Understanding Energy Efficiency and the HERS Index While Homebuying

Are you looking for a new home or considering one in the future? Energy efficiency may not be a priority or even listed on your home buying checklist, but that means you could miss out on an opportunity for potential energy and cost savings. However, how do you know if a home is energy efficient or not?

There are signs that could lead you to believe a home is energy efficient, such as LED light bulbs or a smart thermostat, but the only accurate way to inspect and measure a home’s energy performance is through the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index. An industry standard that is designed for new homes, HERS Index scores can range from 0 to 150. The lower the score, the more energy efficient the home is. Typical existing homes score over 100, and standard new homes usually score between 85 and 100. All EfficiencyCrafted℠ homes score below 70, often as low as 55, since they are built with energy-efficient features in mind. A HERS Index score of zero is a net-zero home and is deemed as highly energy efficient.

Created by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET), HERS Index scores are primarily designed for new homes. Builders use these scores to help measure a home’s energy efficiency. Builders that participate in the EfficiencyCrafted Homes program use a combination of proven technologies, advanced building practices, and performance testing to drive down the HERS scores of their finished homes.

Although important for builders, they are also valuable to homebuyers when it comes to making better-informed purchasing decisions. We’re sharing a few reasons why lower HERS Index scores matter. Below are some of the features of EfficiencyCrafted Homes that also feature HERS scores of 70 or less:

Reduced homeownership costs. Energy savings can play a big factor when it comes to affordability. In comparison to a standard home built to Ohio code, HERS rated homes with lower scores that participate in the EfficiencyCrafted Homes program can translate into lower utility and maintenance costs. In fact, a home with a HERS index of 70 is 30% more energy efficient than a RESNET reference home.

Increased comfort. Ever experience a drafty living room in the winter or constantly cranking the air conditioning on a hot summer day? These situations are directly tied to a home’s energy efficiency. With better air-sealing and insulation found in EfficiencyCrafted Homes, it means your home can stay comfortable no matter the season.

Healthier living environment. Not only do EfficiencyCrafted Homes emit less carbon on the planet compared to other homes, but they are built with quality ventilation systems that reduce humidity and remove odors.

Better appraisal and resale value. Regardless if you’re choosing to buy a starter home or forever home, a lower HERS rated home can be a smart investment with higher appraisals and selling for higher prices than non-HERS rated homes. A study conducted by Freddie Mac found that homes that received lower HERS Index Scores sold for 3% to 5% more than homes with higher HERS Index Scores.

With an EfficiencyCrafted Home, you’re on a path toward a lower HERS rated, energy efficient home. To learn more, you can find a builder in your area who meets these nationally recognized standards for energy efficient construction.