Learn What a Home Energy Rating Is and Why It's Important
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Learn What a Home Energy Rating Is and Why It’s Important


Savvy shoppers compare items, especially high-ticket items, to ensure they’re getting the best possible deal. Few investments are more important and as costly as home ownership, but it’s not always easy to determine the best value between homes. The home energy rating system (HERS) has changed the landscape for home buying, selling and upgrading in recent years, as more people are taking advantage of HERS scores.

Home Energy Ratings

The HERS Index is a home efficiency evaluation system that determines the energy efficiency of a home. In fact, HERS is the nationally recognized home evaluation system used by realtors and home sellers to highlight a home’s efficiency benefits, and it’s appreciated by home buyers as a method to determine estimated lifetime energy costs between homes in consideration.

Using HERS

Implemented by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), a home’s HERS assessment and score is compared against homes constructed to the 2004 International Energy Conservation Code. The home being assessed goes toe to toe with a qualified reference home with similar design characteristics, such as square footage and the number of rooms and floors.

The reference home has a static HERS score of 100. A score above 100 means the assessed home is less efficient percentage per point to the reference home. For example, if an assessed home has a HERS score of 120, it’s 20 percent less energy efficient than the DOE’s reference home.

Following are important situations in which to use HERS scores:

  • Selling a home: A good HERS score can be a deal maker. Conduct a HERS assessment and make any suggested efficiency upgrades to leverage your selling position.
  • Buying a home: A HERS score can help you determine the best value of your new home investment. A low HERS score helps ensure a comfortable home with reasonable energy bills.
  • Upgrading home efficiency: A HERS assessment is similar to an energy audit in that it reveals energy waste in home systems, and offers methods for improvement.

For more information about a home energy rating, contact Roth Heating & Cooling. We’ve served Portland area homeowners since 1976.

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