Upon completion of the second test conducted at the end of your home’s construction, the energy inspector will create a HERS (Home Energy Rating Standards) certificate that validates your home’s energy efficiency. At closing, this certificate—labeled as a Home Energy Rating Guide—is presented to you.
This certificate is a great tool to have, as it helps to evaluate your home’s energy bills and estimated savings over time, as well as help increase your home’s resale value down the road.
That said, it’s important to understand exactly what a HERS score is, as well as how to read your Home Energy Rating Guide certificate.
Here is a quick guide along with an example to help:
Annual Energy Cost. This is the large number you will see in blue on the top of your certificate. This number represents how much you can expect to spend on energy per year. For this subject home, its owners can expect to spend $1,770 per year. The Annual Energy Cost column just below on the left further breaks out this number by energy source.
Reference Home / Reference Annual Energy Cost. The Annual Energy Cost of the subject home is compared to the Annual Energy Costs of a Reference Home to determine its energy efficiency and associated energy savings. The Reference Home is modeled on an energy-efficient home that conforms to the 2004/2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and has a HERS Index Score of 100. In this case, the comparable Reference Home can expect annual energy costs of $2,615.
Savings. Comparing the Reference Home with the subject home, the certificate indicates how much its homeowners can expect to save with regards to Annual Energy Costs, Annual Energy Use, and Annual Emissions. As you can see, these homeowners can expect to save over $800 per year on electricity bills by building with LifeStyle Homes.
HERS Index Graphic. Each LifeStyle home receives a HERS Index score from the energy inspector. Like a car’s MPG rating, the HERS Index score indicates the home’s efficiency. The lower the score, the more efficient the home. LifeStyle Homes guarantees all our homes will score a 60 or lower.
The Reference Home scores a 100. This subject home scored a 55. That means this subject home is 45% more energy efficient than the comparable Reference Home.
It’s important to note that an inefficient resale homes score a 130. A Zero-Energy Home—a home that produces as much energy as it consumes on a yearly basis using a renewable energy source, like solar power—scores a 0.
Certificate Seal and Signature. Finally, all HERS certificates are signed by a certified HERS energy rater and feature the official seal of the National Mortgage Industry HERS Accreditation Industry.