A Homeowner's Guide to Understanding Home Energy Ratings

July 21, 2015

The home energy ratings system (HERS) index is a measure of the energy efficiency of a new or existing home. The HERS index, which was introduced in 2006 by the non-profit organization Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET), can guide homeowners when it comes to making decisions regarding efficiency upgrades or home buying and selling. Using the HERS Index Now that you've got a good grasp on the history of HERS, you're probably interested in learning how it can help with your home buying, home selling or home efficiency upgrading future. The HERS index is used by raters to fully evaluate and grade every system in the home. The audit results are compared to a reference home of the same design characteristics. The audit information is useful for these many situations, including:
  • Buying: Since energy bills are generally the highest home ownership expense besides the mortgage, knowing a home's efficiency can help guide you to the best home investment. A HERS index score can tell you the projected energy costs of the home. The lower the score, the more efficient the home.
  • Selling: Many savvy home buyers are going to ask to see the HERS score. If your home hasn't been rated, a potential seller may request you do or simply move on. If your home scores well, you have a powerful selling tool to use going forward.
  • Efficiency upgrades: You can use the information provided by the HERS to perform energy upgrades to your home. You may discover your home could use air sealing, extra insulation, water heater improvements or updated lighting. Home efficiency upgrades save energy and improve comfort.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Des Moines, Iowa area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: "Lukiyanova Natalia - frenta/Shutterstock"