Lower HERSĀ® ratings = greater energy efficiency

What's a HERS® rating?

HERS® stands for Home Energy Rating System. The HERS® index was created by RESNET® and it has become an industry standard for rating home energy efficiency.*

How do I read the rating?

Each 1-point decrease on the index is designed to correspond to a 1% reduction in energy consumption, compared to the baseline reference home (which has a score of 100).**

Example 1: A home scoring 70 on the HERS® Index is 30% more energy efficient than the reference home.

Example 2: According to RESNET®, the U.S. Department of Energy has determined a typical resale home has a HERS® rating of 130.*** That's 30% less energy efficient than the reference home. 

Home Energy Rating System Graph

Watch this video by RESNET® to learn more:

This material is presented for informational and illustrative purposes only.

Learn more on hersindex.com

Where can I find a home's HERS® rating?

Look for Projected Ratings on floor plans throughout our site or ask your sales associate for program details in your area.

Each new home built will also receive a Confirmed Rating—not just an estimate—provided by a Certified HERS® Rater. They'll perform on-site visual observations and tests for rated features following RESNET®/ANSI®/ICC® standards.

Plan page with HERS score

What can lower a home’s HERS® rating?

We make a point to offer features and options that help cut down on energy usage, reduce waste and create an efficient environment in your home. Some of these may include:

1
Efficient HVAC system designed to perform efficiently for each plan. More efficient HVAC equipment—such as up to 16 SEER air conditioning and mid- or high-efficiency furnaces—can also help lower the HERS® rating. Variable-speed ECM furnaces can also use less energy.

Mechanically controlled ventilation helps promote better indoor air quality by providing a controlled amount of outdoor air. Dedicated ventilators can help lower the HERS® rating.
2
Advanced framing methods help reduce lumber used, increase effective insulation and reduce waste.
3
Effective insulation solutions help balance temperatures throughout the house for increased comfort. Quality installed insulation can help improve energy efficiency and lower the HERS® rating.

Radiant barriers reduce summer heat gain and lower cooling costs by reflecting radiant solar heat that would otherwise be absorbed by the home.

Interior air sealing helps separate a home's living space from the outdoors, reducing infiltration, drafts, dust and pollen while cutting down on loss of conditioned air. Reducing air leakage can help lower the HERS® rating.
4
Energy-efficient windows can affect a home's HERS® rating in a variety of ways. Low-emissivity coatings reflect infrared light to help keep heat inside in winter and outside in summer. A window's U-Factor measures how well it can keep heat from escaping a room, while its Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) expresses how well it can resist unwanted heat gain. Lower numbers mean less energy spent in heating and cooling.
5
Tankless water heaters provide hot water on demand, typically using less energy without sacrificing comfort and convenience. High-efficiency tankless water heaters can help reduce the HERS® rating.

High-efficiency lighting, such as LED and CFL lights, provide comparable light while using less energy, which can contribute to a lower HERS® score.

Programmable thermostats allow the homeowner to reduce home heating and cooling requirements during times that the home is not occupied and at night.

Energy-efficient appliances use less energy to perform the same function as standard appliances, leading to savings over the life of the device. Many appliances offered or available such as dishwashers, refrigerators, washers and dryers are also ENERGY STAR® qualified.
6
Solar power systems can reduce a home’s reliance on non-renewable energy sources and lower its HERS® rating by 20 points or more (based on a system size of 4 kW).
Energy Efficient Home Diagram
Options and specifications may vary. Check your local Sales Center for details on what's available in your area.

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Want to learn more? Call 888.910.8055 with questions about HERS® ratings, our solar power program, ENERGY STAR® homes, Indoor airPLUS® and other ways we're helping homebuyers live greener.

* RESNET® has developed the HERS® index to indicate the comparative efficiencies of homes. It is no guarantee that energy efficiencies or cost savings will be achieved.

** A baseline reference home is a hypothetical home configured in accordance with the specifications set forth in the National Home Energy Rating Technical Guidelines for the purpose of calculating rating scores.

*** Average Home Energy Rating System Index for homes in the RESNET® (Residential Energy Services Network) Registry from January 2013 through December 2021.

The RESNET®, HERS®, ANSI® and ICC® are registered trademarks and are the property of their owners, who are not affiliated with, connected to or sponsored by the Richmond American Homes companies.