HERS: The Measure of Energy Efficiency and Your Savings

Friday, June 26, 2015

“Energy efficient” has described homes for years.  But how could you determine what “energy efficient” really meant, much less how much savings it could mean to you? Thanks to the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index, energy efficiency is now measurable. 

Much like calculating MPG in a car, HERS is a nationally recognized system that analyzes energy performance in new and used homes.  Lower scores mean higher efficiency and greater savings.

Scores are determined by independent raters who must be certified by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET), the organization which created the HERS system and trains raters to inspect and evaluate a home’s energy performance. 

Raters assign a value to a home and issue a certificate showing the HERS value and the expected annual energy consumption and annual energy cost as well as an estimate of annual cost savings over existing homes.

Scores indicate the efficiency of a particular home compared to other homes. The U.S. Department of Energy has determined that a typical existing (resale) home scores 130 on the HERS index and a standard new home scores 100. 

With the energy efficient features we include in every home we build, regardless of size, our homes regularly score in the 60’s!

This means that our homes are over 60% more efficient than existing homes and over 30% more efficient than standard new homes!  And it translates to significant energy cost savings for our homeowners.  In larger homes, annual savings often exceed more than $2,000.

In an approximately 2000 square foot home we recently built, adding solar to our standard features resulted in a HERS score of 44 and estimated annual energy savings of $3,041 for the homeowners.

Builders aren’t required to have homes they build HERS rated.  In fact, only one third of all new homes built in the U.S. in 2014 were. 

But we believe that it provides consumers a means of making informed choices when shopping for homes.  That’s why we hire an independent, certified HERS rater to assess every home we build, before it’s built, using plans and specifications.

Now, in addition to knowing your monthly mortgage payment, your taxes, and your insurance, you can project your monthly energy costs by purchasing a HERS rated home.

And you can save on your energy costs from the moment you move into an Ann Arbor Builders home because we build energy efficiency into every home we build.

- Betsy de Parry, VP Sales and Marketing, (734) 216-5872 or info@annarborbuilders.com