The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) is an evaluation of energy efficiency and forecasted energy costs within a home.
It produces a projected, pre-constructed HERS Index, a scoring system established by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET). Based on the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code, the HERS Reference Home is a standard new home that meets all energy requirements and has a HERS Index of 100. A net-zero energy project will achieve a zero (0) HERS Index rating. The lower a home’s HERS Index, the more energy-efficient it is in comparison to the HERS Reference Home. Each point decrease on the HERS Index indicates a 1% reduction in energy use.
HERS has been utilized by related synergistic green building tools, including the U.S. Department of Energy’s E-Scale, an interactive program that compares estimated costs and energy savings of new and existing homes. The LEED for Homes rating system also utilizes HERS to configure its home energy prerequisites and credits.
Pittsburgh’s first net-zero home, Riverside Mews on the South Side, achieved a HERS rating of -4, meaning it generates more energy than it uses!
RESNET also has a designation for professionals called certified HERS Raters, who inspect and test a home and prepare a comprehensive HERS rating. Visit GBA’s Professional Credentials page for more information.
To find out more about this certification, visit the RESNET website, which includes:
- More details about how a HERS rating works
- Energy rating FAQs and benefits
- Details about Certified HERS Raters (how to find one and become one)
- News and articles