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Understanding HERS Ratings: Unlocking the Value for Building Owners

As energy efficiency and sustainability become ever more crucial in the construction industry, building owners and homeowners alike seek ways to assess and improve their property's energy performance. This is where the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) comes into play. 

In this blog, we'll delve into what HERS ratings are, how they are calculated, and the significant value they bring to building owners.

What Is a HERS Rating?

The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) is a standardized energy efficiency rating system developed by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET). 

It is designed to evaluate and quantify a building's energy performance, particularly in terms of heating, cooling, and overall energy consumption. The HERS index scale ranges from 0 to 150, with lower scores indicating higher energy efficiency. 

A HERS energy rating of 0 represents a Net Zero Energy Home, meaning the property generates as much energy as it consumes, resulting in no net energy bills. A 100 is a typical new home score with average energy code compliance. Most existing, older homes, have a HERS score of 140 or above which indicates that they are less energy efficient and typically will have higher energy costs. 


How Is a HERS Score Calculated?

minneapolis-blower-door-16x9-1HERS ratings are determined through an extensive energy audit and assessment of the building's features and systems. A certified HERS rater will often perform a professional blower door test to isolate the source and full scope of air leakage to accurately evaluate the energy efficiency of a home. Along with the blower door test, other specialized tests and software are used to analyze data collected during the audit. The following key elements are evaluated in the full energy audit:

  • Insulation levels
  • Air leakage
  • HVAC efficiency
  • Lighting
  • Windows
  • Appliances

The results are then compared against a reference home built to minimum energy code standards to establish the final HERS score rating. The closer a home's score is to 100 (today's average new construction energy codes), the more energy-efficient it is. Homes that reach a HERS score of 0 meet the impressive Net-Zero Energy status.

It's important to note that energy codes have target dates for new construction to meet Zero-Energy status. Innovative building owners and contractors who understand and  embrace HERS scores now, will be ahead of the curve when Zero-Energy is a requirement of building energy codes. 

0 HERS Score = Net Zero Energy


The Value of HERS Ratings for Building Owners


Cost Savings

One of the most significant benefits of a low HERS rating is reduced energy consumption. Building owners can save substantially on utility bills by implementing energy-efficient upgrades and renovations based on the HERS audit recommendations.

Increased Property Value

A low HERS rating can enhance a property's marketability and resale value. Buyers are often willing to pay a premium for homes with proven energy efficiency, as they know they will enjoy long-term savings on energy costs.

Environmental Impact

Lower energy consumption results in reduced greenhouse gas emissions and a smaller carbon footprint. Building owners with energy-efficient properties can proudly contribute to environmental sustainability.

Access to Incentives and Rebates

Many states and local governments offer financial incentives, tax credits, or rebates for energy-efficient homes with low HERS ratings. Building owners can take advantage of these programs to offset the costs of energy upgrades. 

Explore the new 2023 tax incentives that Premier SIPS qualify for and offer huge payback.

Compliance With Energy Codes

In some jurisdictions, achieving a certain HERS index rating may be a requirement for new construction or significant renovations. Building owners who meet or exceed these standards ensure their properties are up to code and comply with energy efficiency regulations. 

HERS Index: A Pathway to Sustainable and Lucrative Building Ownership

The HERS rating system offers building owners valuable insights into their property's energy performance and provides a roadmap for making energy-efficient improvements. 

With lower energy consumption, cost savings, increased property value, and access to incentives, building owners stand to gain multiple benefits from investing in energy efficiency based on HERS audit results. 

As the demand for eco-friendly and sustainable properties grows, the HERS index has become an essential tool for making informed decisions that benefit both building owners and the environment.

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