What do the numbers mean?
As far as energy rating benefits go, one of the major ones is informing homeowners about the energy performance of their homes. Many homeowners are plagued by high utility bills and are unaware that in many cases the fault may lie not in over usage of electricity but performance issues with the house. An energy rating will rank a home based on its performance and assign it a HERS Index Score. The HERS Index Score functions as a MPG (miles-per-gallon) sticker for houses, and informs homeowners about how their homes compare to other similar ones when it comes to energy usage. A lower HERS Index Score signifies a more energy efficient home.
How much is your home really costing you?
Many prospective buyers who are considering a home purchase will look primarily at prices and mortgage options when deliberating the financial cost of the home. What they don’t take into account are the energy costs. While it is natural to assume that it is the mortgage payments that constitute the main cost of homeownership, the fact is that when buying a home, the energy usage should also be factored into its cost as well. Otherwise, you aren’t getting an accurate picture of how much that home will cost to maintain and run, and whether or not you can afford it. This is another one of the major energy rating benefits. Consumers can compare homes based on their HERS Index scores in order to make an informed decision before deciding to buy. The more energy efficient a home is, the lower its HERS Index Score is.
Get more for your home when you sell
There is real proof that energy efficient homes are worth more and enjoy higher resale values than their counterparts. A study conducted by Portland, Oregon based Earth Advantage Institute, a non-profit group, found that newly built homes that were certified as energy efficient sold on average for 8% more than non-certified homes (the study looked at homes in the six-county Portland metropolitan area). Not only that but certified existing homes sold for up to 30% more than their non-certified counterparts. In addition, another study, conducted jointly by the University of North Carolina and the Institute for Market Transformation, found that on average mortgage default risks were 32% lower on homes certified as energy efficient. In order to be deemed energy efficient, a home must first be energy rated.
Improve home comfort and reduce energy bills
Two things that impact homeowners directly are home comfort levels and energy bills. A drafty home, which is too cold in winter and too hot in summer, will also suffer from high energy bills. What that means is the home is performing inefficiently as a complete system. One of the energy rating benefits that homeowners find tremendously useful is a detailed report that provides suitable retrofit recommendations and specifications that will rectify the home’s energy problems.What is an Energy Rating?