ENERGY STAR versus a HERS Rating

What is the difference between Energy Star and a HERS Rating? There has been much confusion between the two; that they are the same or related to each other, but they are not. We explain the difference here.

What is ENERGY STAR for New Homes?

  • ENERGY STAR for New Homes is a federal program of the EPA.
  • ENERGY STAR has verification requirements to confirm that the home was built to the program’s requirements and needs trained people to verify these requirements.
  • This includes “checklists” to verify these requirements and are Only used for the ENERGY STAR Program.

What is RESNET and a HERS Ratings?

  • Basically, RESNET creates standards and procedures on how to measure a home’s energy efficiency that are nationally recognized.
  • HERS Ratings only follow the RESNET Standards and Procedures. There are No formal “checklists” with requirements that need to be completed. The Rater must only verify the rated features of the home.
  • This means the Rater must verify that what was installed in the home is accurately reflected in the rating software, and includes the grading of the insulation install.
  • A blower door and duct leakage test is also performed at a final inspection.
  • There are NO Minimum Requirements. The Builder “Builds the house their way” and then can see what the HERS score is. Lower the number, the better the energy efficiency.

How do ENERGY STAR and a HERS Ratings Relate

  1. ENERGY STAR needed qualified professionals to verify their program requirements and a way to demonstrate the homes “energy efficiency”.
  2. Any organization that can meet the EPA’s ENERGY STAR for New Homes requirements to determine a home’s “energy efficiency” and has standards, policies and procedures for this and certification of qualified professionals to measure the “energy efficiency” can apply as a verification organization.
  3. Currently, RESNET is the only organization that applied and has met the requirements.
  4. As RESNET standards, policies, procedures, HERS score calculations, quality assurance procedures, etc. meet the ENERGY STAR verifier organization requirements, RESNET and their certified raters where approved to perform the testing and inspections for the ENERGY STAR program.
  5. To not “rewrite the book” ENERGY STAR as adopted some items from the RESNET standards and HERS score calculations, as RESNET is the only organization that has a recognized method of calculating a home’s “energy efficiency”.
  6. These ENERGY STAR specific program requirements are not directly related to RESNET standards, policies and procedures and HERS Scores. They are used by ENERGY STAR.