A Lower HERS Score Means Greater Efficiency
If you are buying, selling, or renovating your home here in California, you will need to be familiar with the Home Energy Rating System, also known as a HERS test. While the California Energy Commission requires that every new and existing home that is undergoing renovations, or is to be put on the market, has a verified HERS rating, there are other benefits to understanding (and lowering) your HERS score.
What to Expect with a HERS Test
The HERS index is a nationally recognized system of determining the overall energy efficiency of a building. For many areas of the country, a HERS test is required to help achieve specific energy goals, like San Francisco’s path to zero emissions by 2050.
HERS ratings and verifications are done through a third party, who will send a HERS rater to your home to perform the necessary diagnostic tests. The results are compiled into a HERS score, which indicates your home’s overall energy efficiency. A HERS test will verify the efficiency of your:
● Lighting systems
● Heating & cooling equipment (including ductwork)
● Hot water heating systems
● Building envelope (including ventilation)
Understanding a HERS Rating
HERS ratings are on a scale between 0 and 150. The lower the rating, the more efficient the home. A newly built home that does not lose any energy is considered to have a HERS score of 100. This is the standard score for new homes, but a house with a score of 100 is not estimated to have any substantial yearly energy savings. A zero energy home, one that produces as much energy as it consumes in a year, would have a HERS score of 0.
A good HERS rating could be considered anything below 100: A HERS score of 90 is estimated to save an existing home $718, and a new home $180 per year in energy costs. An impressive HERS score of 30 is estimated to save $1,796 for an existing home, and $1,257 for a new home, annually.
The Benefits of a Low HERS Score
Of course, a HERS score is representative of the energy savings that already exist in your home, so scheduling a HERS rating will not reduce your energy costs. However, there are still many benefits to taking measures to lower your HERS score, as well as having up-to-date information on your HERS rating, such as:
Higher Resale Value
According to the RESNET HERS Index, energy-efficient HERS rated homes sell for a premium of anywhere from 3.5% to upwards of 9% and more compared to standard homes.
A More Comfortable and Healthier Home
Because a HERS rating takes into account your heating and cooling efficiency, as well as proper ventilation, the lower your home’s score, the higher your indoor air quality and overall comfort.
Reduced Cost of Ownership
The less energy you use to keep your home safe and comfortable over the course of your homeownership, the greater your savings.
Smaller Carbon Footprint
Environmental impact is becoming increasingly important to homeowners all across the country. As a home requires less energy, it reduces grid-demand for electricity that has been harvested by means that generate carbon emissions.
Upgrade Your Efficiency with PACE
With no money down and its competitive interest rates, PACE financing works for homeowners that can choose their project from a list of approved home improvements and spread the cost of one or multiple home improvements over long term payments secured by your property. These payments are then paid back as a line item on their property taxes at a fixed interest rate, with no prepayment penalties.