-per-gallon) stickers on new cars.

The housing industry is changing and the HERS Index is leading the charge. Therefore, it makes good sense to contact a certified RESNET Home Energy Rater for an energy audit; as they say, knowledge is power and knowing your HERS Index Score can lead to a whole lot of power – literally!

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