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What Is a HERS Rating? | Home Efficiency Santa Fe


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Learn what a HERS rating is and how it factors into the construction and use of a home. This rating matters when it comes to home energy efficiency. -

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What Is a HERS Rating? | Home Efficiency Santa Fe

  1. 1. What is a HERS Rating? Dee Bangert Pre-Construction Services HERS Rater
  2. 2.  In 1995, representatives of the national mortgage industry, the National Association of State Energy Officials, and Energy Rated Homes of America founded the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET).  RESNET, guided by the mortgage industry, developed national standards for home energy ratings and energy mortgages.  In 2002, RESNET became a 501 (C) (3).  RESNET develops the rating standards and administers the training and certification of Raters and Quality Assurance Providers.
  3. 3.  Before July 1, 2006 the rating was known as a “score”.  Now the HERS Index is used to compare a home’s energy use with that of the American Standard Home - sometimes also called the “Reference Home”.  The Reference Home has a set of criteria which do not change, such as: ◦ It is wood frame and the same size as the rated home ◦ It has 18% glazing area and distributed equally between North, South, East and West. ◦ Same fuel and equipment type as the rated home for heating, cooling and water heating, except with efficiency ratings of federal minimums.
  4. 4. The American Standard Home is given a score of 100, while a Net Zero Energy Home is Given a 0. Each point on the Index equates to 1% energy use. A lower number is better. Energy Star version 2 Required a HERS Index of 85, 15% better than the Reference House. A HERS Index is also used by LEED for Homes and the National Green Building Standard. Lower Index scores are required for higher levels of certification.
  5. 5.  Plan Evaluation ◦ A Projected Rating can be given from a set of plans and specifications. Estimates are used for test data such as air infiltration (Blower Door) and duct leakage. ◦ Measurements can be taken for existing home’s window, door, floor and wall areas among other things.  On Site Inspections ◦ Insulation Inspections allow for the highest grade of installation to be used in the rating. ◦ A Thermal Bypass Inspection is required by Energy Star.  Testing ◦ A Confirmed Rating will require a Blower Door and Duct Leakage tests. ◦ Palo Santo suggests having a Duct Leakage test done at rough-in to ensure success at completion.
  6. 6.  Plan Evaluation ◦ It is suggested that this be done toward the end of the design phase, so the design can still be modified to meet the energy goals.  On Site Inspections ◦ Under slab insulation inspections can be eliminated if photos are provided, but it will still receive the lowest grade for installation. This can affect the HERS Index. ◦ A Thermal Bypass Inspection is required by the City of Santa Fe’s Residential Green Building Code, LEED for Homes, and Energy Star.  Testing ◦ A Confirmed Rating will require a Blower Door and Duct Leakage tests.
  7. 7.  Tax Incentives – New Mexico ◦ Sustainable Building Tax Credit, for homes certified in Build Green New Mexico or LEED-H could receive a tax credit. ◦ Solar Tax Credit – 10% or up to $9,000 for homeowner.  Tax Incentives – Federal ◦ Energy Efficient Tax Credit - $2,000 for the contractor (through 2016) ◦ Solar Tax Credit – 30% of cost for homeowner
  8. 8. RESNET has approved three different software companies for HERS Ratings. REM/Rate is the most used by HERS raters in New Mexico.
  9. 9. Libraries allow for many building types to be created. Through the use of the library items, a house can be created with any number of combinations of wall type, foundation type, ceiling type and mechanical equipment. Utility Rates are also set to report on cost of energy used.
  10. 10. Above Grade Wall Types
  11. 11. Mechanical Equipment Requires information such as: The efficiency ratings of heating, cooling and water heating equipment Location of equipment Thermostat settings
  12. 12. Air Infiltration (Blower Door) These results are estimated for a projected rating based on the guidelines of the program qualifying for. Final results are entered for a Confirmed Rating. Mechanical Ventilation Systems Heat Recovery Ventilators and Energy Recovery Ventilators help HERS score. Other ventilation is needed to qualify for some green building programs. City of Santa Fe now requires meeting ASHRAE 62.2.
  13. 13. Duct Systems Allows for more than one system. Requires information such as: Location, R-value of insulation on ducts as well as which mechanical equipment uses it. Leakage rates are estimated for the Projected Rating based on the program, and final results are entered for the Confirmed Rating.
  14. 14. Blower Door: Tectite
  15. 15. Quick Reports: Energy Annual load Annual Consumption Annual Energy Cost Quick and easy way to see how changes effect energy usage
  16. 16. Quick Reports: Compliance HERS Index Pass/Fail for Energy Star Pass/Fail for Federal Tax Credit Pass/Fail for IECC and other energy codes Quick and easy way to see how changes effect the HERS Index
  17. 17. Projected Rating: Energy Star This is what you would receive as confirmation that the planned building meets Energy Star. Once the final tests are completed, the file is reviewed by the Quality Assurance Provider and the word DRAFT is removed. This is just one of many reports available.
  18. 18. Detailed Reports Action Report Action - Graphic Report Air Leakage Report Building file Builder Affidavit Building File Report Component Consumption Summary Component Consumption Summary Graphic Component Loads Summary Component Loads Summary Graphic Component Design Loads Summary Component Design Loads Summary Graphic Economic Summary Emissions Report Energy Cost & Feature Equipment Sizing Fuel Summary Lights and Appliances Summary Performance Summary Performance Summary Graphic Performance Factors Source Energy & Emissions Utility Bill Reconciliation ASHRAE 90.2 Reports Energy Star Reports (7) IECC Compliance Reports (1998 – 2006)
  19. 19.  Palo Santo Designs LLC is an Award Winning General Contractor specializing in the design and construction of Fine Custom Homes, Renovations and Distinctive Commercial Spaces in the Santa Fe area. Our experience is unsurpassed in the design and construction of high performance buildings, utilizing the most effective methods for energy and water efficiency, sustainability and comfort.