HERS Rating New Construction

What is a New Home Energy Rating - HERS Rating?

An energy rating is a comparative analysis of how energy efficient your home is compared to other similar homes.

A NEW HOME HERS Rating is an opportunity to begin the energy performance analysis at ther very begining of the design process.  You have the opportunity to set a target rating you wish to obtain and then evaluate and choose the specific systems, products and performances you want to reach that score.  Another alternative is to prioritize the systems, performance levels and items you want in the house and then rate their impact on the rating as the design process progresses.  Either way you can evaluate performance, costs, comfort levels and ultimate rating.  You design the performance of your house to meet your goals and budget.

Finally based on the design, which includes drawings, specifications and product selections performance results, a certified RESNET Home Energy Rater awards your home a HERS Index Score (similar to miles-per-gallon stickers for new cars) and provides a detailed report about energy performance in the New Home.

  • A standard American new home, conforming to the latest energy efficiency standards, is rated at 100 on the HERS Index
  • A standard American resale home is rated at 130 on the HERS Index, making it 30% less efficient than a standard new home.
  • A home with a HERS Index Score of 50 is 50% more efficient than the standard American new home and 62% more efficient than the standard American existing home.
  • The lower the number the better the performance of the home, similar to the "Miles-per-Gallon rating".  If you were selling or buying a home, would you want a higher or lower rating?  Getting an HERS energy rating can prove the better performance of your home over the competition.


Why have a New Home Energy Rating - HERS Rating?

It helps you calculate the true cost of homeownership (it's not just about mortgage payments!).  It’s about; Principal - Interest - Taxes - Insurance - Utilities - Maintenance

A low HERS Index Score could help you command a higher resale price when selling your home. It shows how your home compares to others on an independent rating system Your Miles per gallon rating is better than the house down the street!

Learn how to improve the overall comfort of your home. You get hard core recommendations on how to improve the livability of your home.

The rater will conduct as designed calculations and then field testing to verify the analysis and review areas such as;

  • All exterior walls - above and below grade
  • Floors over unconditioned space, garages and crawl spaces
  • Ceilings and roofs
  • Attics, foundations and crawlspaces
  • Windows, doors, vents and ductwork
  • HVAC systems, water heating systems and thermostats

Are you building a new home? Confirm that your builder is RESNET Certified or Energy Star rated to ensure that it's being constructed in an energy efficient way.


Will a Home Energy Rating - HERS, benefit me?

It’s no big secret that energy costs are increasing at an alarming rate. What you might not be aware of though, is just how dramatic that increase is. For example, a recent study showed that American families earning a gross income of $50,000 experienced the following energy cost increases from 2001-2012:

  • 2001: Avg. percentage of after-tax income spent on energy costs: 12%
  • 2005: Avg. percentage of after-tax income spent on energy costs: 16%
  • 2012: Avg. percentage of after-tax income spent on energy costs (projected): 21%

As a homeowner, this impacts you right where it hurts most: your wallet. That’s why increasing numbers of Americans are starting to pay more attention.  However, in order to do that, you have to know where to begin and that starts with understanding how energy efficient your new home is or can be.

That’s the purpose of a new home energy rating.  A home energy rating measures exactly how energy efficient your home as designed.  You can then evaluate your design and etermine before construcitno is there are other improvements that your can choose to make the house as energy efficient as you and your budget will allow.  The final results will be a rating score that says "I am this efficient" on the Home Energy Rating System or HERS Index.

Developed by RESNET, the HERS Index, Home Energy Rating System, is the nationally recognized system for calculating a home’s energy performance, with a lower score equaling a more energy efficient home. For example, a standard new American home, built according to the latest energy efficiency standards, is awarded a HERS Index score of 100, while a typical resale home may be rated at 130, making it 30% less energy efficient than it could be.


So how does a New Home Energy Rating help you as a homeowner?

  • It gives you a true idea about how much your home is really costing you and how much you are saving by identifying the specific sources of waste.
  • Your home energy rater will show you how you can cut your energy costs with recommendations and viable solutions that have reasonable payback expectations.
  • You can discover cost effective ways to increase your home’s comfort level which will make everyone in the home happier and safer.
  • It could help you add to your home’s resale value by indicating a rating that is better then the other homes in the area.
  • It can also give you the information you need to qualify for an EEM, Energy Efficient Mortgage


The above rated house is rated at a 65 with an estimated annual utility bill savings of $784.  This is an estimate and subject to the actual living practices of the home occupants.  This annual savings equates to about $65.00 per month in average utility savings.  If you are buying the home with a 30 year mortgage at 4% interest, the cost per thousand is $4.77.  This means the utility savings equates to $13,627 of additional purchasing power with the same income.


These are just some of the benefits associated with a home energy rating; a certified RESNET Home Energy Rater, like Colorado Energy Analysts, can provide you with more detailed information about the advantages of Energy Assessments or Energy Ratings and why you should consider doing one.

In either case your want a Certified Professional to do your Audit or Rating.  You want to look for the BPI, Building Performance Institute seal and the RESNET Home Energy Professional Seal.  Colorado Energy Analysts has both.

Jon Howes
Professionally Certified


BPI Certified Building Analysts
RESNET Certified HERS Rater

RRP - Certified Lead Paint Renovator

Colorado Energy Analysts
Certified Energy Rater

Scott Homes, Ltd., Designers & Builders
Construction Superintendent


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Office 719-687-4715

Cell 719-661-0195 Jon Howes

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