The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) is an Index formulated by The Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET). A HERS Score is a number that is assigned to a home based on energy performance. Let’s take a closer look at how these scores are achieved and why these scores are valuable.
🤔 Analyzing Energy Usage
Here’s another way to put it. Let’s say the Barker family spends $200 per month on electricity and the Harper family spends $375 for the exact same size house.
Now, at first glance, one might presume that’s because these two households live differently.
Perhaps the Barker’s only have 3 people living there.
Maybe the Harpers have 4 kids living at home with mom and dad.
Well, without doing any calculating at all it’s easy to see why the Harper’s are using more energy.
All of those people opening and shutting doors.
Coming and going. And, maybe the Harpers set their thermostat at 78° and the Barkers are letting it rip at 72°. Big difference, right?
But, what if there’s more to the story?
What if there are other factors at work here?
Let’s presume for a moment, that both households live exactly the same.
The eat the same food, watch the same tv shows, and keep the temperature at 74°.
They even go to bed at the same time and use an electric toothbrush twice a day.
You get the idea.
No differences in lifestyle.
Now, let’s see how the HERS score ranking system works.
😉 Available Homes with a HERS Score
All of the Homes below Are HERS Score Rated
💯 HERS Ranking System
The HERS score index is zero to 150. The lower the score, them more efficient the home. Did you know that the standard resale home has an average score of 130? RESNET reports that the average new home has a score of 100. This is the benchmark that all of the other scores compare to.
Homes with a score of 130 are 30% less efficient than dwellings that achieve a HERS score of 100. Homes with a score of 40 are 60% more efficient than the standard new home with a score of 100.
If a builder is cranking out homes with a score below 100 there should be some shame associated with such a crummy performance.
Bad HERS Scores (110 – 150)
Just because the average resale home score is 130 doesn’t mean that we should be proud of that. In today’s world it isn’t that hard to do a lot better. If you own a home that you suspect rates in this range we suggest that you get an energy audit ASAP. Knowledge is power. Once you know the remedies you can implement the improvements as you can afford them.
Good HERS Scores (90-100)
Homes with a score of 90 are 40% more efficient than the average resale home. Homes with a score of zero are so efficient that they literally generate as much power as the home consumes.
Better HERS Scores (50-80)
Homes with a score in the range of 50 – 80 are really doing well. They are built significantly better than average and will save the owner a lot of money on energy while being quite environmentally friendly.
Great HERS Scores (10-40)
HERS HERS scores that range from 10 – 40 are intentionally built with the environment and the consumer in mind. The effort and building materials in these structures achieve these phenomenal scores.
Best HERS Score (Zero)
Homes with a zero HERS score generate no greenhouse gasses if the owner lives in such a way that the energy use does not spike erratically. Builders that create homes with a NetZero energy efficiency are doing their part to make our planet a better place. This should be the goal for all builders. Building NetZ is not something that only a few can do. It is simply a commitment to excellence and standards that sets these builders apart.
When a home is tested for its energy efficiency and a HERS score is produced a lot is taken into account. You might be surprised to know that the energy bill has nothing to do with the score.
🕵️♀️ HERS Score – How Homes Are Rated
HERS scores are achieved by measuring the efficiency of a home. A number of different tests are run in order to calculate the efficiency of a home.
You can have your existing home tested by hiring an energy auditing company. It is eye opening and remarkably inexpensive to do so. The testing that a professional auditor will run is going to pinpoint the issues and tell you how much it will cost versus how long it will take to recapture your investment after making the recommended upgrades.
There’s a lot you can do to boost your home’s efficiency and HERS score. Some of the simplest and least expensive changes you can make are:
Sealing your exterior door openings, replacing incandescent and halogen bulbs with LED light bulbs, keeping your air conditioning and heating system filters clean, installing ceiling fans, upgrading your attic insulation if needed, and sealing electrical boxes and can lights where they come in contact with drywall.
Beyond these cheap fixes, there is more to be done. Once you tackle the small stuff you can move on to looking at the efficiency of your HVAC, and water heater.
Lastly, you can take a look at the possibility of having a state of the art solar system installed at your property.
For a deeper understanding of how to improve the efficiency of your home read our 6 part series on green energy. It is packed full of no cost, and low-cost tips that will get you on the road to living green and doing your part to helping the planet.
💪 Your HERS Score Matters
Why? Because it takes energy to run a home. That energy is generated by various means. The traditional energy sources are utility companies which run on coal, uranium, and gas. These fuels cast off hazardous by products that translate into pollution, and with the case of nuclear: life-threatening spent fuels. All of these impact our planet and our dependency on them can be drastically reduced when each of us makes simple changes in our households. Getting less dependent on the grid makes cents and good plain sense too. Getting off the grid is good for your wallet and the environment. Solar panels are the final step in making your home net zero capable.
Also, energy costs rise consumers will become more and more focused on how high energy bills are on a property before they make a buying commitment. In some states, utility bills are accessible via weblinks posted right in the Multiple Listing Service.
Soon, more states will follow.
Energy cost should be disclosed. They’re a huge variable that impacts the ability to afford or not afford a property.
Making a good buying decision has to take into account all of the significant costs.
Utility bills are not chicken feed.
Knowing the HERS score of a property would go a long way in deciding on what home is best in the eyes of most buyers.
Let’s take a deep dive into this holy grail of an energy score. What does it take to get a home to perform so efficiently? Here’ we’ll find out.
The NetZero score cannot be reached without making some wise choices when it comes to the parts that make up the sum. Each material will erode away at the typical home performance to get to that netZero number.
Major Impact Materials Stacked
Those who audit homes for their energy scores know that it is the culmination of building materials coupled with the quality of installation that takes a home from good to great. A whole house holistic approach is required to get there. What does that mean exactly?
A holistic plan is one that realizes that you can’t swap out an air conditioner for a newer, faster, more efficient model and expect your home to get NetZero results. It doesn’t work that way. What begins to move us down the right path is a plan for systems to work together.
Couple that awesome a/c unit with properly insulated walls, LED lighting, Energy Star appliances, excellent weather stripping, a well-sealed ductwork system and a modern solar system and you will be well on your way to hitting that NetZero number.
What To Consider When Buying An Older Home – by Paul Sian
5 Quick Ways To Make Your Home Greener – by ImmoAfrica
New Advancements in Sustainable Construction – by Debbie Drummond
Top 4 Energy Efficient Upgrades for Your Home – by Petra Norris
Best Energy Efficient Upgrades For an Older Home – by Bill Gassett