Understanding HERS Home Rating for New Home

In your research and planning of building a house, you may have heard of a HERS home rating developed by RESNET. What exactly is a HERS home rating? It’s an industry standard that reviews and rates the energy efficiency of your home. It compares your home’s energy performance to others and gives you a score. A HERS home rating ranges from 150 (being the worse) down to zero (net-zero, the best).
How to Rate a Home using HERS

What do energy assessors look at to rate a home? They look at many components of your home, including exterior walls and the insulating R-value, floors, ceilings, roof, attics, foundations, windows hers-index-TFand doors, vent and ductwork, HVAC systems, water heating system, and your thermostat. These are just a handful of items that are reviewed. A HERS home rating is often done for a new house. However, existing homes can rate too. If you have an existing house, it’s a grand thing to do to assess your energy performance and to see where you can improve.

Looking to rate high on the HERS index? The good news is that you pretty much can rate a 50 or better using our system. The key product we offer that is extremely energy efficient is Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs). SIPs construction uses two orient strand boards (OSB) with a solid core foam in the middle. The R values can range anywhere from R23-R54+! SIPs provide optimal energy performance because of the lack of thermal bridging (which you will have in conventional construction). We also combine our timber frame and SIPs packages with high-performing windows and doors. Essentially, our weather tight shell package gets you off to a good start! With good planning for your HVAC, foundation, and interior finishes, you can easily outperform most new stick frame homes on the market today.

Why Perform HERS

Last, why perform a HERS home rating? Although unnecessary (though some communities are requiring it), it will tell you how energy efficient your home is, and it’s a great thing to have for resale value. Being able to prove how efficient your home is will easily sell your home faster if you ever sell.

Over the years, we’ve received many of our client’s HERS reports and we are happy to say all of our homes have rated 5+ stars! To rate 5+ stars, your index rating needs to be 70 or lower. Basically, the lower the HERS rating is, the more energy-efficient your home is! Below is an example report for a timber frame home our client built in Vermont in 2011. The home rated 44 and is 50% more energy-efficient than a standard NEW HOME and 80% more efficient than an older home you will buy on the market today.

hers home rating score

Interested in learning more about our energy-efficient timber frame and SIP home packages? Call us today at 800.636.0993.