Hanover: What is a HERS rating?

Recently Almar was adding a second level to a ranch style house. During the framing in section the Building Inspector told us that before signing off on the final inspection he wanted the home to have a HERS rating inspection done.

So what is a HERS rating? HERS stands for Home Energy Rating System. According to the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) HERS is defined as, “The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index is the industry standard by which a home’s energy efficiency is measured. It’s also the nationally recognized system for inspecting and calculating a home’s energy performance.”  It measures how efficient your home is, and where you can make changes to improve your efficiency.

Almar works with another local company here in Hanover, Ma to help our clients determine their HERS rating and what options around the house they have to make improvements. With our team the energy rating can be determined from both home’s plans prior to construction, and from inspections from existing homes.

With the IECC 2015 code now being recognized by the state of Massachusetts there will be more towns that will require an Energy Audit on homes that are being remodeled.  These audits generally range in costs between $1,000 and $1,500 on average.

There are several different diagnostic and testing services available including:

  1. Plan reviews
  2. Infiltration tests
  3. Duct Leak tests
  4. Combustion Appliance Zone testing (CZS Testing)
  5. Infrared Diagnostics

Some of the items considered during an energy rating are:

  1. All exterior walls (above and below grade)
  2. Floors over unconditioned space (like garage and cellars)
  3. Ceilings and roofs
  4. Attics, foundations and crawlspaces
  5. Windows, doors, vents and duct work
  6. HVAC systems, water heating systems, and thermostats.

To learn more about what a HERS index score means visit the RESNET site. http://www.resnet.us/hers-index-large-scale

Mass Save offers HERS Rating incentives for performance paths for new construction. You can find more information on the Mass Save website.   http://www.masssave.com/en/residential/building-a-house/offers/rnc-hers-rating-incentives-for-performance-path

When considering doing your addition project, keep in mind that your town may require you to have an Energy Audit with a HERS test and you should budget accordingly.