...an energy audit, that is! That’s a lot more than a piece of tax-time humor – it’s a growing trend that rising energy costs have made ever more practical.
A survey by Fannie Mae found that the cost of heating, cooling, and hot water is now the highest single cost of homeownership, second only to the cost of the loan on the property. When buyers are prowling through Suburban Philadelphia area listings this season, the savvier among them is beginning to look for a HERS number: its Home Energy Rating System audit score.
HERS was developed by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET). This score represents the foremost nationally recognized system for calculating energy efficiency. Even if a formal HERS audit hasn’t been conducted (listings feature those that have), knowing how they calculate their findings gives buyers and sellers a conceptual basis for comparing prospective local property purchases. Items inspected include:
- Building envelope features (windows, doors, insulation, ducts) and ages
- Heating, cooling and ventilation equipment types, characteristics and ages
- Appliance and lighting characteristics
- Comfort complaints
- Visible moisture issues
- Visible health and safety issues
When a full HERS Index is calculated, the lower the score, the greater the home’s energy efficiency. According to RESNET, more than 1,100,000 homes now have a HERS score — including 40% of all new homes. It’s why more and more existing homeowners find that including a HERS score in their listings adds a powerful competitive selling point.
Contact me if you would like help preparing a marketing package. It could one that features your own HERS score: if your home is energy efficient, that’s one audit we’ll want to volunteer for!