Home energy efficiency is going viral. Americans are finally catching on that saving energy translates directly into saving money, and saving money is good, right? That’s why increasing numbers of homeowners are investing in energy-saving features and getting energy audits to find where and how their homes are losing energy. And homebuyers too, are getting into the act by demanding energy efficient homes when looking for a home. Questions about a home’s HERS® Index Score and energy ratings are becoming more common.
As a result, more and more builders across America are entering into MOUs (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) to be designated as a RESNET EnergySmart Builder. What this means is that these builders are committed to building energy efficient homes, and to getting them energy-rated by a certified RESNET Home Energy Rater. EnergySmart Builders can use the resulting HERS® Index Scores to market their homes to consumers.
The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index was developed by RESNET and is the nationally recognized scoring system for measuring a home’s energy performance. A comprehensive HERS® energy rating assesses a home’s energy performance and assigns the home a HERS® Index Score based on its performance. The lower the HERS® Index Score, the more energy efficient the home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a standard new home that meets current energy standards scores 100 on the HERS® Index. A typical resale home scores 130, making it 30% less energy efficient than a standard new home.
The HERS® Index Score is like a home’s MPG (miles-per-gallon) sticker – it allows consumers to see at a glance how energy efficient a home is. This is a major advantage when comparison-shopping for homes, as buyers can better understand which ones are more affordable. After all, paying the monthly mortgage isn’t the only cost when buying a house!
If you’re in the market for a new home, the smart option is to look at an energy efficient home. Energy efficient homes provide financial savings (due to reduced energy usage), higher home comfort levels and enjoy higher resale values. And the best way to find one is by looking for a RESNET designated EnergySmart Builder.