The anticipated performance of your particular LifeStyle Solar-Powered home will be discussed with you at the time of purchase. When it is completed, your home will be individually tested and certified to deliver exactly the performance promised. You will receive a placard, like the one pictured here, to attach to your home as evidence it meets performance specifications. Notice, this actual home, at the address indicated, scored a negative 6 on the EnergySmart Home Scale. This means it delivers better than Net Zero performance, i.e., its owners might make a small net profit over a year’s time selling surplus power to the utility. Do you suppose this could grow to become the ultimate home based business?
The HERS Score
The U.S. Department of Energy deserves a great deal of credit for kick-starting the energy efficient movement among American home builders. Really. That doesn’t mean, though, that they are immune from using confusing program names and acronyms.
Take the placard above, for example. The number everyone focuses on, the negative 6, is known as the HERS score or HERS index. HERS stands for Home Energy Rating System. It is an overall measurement system for residential energy efficiency performance with an intricate set of standards and measurements leading to the final score. In the HERS world, a lower score is a better score. The Holy Grail right now lies at HERS 0, a score this home easily surpassed.
Typical new homes built to current building codes have an expected HERS score of 100. Homes built just a few years ago typically have a HERS Score of 130. You can see those markers on the placard above.
What HERS Scores Mean
Now, here’s what all that means. With a guaranteed HERS Score of 60, a LifeStyle SunSmart Home is guaranteed to be 40 percent more energy efficient than a new home built conventionally, which would typically have a HERS score of 100. A new LifeStyle SunSmart HERS 60 home therefore stands to be 70 percent more energy efficient than a typical new home built just a few years ago – maybe a home like that short sale your friends are looking at, for instance.
That’s great enough to write home about for a new LifeStyle SunSmart HERS 60 home, but consider a LifeStyle Homes true Net Zero Energy Home such as the LifeStyle Solar-Powered home depicted in the placard above. LifeStyle Solar-Powered clearly smokes them all!
Becoming a Builders Challenge Partner
All of this energy efficiency encouragement coming from the U.S. Department of Energy is part of its Building America program. Within that program D.O.E. has issued a challenge to America’s builders to make their new homes 30 percent more efficient than normal new homes, in other words to build HERS 70 homes. Those builders accepting the Challenge are eligible to become Builders Challenge Partners. LifeStyle Homes is very proud to be the first home builder in Brevard County to become a Builders Challenge Partner, and only the forty-first builder in the Nation to be so honored.
Third Party Independent Inspection
Part of being a Builders Challenge Partner is agreeing to submit every home we build to independent third party inspection to make sure any HERS score we might claim is backed up by actual testing and certification. You see, it’s not good enough for Builders Challenge Partners to say we build energy efficient homes, we have to prove it. Maybe thats why there are so few Builders Challenge Partner home building companies around. Might that mean something to you?
On June 8, 2011, LifeStyle Homes entered into an agreement with RESNET, the Residential Energy Services network, to have all homes we build tested and certified by RESNET-Certified, Independent Energy Raters, who will test and certify that LifeStyle SunSmart and LifeStyle Solar-Powered homes deliver the exact energy efficiency performance claimed for them. The results of all final home tests will be forwarded to the U.S. Depertment of Energy which will then issue the Home Smart Energy Scale placard to be affixed to the home. RESNET is a national organization which trains and supervises energy raters and is a preferred supplier of these services for the Building America program of the U.S. Department of Energy.
At the time of signing the RESNET Accord, Jake Luhn, CEO of LifeStyle Homes was quoted as saying, “As we all go forward into the new energy efficiency economy, it’s reasonable to expect that all sorts of claims will be made by all sorts of suppliers who want to sell something of dubious value to the public. It is important to establish at the outset who can be trusted, and in the home building industry, RESNET-Certified Independent Energy Raters are clearly the best. We are proud to be working with them.”