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HERS® INDEX Scores – the LOWER, the BETTER!

Oct 11, 2013

The HERS® Index is revolutionizing the way Americans are buying homes. It’s no longer a secret that the biggest cost of homeownership outside of the mortgage loan is energy. That’s why more homebuyers are thinking twice about buying a home before understanding what its potential energy costs could be. How are they doing that? By asking for its HERS® Index Score.

What does “the lower, the better” mean?

The HERS® Index Score is the housing industry’s version of a MPG (miles-per-gallon) sticker; it informs you about how energy efficient a house is. The lower the score, the more energy efficient the home. If you’re comparing homes based on energy performance, look for ones with lower HERS® Index scores… in fact the lower, the better! A recent study has shown that homes with lower HERS® Index scores are proven money-savers.

A low HERS® Index Score is equally beneficial to homeowners. It means that their home is energy efficient, which translates into lower energy costs, better home comfort and increased resale values.

How do you get a HERS® Index Score?

A HERS® Index Score is the result of a comprehensive HERS® rating, in which a certified RESNET HERS® Rater assesses a home on its energy performance. Some of the variables included in an energy rating are:

  • All exterior walls (both above and below grade)
  • Floors over unconditioned spaces (like garages or cellars)
  • Ceilings and roofs
  • Attics, foundations and crawlspaces
  • Windows and doors, vents and ductwork
  • HVAC systems, water heating system, and your thermostat.
  • Air leakage of the home
  • Leakage in the heating and cooling distribution system

You can contact your local certified RESNET HERS® Rater or RESNET EnergySmart Builder to find out how to get an energy rating or find an energy efficient home.

What is the HERS® Index?

Developed by the Residential Energy Services Network and introduced in 2006, the HERS® Index is the industry standard by which a home’s energy efficiency is measured. Government agencies such as the Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognize the HERS® Index as an official verification of energy performance.

To learn more about the HERS® Index, energy ratings and how to get an energy efficient home, visit the new HERS® Index website.