It’s incredibly important to know how home energy efficiency is measured. Energy efficiency in homes has become more and more important, both to saving on yearly living costs and maintaining a good resale value. These six home energy terms can familiarize you with the concepts behind greener homes.
RESNET stands for Residential Energy Services Network. This organization develops rules and requirements for energy efficiency measurements across the entire industry. They oversee the HERS index, which we’ll talk about in a moment. They also certify various contractors having to do with home building and renovation, from builders to roofers and everyone in between. RESNET is a not-for-profit organization.
2. HERS Index
HERS stands for Home Energy Rating System. It’s the scale by which home energy efficiency is measured. A home that exactly meets all current standards when it’s measured will receive a HERS index of 100. Like golf, the lower the score, the better. A less efficient home might score 120, which means it’s using 20% more energy than a home that meets standards. A more efficient home might score 60, which would mean it’s using 40% less energy than a home that exactly meets standards.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It awards certifications to buildings that are environmentally friendly. These buildings often go beyond energy efficiency, into additional areas such as air quality. A LEED Platinum certification is the highest possible.
4. National Green Building Certification
Homes can earn different levels of certification under this program. The highest level is emerald and denotes a building with energy savings of more than 60-percent. Certifications are awarded by the National Association of Home Builders.
The fifth and arguable most important of the home energy terms addressed in this article is R-value. An R-value is the rating given to building and bulk insulation. The R-value is an assessment of the properties of the insulation materials being used. The better the level of insulation provided is, the higher the R-value will be. Higher insulation quality with better R-value make a home more comfortable and cost-efficient to run. Less cooling and heating will be wasted. Choosing insulation with high R-value and ensuring it’s fitted properly is one of the largest single steps you’ll take toward home energy efficiency.
6. Energy Star
This program awards appliances with Energy Star certifications. Such appliances will run more efficiently and waste less energy. If it’s in a home and uses electricity, chances are good there’s an Energy Star version of it: including washers, dryers, dishwashers, fridges, furnaces, and even light bulbs. The Energy Star program is overseen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.