How much energy does your home use? Your electric bill will give you some idea, but how do you know if your energy consumption rate is good or bad? A home energy assessment can help you identify easy ways to save money.
In fact, an energy evaluation can even get your home registered in the ENERGY STAR Certified Homes Program. This increases the home’s value and its attractiveness on the market.
What Is an Energy Evaluation?
An energy evaluation is essentially an audit of how your home uses energy. A certified auditor rates the appliances, HVAC, and insulation of your home to start. They can also inspect the structure and design of the home for energy conservation. This can identify particular areas where energy loss is higher or insulation is less efficient. In turn, that can help you amend the problem and save on your energy bills.
How Is Energy Efficiency Scored?
A home energy assessment results in a HERS, or Home Energy Rating System, score. The scale is 0 to 150, but it’s like golf. The closer to zero you are, the better. It means that you generate as much energy through renewable sources as you consume. Of course, most homes don’t achieve this score.
The score of an average new home is about 100. Anything between 0 and 100 means above average efficiency. There might still be problem areas that can be addressed, but this means you’re ahead of the game.
Many older homes (and newer homes that aren’t built with efficiency in mind) score above 100. This means they’re less efficient than the average new home, and that you’re losing money on your energy bill. A score of 150 means that the home is only half as energy efficient as the average new home.
Can Improvements Help?
Many potential improvements can be identified through a home energy assessment. Additional insulation can help keep air conditioning inside. More efficient systems can help conserve energy. Even small improvements like air sealing and slightly adjusted system settings can help you save money.
Homes built with energy efficiency in mind can often save their owners hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year, and they build value better over time.