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RESNET Goal: Bring Water/Energy Efficiency Ratings to More New Homes

Posted by RESNET

Nov 29, 2016 2:53:33 PM

A new set of goals and priorities has been adopted by RESNET board of directors this month.

RESNET Goals to Achieve RESNET Mission by 2020:

  • Through education, marketing and market demand, 50% of all new homes will be HERS Rated.
  • Through education, marketing and market demand, the average HERS Index Score on new homes will meet the target energy rating Index Scores of the 2015 IECC.
  • Through education, marketing and market demand, 25% of all HERS Rated homes are WER Rated.  

Top Priorities for 2017

Improving Rating Consistency

HERS Rated House

The RESNET HERS Index Score is fast becoming a mainstream in the national housing market. Builders rely upon it to market the energy performance of their homes; code jurisdictions are adopting a HERS Index Score as a compliance option to their building energy codes; and consumers are using the scores in comparing the energy efficiency of homes they are considering purchasing. With this trend there is a need to ensure the national consistency in the ways homes are rated and scored.

The RESNET Board adopted a set of policies to ensure the national consistency of HERS Index Scores. In 2017 RESNET activities will be focused on implementing the new procedures. Activities will focus on:

  • Ensuring qualified HERS Raters and Rating Field Inspectors
  • Robust quality assurance oversight
  • Consistency is the calculation of HERS Index Scores
  • Development of quality assurance oversight infrastructure
  • Ensuring the transparency of the process
  • Working with the Building Industry, Code Advocates, Rating Industry and Local Code Jurisdictions to Adopt and Implement Energy Rating Index Option of the International Conservation Code

The International Code Council adopted a home energy rating score option for the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). This was adopted due to a partnership between environmental organizations and home builders. The new option will result in increased energy performance of homes, while giving greater flexibility to builders.

RESNET has entered into a partnership with the International Code Council educate and train code officials on the HERS Index and its benefits as a code compliance option, and having certified RESNET HERS Raters trained and certified to be energy code inspectors.

The emphasis in 2017 will be assist state and local building jurisdictions in adopting and implementing the 2015 IECC Energy Rating Index option.

Market Penetration

Through dynamic partnerships with the housing industry, product suppliers, utilities and code officials and strategic partners RESNET will Increase the penetration of the RESNET HERS Index in the housing market, and reduce HERS Index Scores

An emerging trend in the new homes market is homebuilders differentiating their homes by having their homes energy rated and marketing their homes' HERS Index Score. The RESNET national home energy rating standards have become the industry's national standard for measuring and marketing a home's energy performance. America's leading builders have entered into agreements with RESNET to have their homes energy rated.

The Homeowner Connection

In 2017, dynamic partnerships will educate consumers about the HERS Index, so they will ask for the HERS Index Score of the home they are considering to buy.  It is expected that this momentum will create a market pressure for more builders to have their homes energy rated and that consumers will ask for the HERS Index of homes. This should also affect the existing homes market also with the HERS Index becoming the "energy yardstick" of homes for sale.

New Software Tools for Partners

RESNET will develop a plan and value proposition for free competing Energy Rating Index software tools.
· Implement Partnership with the Appraisal Institute to Undertake Campaign to Give Residential Real Estate Appraisers the Tools to Consider the Energy Performance of a Home in the Market Appraisal

Working with Appraisers

RESNET is entering into a partnership with the Appraisal Institute whose goal is that the energy performance of a home is factored into a market appraisal of a home. The key elements of the RESNET Appraisal Institute partnership are:

  • Appraisers will be able to access data from RESNET Registry of rated homes. This will allow an appraiser to determine whether a home is HERS rated, and if it is, the HERS Index Score, the HERS rater that rated the home and the projected energy savings of the home. An appraiser will also be allowed to look for home with similar HERS scores in a zip code to
    determine market value.
  • Joint education effort targeted to appraisers, HERS Raters and builders on HERS Index, its benefits and how to work together

Focus on Water

RESNET will develop the ANSI/RESNET/ICC Water Efficiency Rating Index for Homes Standard

Water is the new frontier for RESNET and HERS Raters. In many parts of the nation, water is fast becoming an ever increasingly expensive commodity. There is clearly a need for a system to rate a home's efficiency in water use. This will allow homebuyers to know how efficiently water is being used in the homes they are considering to buy. It will also provide an opportunity for homebuilders to monetize the efficiency of their homes in the same fashion that the HERS Index plays for energy efficiency.

In 2017 RESNET will work with the International Code Council (ICC) in developing and adopting an ANSI standard for Water Efficiency Rating Index.

Financing Tools

RESNET will advocate for Policy and Legislation to Foster the Financing of the Improved Energy Performance of Homes.

Until sustainable and affordable financing is secured, increased home energy performance will never realize its potential. This is particularly true with the existing homes market. The most effective tool to improve existing home energy performance is to have sustainable and affordable financing. With the pressures on the federal budget, this financing will not be provided through
appropriations. A number of initiatives were introduced in Congress including the SAVE Act, extension of the residential energy efficiency tax credits, electric cooperative on-bill financing, and a performance based tax credit for improving the energy performance of existing homes.

In 2017, RESNET will continue to be effective in working with its strategic allies in advocating the introduction and passage of these initiatives. In addition, RESNET, in partnership with its strategic allies will continue to advocate for effective performance federal tax credits for both new and existing homes.

Expand RESNET's Services to Rural America

Rural Americans pay among the highest energy bills in the nation. The procedures and infrastructure in the more urban areas of America will not work for the more rural areas. A goal in 2016 is to expand RESNET's services to rural America has developed partnerships with the National Rural Electric Cooperatives Association and Touchstone Energy. The partnerships will work on addressing the barriers limiting RESNET services.


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