When shopping around for “mayor” products, it is always a good idea and practice to review the numbers and benchmarks. We are very accustomed to checking mpg when buying a vehicle, something that for some of us is decisive, because not many of us want to burn away our hard earned cash in the daily commute to work, right?
Then there’s cellphones: quad core, octa-core, gigabytes, megapixels, battery life, it’s a huge menu of numbers to take into account, yet we jump right in and compare numbers.
But what about new homes? Sure, we ask for price, size and number of bedrooms and baths, which are of course fundamental; but, how about the cost of ownership? Is there a way to predict how efficient a home is? The answer is YES… the HERS Score! and it’s something everyone looking to buy a new home should take into consideration when shopping around for a new home, specially in a place like El Paso, where the weather is always against us.
What is this magic number?
In our previous blog post we touched a little on this topic, but what is this magic number and how can we make sense out of it?
HERS, stands for Home Energy Rating System. It launched in 2006 attending the need to have a way to measure new homes’ efficiency and give buyers a way to compare between homes they are thinking of buying. It’s a simple, easy to understand index, based on a 100 point scale, where the lower the score, the higher the performance of the home. So a home with a score of 60 is 40% more efficient than a home without any efficiency features, and a home with a score of 130 is 30% less efficient. This index takes into account everything in and outside the home, insulation, power load, water load, air tightness, etc. and assigns the score of the home.
Each home has a posted HERS score that is given by certified raters which are recognized by federal government agencies such as the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. mortgage industry.
So, each builder decides it's own number?
HERS was developed by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) a non profit organization, and established a strict process in which 3rd party raters are the only ones certified to assign HERS scores. These certified raters are recognized by federal government agencies such as the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Mortgage Industry, and is by far the most accepted standard in energy efficiency.
Great, where do I see the number?
ICON Custom Builder, has the HERS rating in all of their available homes on line and in each home to make it easy for home buyers to know exactly what they can expect but you can use RESNET’s reliable search engine to look up the address of the home you are looking to buy and find out the assigned score, or if it isn’t scored at all (which isn’t very promising).
Performance and efficiency = more bucks in your pocket
So, all of this sounds very interesting, but you might be thinking: so what?
Well this is a direct ration between efficiency and savings. A 40% more efficient home will provide a 40% savings in your utilities. That’s keeping money in your pocket! think of it as a way that you are saving money each month, and something that you as a home buyer need to factor in when calculating your cost of ownership.
On the other hand, HERS rated homes tend to have a higher resale value, so it will also provide more money in your pockets if you decide to sell.
ICON is committed with efficiency and quality
From the very beginning of every build, ICON has the highest standards and invests in the most advanced technology and the highest quality materials to ensure all our homes are the most efficient possible.
On our available homes you can click on the actual score label to learn more about HERS and how it can help you save money in the long run. After all, an efficient house is more comfortable, healthier and costs less to operate. Savvy consumers and home buyers should inquire about the HERS score of every home.