Understanding the Home Energy Score
Department of Energy is the author of this article
Like a miles-per-gallon rating for a car, the Home Energy Score is an easy-to-produce rating designed to help homeowners and homebuyers gain useful information about a home’s energy performance. Based on an in-home assessment that can be completed in less than an hour, the Home Energy Score not only lets a homeowner understand how efficient the home is and how it compares to others, but also provides recommendations on how to cost-effectively improve the home’s energy efficiency.
The Home Energy Score uses a simple 1-to-10 scale where a 10 represents the most energy efficient homes. Mouse over the Home Energy Score graphic above to learn what specific parts of the label mean. Click on the “Show All Hotspots” button to see all places information is hidden in the graphic or click on the button below to request a score.
Sell Faster, Buy Smarter
REALTORS and Real Estate Agents Benefit from Home Energy Scores.
Homes Sell Faster with Energy Disclosure
Homebuyers appreciate having as much information as possible when comparing homes, and the Home Energy Score helps convey this information. One study found that homes disclosing energy costs – even when those costs were high – closed at a higher percentage of the asking price and spent less time on the market than comparable homes that did not disclose energy costs.
Customers Want to Know More About Home Energy Costs
Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) provide the Home Energy Score to buyers. States across the country are adopting the Score to ensure energy efficiency information is consistent and credible.
“We’re helping change the conversation,” said Hilary Bourasa, a principal broker with Meadows Group Inc. Realtors. “It’s taking the focus away from granite counter tops and stainless-steel appliances and putting it on housing affordability.”
Financial Incentives Make the Score Attractive for Home Improvements
With Fannie Mae’s Home Style Energy mortgage, borrowers can finance up to 15% of a home’s “as completed” appraised value for energy efficiency improvements by receiving a Home Energy Score. Borrowers in this program can also qualify for a stretch on their debt-to-income ratios for homes that score a 6 or higher, or for making improvements to a less efficient home. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has a similar policy that allows larger debt-to-income ratios for high scoring homes. These policies reflect the fact that more efficient homes have lower operating costs.
Interested in more? Contact Terry, your Commendable Home Inspector, and certified D.O E. Energy Assessor, to have your listing scored for energy usage.