Buyers of new homes serious about energy efficiency should look for HERS ratings when considering purchasing or building with a builder. The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index is the nationally recognized scoring system for measuring a home’s energy performance. A HERS Index score can be determined for any home, newly constructed or existing, based on the results and analysis conducted by an authorized RESNET Home Energy Rater. The rater uses highly specialized equipment to measure the energy efficiency based on established guidelines to determine the score. It is an intensive process and a bit costly but the expense is easily offset by the energy savings for homes that achieve better scores.
On the HERS rating scale, the lower the score the more energy efficient the home. A score of 0 means the house achieves Net-Zero producing as much energy as it consumes through superior energy efficient design and construction, and some form of energy generation (typically an Integrated Photovoltaic Solar System.)
A HERS rating is specific to the house. Even though a builder may construct a home from the same plans, location, variables in materials and construction conditions, and other factors create unique conditions. It's important for buyers of new homes interested in energy efficiency to confirm their builder obtains a HERS rating for every home they construct. Some may obtain a HERS rating for one home built from a plan offering and use that HERS rating for others constructed. This does not provide a true HERS Rating Score.
TerraWise Homes conducts a HERS Rating Score for every home it builds. Buyers are provided a copy of the report that clearly shows it is for the specific house they are buying. In most cases, the basic TerraWise Home has a HERS rating lower than the standard for most builder new homes. Adding a Solar System to the highly energy-efficient design and construction, can take the score to ZERO for the ultimate in energy-efficiency: a Net-Zero Home.
The best way to know the energy efficiency for a specific house is to ask for a specific HERS Rating Score.