The new Home Energy Score program explained

The new Home Energy Score program explained

You’ve probably heard a lot about the new Home Energy Score program in the past few days. The evaluation program is a product of the Recovery Through Retrofit program and provides for low cost energy audits. Whether you love or hate the program, we’ll try to break it down for you into its simplest form.

What is it?

● A standardized evaluation of how energy-efficient your home is, scored from 1 (least efficient) to 10 (most efficient).
● A program to provide more affordable energy audits of individual homes.
● A program which encourages trained auditors to make recommendations as to how homeowners can improve energy efficiency through retrofits, and to provide the potential savings in real dollar terms.

Current reach

Currently the program is in a test phase and not open to the general public. Below are estimates of the number of homes to be evaluated in test areas.

● Allegheny, PA – 12 homes (minimum)
● Cape Cod & Martha’s Vineyard – 100 – 200 homes
● Colorado Mountain Region – an unspecified portion of 4,300 homes set for upgrades
● Greater Charlottesville, VA – 400 homes
● Indiana – 100 homes
● Minnesota – 200 homes
● Nebraska – 150 homes
● Portland, OR – 200 homes (minimum)
● South Carolina – 200 homes
● Texas – 250 homes (minimum)

Data considered

● Functionality and efficiency of appliances as well as heating, cooling, and hot water systems
● Type of materials used in construction.
● How well the home is insulated.
● Leaks in the home’s ventilation ducts.
● Existence and size of skylights.

The detailed evaluation form can be found here:

Home Energy Scoring Tool

The finer points

● Variation among scores in different regions is taken into account (an acceptable formula for figuring acceptable variation is being honed in the test pilot program).

Additional benefits

● According to the government’s guide for assessors, trained home auditors should also be able to make recommendations as to improve indoor environments for health and safety: moisture control, mold reduction, gas leak prevention.

In an upcoming post, we’ll take a look at the Federal Housing Administration’s PowerSaver loan program.

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