Home Energy Rating System Council Guidelines

The Home Energy Rating Systems Council (HERSC) is a nonprofit association whose focus is to promote residential energy efficiency nationwide by linking home energy rating programs with financing for energy-efficiency improvements. The council maintains that once the linkage between home energy ratings and energy-efficiency financing is established, energy-efficient homes will become more available and affordable.

The council draws its members from the full spectrum of the housing industry and financial community. These include individu­als from the appraisal industry, builders, certified raters, consumer groups, contractors/retrofitters, energy and environmental groups, state and local governments, mortgage companies, product and equipment manufacturers, real estate professionals, and utilities.

Home energy rating systems (HERS) measure and rate the rela­tive energy efficiency of any house, regardless of its age, location, construction type, or fuel use. The rating evaluates the performance of the thermal envelope; glazing strategies; siting; the heating, ven­tilation, and air-condition (HVAC) system; and other criteria and is obtained by onsite inspection. HERS calculations include estimates of annual energy performance and costs and can provide insight into cost-effective, energy-efficiency improvements. Under the voluntary guidelines, homes would receive an energy performance rating of one to five-plus stars. The guidelines spell out the minimum appropriate procedures for assigning energy ratings to homes and encourage con­sistency with a uniform plan for energy-efficiency financing.