Is your home an energy hog? Find out with an energy rating

Consumers are always looking for ways to save money on their everyday expenses, but the energy efficiency of their homes is often overlooked.

“Other than your mortgage payment, your energy bill is the most expensive part of home ownership,” said James Moen, co-owner of Lexar Homes. “If you’re looking at building, it only makes sense to calculate out what your monthly bills might look like and make building decisions accordingly.”

The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index is the industry standard by which a home's energy efficiency is measured. It is also the nationally recognized system for inspecting and calculating a home's energy performance. A standard new home, built to the national code, is awarded a rating of 100 on the HERS index.

The Northwest leads in energy advancements, so following the Washington State Energy code will score around 85. The lower the number, the more energy efficient a home is. The more energy efficient a home is, the more money the homeowner saves.

“How a home is designed and built affects how much energy it will use,” Moen said. “For example, a standard 2000-square foot home will achieve a certifiable HERS rating of around 68. That translates into an average monthly savings of $40 on your energy bill. By choosing additional energy efficient options, savings can be even higher.”

Lenders are also starting to look at HERS ratings and are offering points on home loans for lower scores, and that means additional monthly savings on mortgage payments.

“If you’re considering building a new home, ask your builder what the projected HERS ratings of their homes are,” Moen said. “It pays to know.”

Lexar Homes is a northwest based builder with offices located across Washington, Oregon, Idaho and North Dakota. They are one of only a handful of builders in the country whose homes consistently use, at minimum, 30 percent less energy per month than a standard, built-to-code new home, according to independent HERS verifiers.

Read more about energy audits.


Topics: Consultants, Energy Audits, Energy Star

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