If you are a typical homeowner you realize that your monthly utility bills are just a fact of life. And like most people, you would probably prefer to keep more of that money in your bank account. While your monthly bills will never go away, you can take the initiative in reducing your expenses by ensuring your home is as energy efficient as possible. But how do you know how energy efficient your home really is compared to similar homes in your neighborhood, for example?
If you and your neighbor are comparing utility bills and yours seem to be higher, maybe you should dig a little further into why you are paying more. The best way to find out how your home rates on an energy efficiency scale is to have a certified RESNET Home Energy Rater visit and do an energy rating on your home.
A RESNET professional will assess your home and provide you with a rating based on the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) index scale. The HERS Index is the nationally recognized standard for rating home energy efficiency. Developed by RESNET, a HERS Index score will give you a good idea of how your house measures up on a national scale.
The U.S Department of Energy has determined that a standard newly built home that conforms to the energy code generates a score of 100 on the HERS Index. This is used as the benchmark for assessing a home’s energy performance. By contrast, a typical resale home in the U.S. scores on average 130, making it 30% less energy efficient than the new home. The lower the HERS score, the more efficient the home is.
Doing a home energy assessment (also known as an energy audit) will provide you with the necessary information to upgrade your home to a new level of energy efficiency. This involves having a certified RESNET Home Energy Auditor inspect your house to pinpoint where your home is losing energy. Depending on the type of assessment, this inspection could include a check for air leaks, insulation problems, and all related systems that regulate your home’s comfort level. A certified auditor will also analyze how efficiently the different systems in your home are working together to provide home comfort.
The HERS Index score is also a reliable indication about how energy efficient a house is for anyone considering buying a home – sort of like the MPG sticker on a new car. By finding out what a home’s HERS Index score is, you could save yourself a big headache by avoiding an investment in a property that is an energy hog and may require expensive upgrades down the road.
A HERS Index score is more than just number; it is your guide to reduced energy bills and increased home comfort. Contact a certified RESNET Home Energy Auditor or Rater in your area to give you a full objective assessment of your home’s energy efficiency and learn what you can do to cut your utility costs, and provide a healthy environment for you and your family.