When it comes to assessing your home’s energy efficiency, understanding its Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score is essential. A HERS rating provides a standardized measurement that’s used across the new home construction industry to identify where a home stands on the energy efficiency scale.
By knowing a home’s HERS score, you can gain valuable insights into how energy efficient the home will be, helping you make informed decisions when optimizing energy usage, considering energy-efficient upgrades and/or planning for long-term savings.
What Is a Good HERS Rating?
The HERS Index scoring system ranges from 0 to 150 and is calculated using multiple factors that directly impact energy consumption like insulation, air sealing, lighting and heating/cooling systems. A certified Home Energy Rater conducts energy audits using specialized equipment and software to determine a home’s official HERS Index rating.
So, what’s considered a good HERS rating, then? The lower a home’s rating score, the better the energy efficiency is. For example, a HERS rating of 100 signifies that a home meets the baseline standard for new homes, aligning with the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) requirements.
A HERS rating score lower than 0 indicates that a home is “net-zero,” meaning that it’s generating the same amount of energy it consumes (or it’s generating more energy than it consumes, depending on where on the HERS scale the home is ranking).
Why Is a Good HERS Rating Important?
A good HERS rating is important because it helps you properly evaluate a home’s energy efficiency. The HERS index scoring system serves as a validation tool and provides home builders and homeowners with reliable information on a home’s energy-efficiency performance. This is how we are able to see if a home is meeting (energy efficient home) or exceeding (net-zero home) energy efficiency standards.
Aside from being able to validate your home’s energy-efficiency rating, here are a few more key reasons why a good HERS rating holds significant value for homeowners:
- Increased Cost Savings: A good (low) HERS rating directly translates to cost savings. A home that is highly energy-efficient means it consumes less energy, which leaves you with lower utility bills. Over the long-term, this can add up to thousands of dollars saved.
- Enhanced Comfort and Quality: Energy-efficient homes achieve good HERS ratings by incorporating things like superior insulation, effective air sealing and optimized heating and cooling systems. This results in consistent indoor temperatures, the reduction of drafts and provides a comfortable living environment year-round.
- Greater Resale Value and Marketability: A home with an excellent HERS rating sets you apart from competitors in the real estate market, giving you the ability to attract more prospective buyers when it comes time to sell your home. Not only can these long-term benefits of an energy-efficient home draw in more buyers, but it allows you to leverage these advantages and command a higher resale price, positioning yourself for a more profitable cashout when selling your property.
- Positive Environmental Impact: A home with a good HERS rating has a positive impact on the environment because it emits significantly less greenhouse gasses and consumes much less energy. By minimizing reliance on non-renewable resources, as made possible through Brite Homes, you can make a big impact in combating climate change and reducing your overall carbon footprint.
Why New Construction Homes Have Better HERS Ratings
New construction homes have an edge that existing homes don’t when it comes to achieving a better HERS rating score. This is because energy efficiency is prioritized during the construction phase, which allows new homes to be designed with these considerations in mind. This leaves existing homes unable to rival the energy-efficient performance of a new home that’s been designed and built from the start with the intention of maximum energy efficiency.
Here’s why new construction homes tend to outperform retrofitted homes in terms of achieving better HERS ratings:
- Optimize Energy Efficiency: Because new construction homes have the advantage of being built with the latest energy-efficient technologies and building practices, builders are able to optimize energy efficiency ratings right from the start. As a result, new construction homes consistently achieve better HERS scores, solidifying their reputation as leaders in energy efficiency.
- Avoid Retrofitting: Retrofitting a home for energy efficiency involves making upgrades and improvements to an existing structure, aiming to enhance energy performance. However, this process can be inconvenient, time-consuming, and costly. Additionally, retrofitted homes often struggle to achieve a comparable HERS rating to new construction homes due to limitations in implementing energy-efficient features, design compromises, and challenges in addressing pre-existing inefficiencies/structural limitations.
- Flexibility to Customize: By choosing new home construction, you gain enhanced flexibility to tailor your home’s energy-efficient features to your exact preferences, allowing you to work with your home builder to achieve the best HERS rating for your home.
Experience the Brilliance of Brite Homes: Get an Energy-Efficient Home with a Net-Zero HERS Rating
Did you know that Brite Homes produce more energy than they consume? Our homes’ HERS ratings range between -9 and -12, translating to thousands of dollars saved in energy costs each year.
Discover the brilliance of owning a net-zero energy-rated home by contacting us today to learn more about how to become a net-zero Brite Homes homeowner.