What is a Home Energy Score?
A home energy score for a home is like a miles per gallon rating for a vehicle. When shopping for a vehicle the thing most people are looking for is a vehicle that gets good gas mileage so you can save money at the gas pump. Why don't we treat our homes the same way? We spend way more on powering our home than we do our vehicle.
Without any information about how much energy the home is expected to use it's hard to get a figure on how much money you will be spending on energy each year. That's where the home energy score comes in. Developed by the DOE and its national laboratories, the Home Energy Score provides home owners and buyers information about a home's energy use.
The Home Energy Score is based on a standard assessment of energy-related assets to easily compare energy use across the housing market. The report I provide to you will estimate a homes energy use, associated costs, and provide energy solutions to cost-effectively improve the home's efficiency. Each Home Energy Score is shown on a simple one-to-ten scale, where a ten represents the most efficient homes. See an example report below.
Home Energy Score Report Example
Things to remember about your score:
It estimates a home's total energy use, not energy use per square foot. For this reason, if two homes are identical other than the size, the larger home will generally score worse than the smaller home. The more volume a home has to heat or cool, the more energy is required.
Scoring a "1" does not mean your home is poorly built. A beautiful home with up-to-date equipment can still get a low score if the square footage is high or if there is insufficient insulation. A low score just means there is significant room for improvement to reduce a home's energy use.
Scoring a "10" does not mean your home cannot improve. Even a home that uses less energy than most of its peers may benefit from additional energy efficiency or renewable energy investments. If recommendations are provided with your score, consider if those cost-effective measures make sense for your home.
The Home Facts section gives you all of the data I collected to calculate your Home Energy Score. In addition to providing facts about the roof, foundation, insulation, walls, windows, heating systems, cooling systems, hot water system, and floor area, this section also provides energy use estimates for the home.
Recommendations that come with the score are expected to pay back in ten years or less based on state average utility rates and national average insulation rates. Assessors may provide different or additional recommendations that reflect local rebates or other incentives the Scoring Tool does not consider.
Share the Score When Selling Your Home
Home Energy Scores are be included in the real estate market. If you are selling a home you can ask your agent to list the score on multiple MLS.
Understanding the Score's Method
The graphic above may help you understand how U.S. Census home energy data has helped inform the Home Energy Score scale. The bar graph shows home energy use data for the nation based on U.S. Census surveys, and the
Home Energy Score’s scale below is stretched to show how homes score based on their energy use.
If your home scores a 5, it is expected to perform comparably to an average home in the U.S. in terms of energy use. If your home scores a 10, it ranks among the ten percent of U.S. homes expected to use the least amount of energy after accounting for climate. A home scoring a 1 is estimated to consume more energy each year than 85 percent of U.S. homes, again after accounting for local climate.
Information source: Department of Energy
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