January 22, 2021 2 minute read

How energy-efficient is your home? Check the HERS index

There are various standards that have been established to measure the energy efficiency and environmental impact of new buildings. You may have heard of LEED or EnergyStar, but the guide that we use for our developments is the Home Energy Rating System, or HERS. 

The HERS index is the industry standard by which a home’s energy efficiency is measured. A HERS Index score can tell you a lot about your home or a home you’re thinking of purchasing. For instance, a HERS report will outline how efficiently your home is performing, where you can make energy improvements, and the expected cost of your utility bills. This is particularly important because heating, cooling, and water heating constitute the largest cost of homeownership

Here’s everything you need to know about the HERS Index if you’re thinking of buying or selling a home. 

How does the HERS Index work?

The HERS Index was established in 2006 by The Residential Energy Services Network, or RESNET. It is a scale of 0 to 150 where the lower your score is, the more energy-efficient your home. Zero is the best score because it means your property is net-zero, meaning that your home produces as much energy, likely through renewable sources like solar panels, as it consumes. 

A score of 130 is the typical score for a resale home, while a score of 100 is the average for a standard newly constructed home. These are the base level numbers. A one-point change represents a one percent shift in energy efficiency. 

What does the HERS Index look at?

There are many features that contribute to the energy efficiency of a home. When determining the HERS rating of a home, every single inch of the home is inspected. HERS Index raters will look at all the exterior walls, flooring, unconditioned spaces like garages or cellars, the roof, the home’s foundation, and the HVAC system. A HERS inspection determines the home’s air leakage rate. If your home isn’t well sealed, you are likely wasting a portion of your heating and cooling expenses.

Why is a good HERS score important?

An energy-efficient home isn’t just better for the environment, it can also save you a great deal of money on heating and cooling costs in the long run. Homes that are energy-efficient allow homeowners to keep the home at a comfortable temperature without having to worry about energy bills breaking the budget. A home with a good HERS score has a resale value of up to 30 percent more than less efficient homes. While the upfront cost of an efficient property may be larger, those costs are made up over time. 

Whether you’re looking to buy or sell your home, a Senné real estate expert can set you up with the right partners to determine the energy efficiency of any property. Call us today at 617.314.9400 to start your search for an energy-efficient home today. 

Sophia Pushkin


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