Home Energy Score - GDS Associates

Home Energy Score

admin   |    Oct 12, 2016    |    Energy Use & Efficiency

News

The Home Energy Score is a simple, fast, and affordable way for homeowners to gain useful information about the energy performance of their home and how to improve it.  Developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Home Energy Score uses a 1-to-10 scale to provide easy-to-understand and comparable information about a home’s energy performance. The Home Energy Score is ideal for homeowners that want to understand their home’s energy performance and how it compares to other homes, home buyers who are looking for more information on a potential home’s energy performance and energy costs, and for home sellers seeking to document the value of their energy efficiency investments.

GDS is currently a New Hampshire Home Energy Score Partner with the DOE and is launching a New Hampshire Home Energy Score Pilot in coordination with the New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning.

The Home Energy Score Report is made up of three distinct sections:

The Score itself:

The Home Energy Score uses a 1-to-10 scale where a score of 10 represents the most energy efficient homes, and a score of 1 represents the least energy efficient homes. The scale was developed using U.S. Census housing data and is adjusted for local climate zones and average occupancy.  The score can be compared to other homes, regardless of where they are located or how many people are currently occupying the homes.

Home Facts:

The Home Facts section provides the information the Assessor collected and entered into the scoring tool, including information on the home’s thermal envelope and mechanical and hot water systems. It also includes the energy use estimates generated by the tool.

Recommendations:

The recommendations section offers cost-effective improvements that can be made to reduce the home’s energy consumption, energy costs, and improve the Home Energy Score.

The Home Energy Score Process

The Home Energy Score process begins with a home assessment completed by a DOE qualified Home Energy Score Assessor.  During the hour-long (or less) assessment, data about your home’s features is entered into an energy modeling tool provided by the DOE.  The tool calculates a 1-to-10 score based on the home’s current features, along with another score if the home completes the cost-effective energy efficiency recommendations identified in the Score report.  The Home Energy Score report also provides an estimate of annual energy use of the home.  The assessment can be completed as a stand-alone service, as part of a full BPI energy audit, or as part of a home inspection at time-of-sale.

A list of New Hampshire qualified Assessors can be found here. Fees for the New Hampshire Home Energy Score may vary by Assessor. For more information on the Home Energy Score, see our list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Current Homeowners (homeowners & sellers)

Current homeowners that want to learn more about their home’s energy usage should consider a Home Energy Score.  The score can be completed quickly (generally taking an hour or less), it’s simple (the 1-to-10 scale makes undertaking the score easy), and it’s credible (developed and supported by the DOE).

The Home Energy Score is currently supported for single family homes, including townhouses, row houses, and duplexes. To have your home scored, contact one of the New Hampshire qualified Assessors, or contact us using the “Contact” link in the upper right hand corner of this webpage.

Click here for more information on understanding the Home Energy Score and how to interpret the 1-to-10 scoring scale.

Prospective Home Buyers

Purchasing a home is a major investment, possibly the largest investment you will make in your lifetime.  Doesn’t it make sense that you should know about the estimated energy usage and energy costs of the home you are about to purchase? Energy costs are a significant part of home ownership and are often difficult to estimate. The Home Energy Score can help by providing information on expected energy performance of the home. With information from a Home Energy Score you can be more confident in your investment decision.

The Home Energy Score is currently supported for single family homes, including townhouses, row houses, and duplexes. To have your home scored, contact one of the New Hampshire qualified Assessors, or contact us using the “Contact” link in the upper right hand corner of this webpage.

Real Estate Professionals

Homebuyers are becoming increasingly more interested in energy use and energy costs in potential homes.  After all, this is likely the largest investment of their lives, and in most cases homebuyers will purchase a home without knowing much at all about the home’s energy usage, energy costs, and comfort. As a Real Estate Professional you can help your clients address their questions on energy by recommending the Home Energy Score.

Working with a seller that has invested in energy efficiency?  Help them document their investment by recommending a Home Energy Score.  A Home Energy Score can help convey the value of those investments, and will make the buyer of the home more confident in their purchasing decision.

Learn more about how you can support your clients with the Home Energy Score.

Home Inspectors

Home Inspectors already play an important role in the residential real estate transaction. With the Home Energy Score, Home Inspectors can now offer useful insights into a home’s energy performance, in addition to the information already provided by a home inspection report. Most Certified Home Inspectors pre-qualify for the DOE training and testing.  The online training is free and can be completed at your own pace. Many software packages used by Home Inspectors have already integrated the Home Energy Score into their programs, making scoring a home easier than ever. Learn more about the DOE’s training and testing procedure and how you can set yourself apart with the Home Energy Score.

Weatherization Professionals and Energy Auditors

Weatherization professionals and energy auditors already know that homeowners look to them for guidance and information on their home’s energy efficiency. Weatherization professionals and Energy Auditors can now use the Home Energy Score as another valuable tool to help educate and inform homeowners. The Score is fast, simple, and flexible.  The information collected to populate the tool is likely already collected during a standard residential energy audit, streamlining the scoring process. With a 1-to-10 scale, the Score is simple and easy-to-understand and contains information that can be easily shared with homeowners. The Home Energy Score is also flexible, allowing Assessors to add customized recommendations to the report instead of using those generated by the tool.  Additionally, the training and testing tool is free to use, allowing you to keep costs low to the homeowner. Many Energy Auditors and Weatherization Professionals already hold an existing credential that would pre-qualify them for the DOE training and testing. Learn more about the DOE’s training and testing procedure and how you can build your business with the Home Energy Score.


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