How Does the Home Energy Rating Schedule Work?

Your home’s energy rating is the single biggest indicator of its efficiency, but most homeowners don’t know how it’s calculated or what drives it higher or lower.

Arriving at an energy rating

The home is tested from top to bottom, and the measurements are put into a computerized simulation to achieve a HERS (Home Energy Rating System) score, the industry standard index to rate a home’s efficiency relative to its size, shape, and type.

A home’s energy rating is compiled from a series of measurements taken with diagnostic testing equipment that looks for air leaks and thermal efficiency (among other factors). Spaces around doors and in ductwork are tested with blowers, while infrared cameras look at insulation in walls and ceilings.

The HERS scale

The lower a home’s HERS score, the more efficient it is; low-scoring HERS home owners enjoy reduced energy bills, a lower overall cost of homeownership, and higher potential resale values.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a typical resale home rates about 130 on the HERS index, while a new home averages 100. What do those numbers mean? A new home with a HERS score of 70 is 30% more efficient than the standard, while a HERS score of 130 is 30% less efficient.

Our focus is on High Performance Homes

At Comito Building and Design, we focus on “High Performance Homes”, in other words looking at each home and determining what green technologies will truly enhance the performance and eco-sense of that home. “Green” is no longer only specific to certain projects, many of the technologies are inherent in everything we build; spray foam insulation, conditioned attic spaces, energy efficient appliances and HVAC, minimal waste job-sites, etc. This is a common sense, cost vs. benefit approach to incorporating green building, while maintaining the value and quality we have built our reputation on.

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