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What is your home's MPG?
OK, Your home doesn't get any Miles Per Gallon like your car, but, it does have something similar called HERS. This stands for Home Energy Rating System. Home builders ought to put this on their new homes like car dealers put MPG on new cars. When you shop for a new car do you ever consider the MPG? Sure you do. However, many home builders know that the home buyer's realtor is shopping square footage for the buck. A realtor will show their home buyers homes that are listed where they get more Living Area for the $$$. Nobody has ever requested that their realtor show them homes that have a LOW HERS rating (lower is better). Unfortunately, those homes the realtor comes up with will probably rate well above 100. 100 is the rating of the Standard New Home. The end result is the home buyer got a deal for a lot of floor space for the money they spent, however their electric bill is much higher than they might have expected. It's true that you might wind up paying an extra $25.00 a month house payment for a home with a low HERS rating, but at the same time you might be paying $50.00 less for energy on that same home. Is it beginning to make sense yet? Most existing homes will have a HERS of 110 to 150 while the "Standard New Home" should have the base line of 100. A new home with higher efficient energy products such as thicker foam insulation, 18 SEER HVAC might have a HERS closer to a 70. I have had clients share concern of the higher price of foam insulation but unknowing that the additional cost return on investment is less than five years in energy savings.
The HERS system of rating houses tell us how energy efficient their new home is as compared to a "Standard New Home" which is given a base line number of 100. Older homes will have a higher HERS number indicating it is much less energy efficient than the Standard New Home. Newer homes built today will have a lower HERS number where a home that consumes absolutely no energy will have a HERS number of Zero. That's not a home where everything is turned off either. These homes are called Zero Energy Homes and are fully self reliant for their energy needs and does not require to be connected to the power grid. If your homes has a HERS of 70 or less it is considered "High Performance". Only 5% of new homes have a HERS of 70 or less.