A home energy rating is one of the simplest ways for a homeowner or buyer to understand the comfort and affordability of the home they are living in or purchasing. Home energy ratings are given to homes after a variety of assessments have been completed, most often using the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index, which is the industry standard for measuring a home's energy efficiency.
Determined through an evaluation of the home's energy consumption, the HERS Index takes into consideration factors such as heating, cooling, water heating and lights. The score from this assessment gives the homeowner an idea of his or her home's efficiency. Lower scores equate to higher energy efficiency.
Many states and cities nationwide require homeowners to disclose the energy rating of their home. If you're a homeowner, knowing your energy rating will help you better understand the types of energy costs to expect as well as how to improve your score and lower costs. If you're in search of a new place to live, knowing your prospective home's energy rating is a good way to gauge how much you would pay in utilities. This information also provides insight into any home systems that are not working correctly and potentially hidden problems.