Our company is a regional partner organization for Home Energy Score and we are getting ready to launch the program this month. I wanted to start a thread to get some thoughts.
These are just a couple thoughts I had so far, but I'd really enjoy some dialogue about this new and exciting program.
MPG ratings are not done on every car, and it is waste to do them on every house, for what? A sales gimmick. Production Houses are all the same, “built to code”, they are all bad or worse. The idea that each house needs an individual test/score would only be rational to those who profit from testing, certification, rely on tax dollars, and are not burdened by having to make a profit. If Pulte built 30,000 houses in 2004 after you test the 1st 5 you can predict the next 29,995 within the tolerances of your testing, If you can’t you should not be in the business. Why do this, endless, needles testing? Better yet, I have to get my BPI or RESNET merit badge to facilitate all this waste? I thought we were efficiency experts? Looks like just another make work jobs program.
Energy usage and savings estimates are now routinely modeled without a home visit much more accurately than an auditor doing the full dog and pony show audit in the home. Even human behavior can be seen in the models, accounted for, and predicted.
Why are we stuck on tricks, toys, and gimmicks?
Home Energy magazine published an article last year about Germany's Energy Performance Certificate (Energieausweis) which objectively documents a building’s energy performance and provides specific hints for improvement. The law now requires that an Energy Performance Certificate be available for a property if a potential buyer or tenant requests one. This example might be of interest to folks involved with the HEScore pilots or interested in scoring in other countries.
The MPG analogy has been a concern for those of us that design and build Passive Solar homes. A blower door test and a check list just didn't present the real energy consumption of these types of homes and most modeling programs leave out the passive contributions. We have deployed energy use and environmental sensors that collect the data required to satisfy the REAL mpg style energy efficiency of a building. We simply fill in the parameters required to determine the UA value based on: Q total (total energy required to maintain a temperature) = UA * (Temp inside - Temp outside) . We monitor insolation, wind speed and direction, humidity and multiple zones of temperatures to determine the UA based on a variety of conditions. Our average UA value is HALF of that calculated using ResCheck. This is largely due to the lac of recognition of solar contributions for a correctly designed passive aperture. When Q total is actually viewed as Q auxilary ( excluding Q internal gains + Q passive solar) , we can truly measure the energy efficiency of a building.
Blower doors actually suck at determining the benefits of a well designed passive solar home. They have their place in measuring infiltration and finding holes in existing building, but proper new construction materials and methods will control air leakage to well within minimum standards.
Zachary - The HES launch for June was a "no go". There is an "update" webinar scheduled for July 23. Do you think this thing is going to be delayed again? In light of the many scheduled "launches" that have been cancelled in the past year, what do you think the problem is in getting it started?
I can't really comment on why there have so been many delays on the launch. I can tell you though that HEScore Partners have begun testing and are certifying assessors. Our organization has tested or is scheduled to test over 20 individuals - so far several have passed both parts of the test and are Home Energy Score Certified Assessors and are eligible to start scoring homes.
So the June launch actually did occur... I'm unaware of a July webinar. There is usually a monthly webinar but this month there is an in-person meeting at the REES conference in Arlington, VA.