What’s a HERS Rating?

What’s a HERS Rating?

Posted 01/05/2016

Lumiere Gardens Exterior

In sports, if you want to know how well your team is playing, you check the scoreboard, right? Well, that simple concept has made its way into the housing industry, and now homebuyers can check a home’s energy-efficiency score before they buy — which could help them save thousands in energy costs, annually.

Known as the Home Energy Rating System®, or HERS for short, the rating has become the industry standard by which a home’s energy efficiency is measured. Think of it like a car’s MPG (miles per gallon rating).  Just as a car’s performance can be measured by its MPG, a home’s energy performance can be measured by its HERS score. In fact, a favorable number can be a win-win for both buyers and sellers.

For example, if you’re buying a new home, the HERS score can help you anticipate the cost of future energy bills, helping you to better understand whether the home fits within your budget. Meanwhile, if you’re a seller, a good rating could make your home stand out to buyers, especially in a competitive marketplace. In many ways, a favorable HERS score has become tantamount to quality.

But how does it work? In 2006, the U.S Department of Energy created a rating in which a standard-sized new home constructed to the 2003 International Energy Conservation Code scores 100 on the HERS Index (the HERS reference home), while an average resale home registers at 130. Issued by a third-party inspector, a HERS rating factors in many features that contribute to a home’s energy consumption, from heating and cooling to water heating, lighting and the efficiency of some appliances.           

Each one-point change on the HERS Index scale represents a 1 percent change in energy efficiency. This means a home with a HERS Index score of 65 is 35 percent more efficient than the HERS reference home at 100. The lower the score, the better. A home with a HERS rating of 0 produces as much energy as it consumes – a status known in the industry as “net zero.”

At Maracay Homes, we are committed to building quality homes that lead the industry in energy efficiency. In fact, most of our homes regularly score in the 50s and 60s on the HERS rating system. And, as technology improvements are made in appliances, light bulbs, components and building materials, we will continue to push our scores even lower, helping Arizona homebuyers keep the “green” in their wallets and the environment.

For more information about HERS, visit the Residential Energy Services Network website at http://www.resnet.us/hers-index