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HERS Index

You know the phrase 'Trust but verify.' This is especially true when the product is a new home and is likely one of the largest and long-lasting investments of your life.

 

Testing and Verification

To compare new and existing homes objectively, the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) created a scoring tool called the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index. They assigned a benchmark score of 100 to a Reference Home that meets the 2004 International Energy Conservation Code. They assigned 0 to a net-zero energy home.

The Lower the Better

The lower a home scores on the Index, the more energy efficient it is. Every 1-point decrease in the HERS Index equals a 1% reduction in energy consumption compared to the Reference Home. Raters test:

  • Insulation (amount & quality of installation)
  • Ventilation (indoor air quality)
  • Tightness (air sealing)
  • Heating and cooling systems (are they sized right?)
  • Water heater and appliance efficiency
  • Solar gain (free solar energy!)

Try the HERS Index interactive tool to see the difference a score makes. It's nice to trust: it's wise to have proof.