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What is a HERS Score? How Energy Efficient is Your New Home?

Posted by Penny Hull on Fri, Apr 22, 2011 @ 08:04 AM

What is a Home Energy Rating Score (HERS) Rating?

How Energy Efficient is Your New Home?


Any home can be "rated" for energy efficiency by a certified third party Home Energy Rater, such as Southern Energy Management.

Whether you're building a new home or buying an older home, a HERS score will help you understand how much energy will be required throughout the year.

What is a Home Energy Rating Score (HERS) Rating?  

The home energy rater will provide an analysis of the home, including:

  • Review of floor plans
  • Onsite inspections
  • Blower door test: to test the leakiness of the house
  • Duct test: to test the leakiness of the ducts
  • Thermal bypass checklist: to discover areas where air can bypass insulation

A complex software program analyzes all the data, and provides a HERS Index score for the home.

 

Various aspects of the home can affect energy efficiency, such as:

  • Insulation: is it properly installed and sealed?
  • Windows: are they coated for all types of weather?
  • Ducts: are they sealed from moisture, pollen, and dust?
  • Appliances: are they designed to conserve water and energy?
  • HVAC systems: are they designed to conserve energy?

 

What is a HERS point?

Each 1 point reduction implies a 1% energy savings versus standard construction.

A new home built to standard construction guidelines generally has a HERS (Home Energy Rating Score) of 100.


In comparison, a home with a HERS Index score of 150 will most likely require 50% more energy than a home built to today's standards of a 100 HERS score.
A home with a HERS Index score of 75 will require 25% less energy than a home built to today's standards.

What is a Home Energy Rating Score (HERS) Rating?


What are other common HERS scores?

ENERGY STAR Construction = 85

A new home built to ENERGY STAR guidelines generally has a HERS of 85 or below.

Yearly energy costs in an ENERGY STAR qualified home are planned to be 15% lower than in a home built to standard construction.

20 Year Old Home = 120 to 150

In general, older homes have higher energy requirements.  This can vary greatly depending on the home and any improvements made, such as adding higher quality insulation, windows, or appliances, so it is a very good idea to have an older home rated before purchase.

70 Year Old Home = 250???

Homes that are 70 years old or older have the lowest energy efficiency.  But energy requirements will still vary significantly depending on the improvements made to the home.

A score of 200 means that yearly energy costs will be 100% higher than in a home built to today's standard construction.

What Should I Consider Before Buying My New Home?

It's wise to consider not just the price tag of the home, but also the price tag of the monthly energy costs.

ecoSelect Third Party Energy Certification –

The ecoSelect certification in your new home indicates that the construction is designed to provide higher levels of energy efficiency, per the national HERS index, with better indoor air quality and water efficiency than standard new homes.  We're not afraid to have third party inspectors check our homes carefully, for your piece of mind and long term value.  Learn more about new homes with lower energy costs, here.

What is a Home Energy Rating Score (HERS) Rating?

 

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