In the past, the absence of a national governing standard for home energy ratings may have led to confusion for some homeowners trying to assess the validity of their energy rating. That changed on March 7, 2014, with the announcement of the American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) approval of the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index as the national standard for governing home energy ratings of new and existing homes. As the organization responsible for overseeing the creation and use of thousands of standards and conformance measures, the ANSI accreditation lends added credibility to the HERS Index as a national standard for measuring home energy efficiency.
The HERS Index was created by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET), and its adoption as the national standard highlights the leading role played by RESNET in moving America towards greater energy efficiency. It reflects over two years of volunteer effort – including three rounds of public comment – that went into the consensus development process for ANSI/RESNET 301-2014.
The ANSI-approved standard is the first American National Standard for energy ratings and demonstrates the growing importance of the HERS Index as a trustworthy source for homeowners and buyers for measuring energy efficiency. The ANSI/RESNET 301-2014 Standard provides a consistent, uniform methodology for evaluating and labeling the energy performance of homes, including:
- Procedures for calculating ratings
- Estimating energy savings
- The standard operating conditions to be used in the analysis
- Minimum features that must be considered in the analysis
- Methods for calculating energy and pollution saving in new homes and existing home retrofits
- Procedures to be used to calculate economic cost-effectiveness
In 2013, over 218,000 homes received a HERS Index Score as a label of their energy efficiency. This number represents nearly 50 per cent of all new home sales across the United States. To date, over 1.5 million homes in the U.S. have been energy rated and issued with HERS Index scores. Last year also saw the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) incorporate the use of a building Energy Rating Index (ERI) as a code compliance option within the 2015 building code. The most commonly used ERI in the U.S. is the HERS Index, which is the industry standard for measuring a home’s energy efficiency and the nationally recognized system for inspecting, testing and calculating a home’s energy performance.
The actions taken by ANSI, the IECC and the fact that increasing numbers of builders in the U.S. are committing to having their homes HERS rated for energy efficiency, all point to the HERS Index as being the preferred method of choice for rating and labeling the energy performance of homes. A copy of ANSI/RESNET 301-2014 is available for download here; for more information about the HERS Index, visit the HERS Index Website.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private nonprofit organization that oversees the development of voluntary consensus standards for products, services, processes, systems, and personnel in the United States. ANSI accredits standards that are developed by representatives of other standards organizations, government agencies, consumer groups, companies, and others. These standards ensure that the characteristics and performance of products are consistent.
The Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) is the independent, national nonprofit organization that homeowners trust to improve home energy efficiency and realize substantial savings on their utility bills. RESNET’s industry-leading standards are recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, among others.