Home Energy Rating

Ability is to observe, to make decisions, to act

Rating your energy home efficiency is in essence the observation phase, observation precedes decisions and actions. Your home rating is measured against similar homes in where your home is located and against an accepted RESNET yardstick.

(RESNET calls the ranking HERS)

this is a link to RESNET

Before I dive deeper, the 2 most important factors that enters the equation are:

  • Your home size in square feet
  • Your annual residential not-renewable energy consumption (electricity, gas, heating oil); the information can be obtained from the paid bills over the last 12 months)

An official HERS ranking is done by a certified home energy rater. This rating is useful for the following:

  • For owner of existing home, this is a clue to what should be done(the rater will indicate what home improvements are necessary so you can make decisions and act accordingly)
  • For a new home, the lender can increase the debt-to-income ratio by 2% (in most cases the saving in home energy bills are greater than the increase in the mortgage monthly payment)

There are “red lights” that can indicate to you energy related problems, even before you call an home energy rater (or home energy auditor)

  • High energy bills (get comparative data from the utility, compare summer/winter to spring, excessive energy bills indicate inefficient cooling/heating equipment or poor insulation
  • Mold or other signs of moisture might indicate oversized or improper installation of air conditioner
  • If one room is colder or hotter than other rooms it might be an indication for an insulation issue, air leakage, or not properly installed heating/cooling equipment

If you suspect your home rating, call a home auditor to audit your home and recommend you the necessary improvements. Implementing these changes will pay itself back in a short time and you will enjoy a better life quality

Some words on what is Home Energy Rating System (HERS). A home built to RESNET Reference Home requirements is scored 100. For each 1% reduction in non renewable energy consumption the score is 1 point less. A zero energy home is scored 0. The smaller the score the more efficient the home is. To be qualified as an Energy star home the index must be bellow 85 (80 in some zones)

There are some advantages to have an Energy Star ranking

  • You save money on your monthly energy bills
  • You raise you quality of life, your home temperature is more homogenous
  • Reduce the risk for moisture infiltration through bad insulation
  • Energy Star homes are appraised higher

You can improve your home ranking by eliminating waste of energy (by following the energy rater recommendations) and by installing solar hot water heaters and residential solar power system

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