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
- There are NO Minimum Requirements. The Builder “Builds the house
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
- ENERGY STAR needed qualified professionals to verify their
program requirements and a way to demonstrate the homes “energy
- 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.
- Currently, RESNET is the only organization that applied and
has met the requirements.
- 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.
- 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”.
- 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.
- Hence, HERS Raters are allowed to perform the ENERGY STAR
testing and inspections, following ENERGY STAR requirements and
- ENERGY STAR includes components of a HERS Rating.
- HERS Ratings Do Not include any ENERGY STAR Requirements!