Where is your energy going?
Home energy ratings provide a standard measurement of a home’s energy efficiency. Ratings are used for both new and existing homes. In new homes, ratings often verify energy performance for the ENERGY STAR homes program, energy efficient mortgages, and energy code compliance.
Homeowners who want to upgrade the home’s energy efficiency can use the energy rating to create an Energy Plan and cost-effective improvements. For existing homes, homeowners can receive a report listing cost-effective options for improving the home’s energy rating. An energy rating allows a homebuyer to easily compare the energy performance of the homes being considered.
There are two types of ratings:
- Projected ratings – Ratings performed prior to the construction of a home or prior to the installation of energy improvements to an existing home.
- Confirmed ratings – Ratings completed using data gathered from an on-site inspection, which could include performance testing of the home.
Confirmed ratings involve an on-site inspection of a home by a residential energy efficiency professional, a home energy rater. Home energy raters are trained and certified by a RESNET accredited home energy rater training provider.
The home energy rater reviews the home to identify its energy characteristics, such as insulation levels, window efficiency, wall-to-window ratios, the heating and cooling system efficiency, the solar orientation of the home, and the water heating system. Performance testing, such as a blower door test for air leakage and duct leakage, is usually part of the rating.
The data gathered by the home energy rater is entered into a RESNET accredited computer program and translated into rating score. The home receives a score between 1 and 100, depending on its relative efficiency. An estimate of the home’s energy costs is also provided in the report.
(Source: Residential Energy Services Network, www.natresnet.org)