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What is a HERS Index and Why Is It Important to You?

Thursday, January 9th, 2014 | Uncategorized | No Comments

The HERS Index is a measure of a home’s energy use (performance) compared to other similarly built homes.  The Index was developed by RESNET (Residential Energy Services Network) and introduced in 2006, was adopted by the Department of Energy to replace DOE’s E-Scale as the method used to determine those homes that qualify as a DOE Challenge Home and adopted by the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA  as a compliance tool for contractors wishing to distinguish themselves by meeting ENERGY STAR requirements.  Most recently, it has been referenced as a compliance tool option by the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code.

The way the index works is really quite simple. A certified RESNET Home Energy Rater conducts an energy rating on a home to determine its energy performance. A HERS Index score is generated based upon the results of the rating. This score gives the homeowner an indication of how energy efficient their home is in comparison to other similar homes. The lower the HERS Index score means that the home is a more energy efficient home.  A rating score of 100 means that a home conforms to the current International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) standard.  For example, a typical resale home in the United States is typically rated at 130 on the HERS Index.  What this means is that a home with an Index scoring 130 is 30% less efficient than a standard Code built new home, and a home scoring a HERS Index score of 70 is 30% more energy efficient than the standard Code built new home.

So what benefit is the HERS Index to homeowners?  It’s all very well knowing that your home is 30% more energy efficient than a standard new house, but how does that help you?  When you are considering what new car to purchase doesn’t the MPG (miles-per-gallon) weigh into the equation?  Would you buy a new car without disclosure of such information?  Then why would you buy a home without having some idea of how much it is going to cost you to operate it?  The HERS Index Score gives you just such a tool to compare houses like the MPG Index gives you when comparing cars.

Not only will it make the purchase decision easier, the index will also help you sell your home as well.  More and more builders, Realtors and homebuyers are waking up to the benefits of using the HERS Index to buy and sell houses.

So, if you’re in the market for a new home, or want to sell your existing one, do yourself a favor: find out what your HERS Index score is!  Call us to set up an energy rating of your home today!