Get Ready for a Lower HERS Index in ENERGY STAR Version 3!

ENERGY STAR Homes, Version 3

Last week I got the new version of REM/Rate, the accredited home energy rating software that we use here at Energy Vanguard Energy Ratings, and it has the ENERGY STAR Version 2.5 and Version 3 requirements built in. I've checked a few files with it now, and it looks like the new requirements make a pretty big improvement in the HERS Index required for a home to qualify for the ENERGY STAR label.

In my first report on the ENERGY STAR Version 3 guidelines, I discussed the individualized HERS Index targets that a home would have to meet to qualify for the ENERGY STAR. Since 2006, most of the
country has had to come in at or lower than a HERS Index of 85, including IECC climate zones 2, 3, and 4, where most of our raters are. In the coldest parts of the US, the requirement is a HERS Index of 80 or lower.

With the Versions 2.5 and 3, each home has its own HERS Index target. As you can see in the table below, the average HERS Index for the 10 homes I sampled (all of which are in climate zones 2, 3, or 4) is 73.

energy star homes version 3 hers index table iecc

Notice that, based only on the HERS Index, all of these homes qualify in Version 2, but only 3 qualify in Version 3. The new HERS Index target goes into effect with Version 2.5, which applies to all homes permitted starting at the beginning of 2011. (See my article on the recent ENERGY STAR training I went to for the timeline showing when to use Version 2, 2.5, or 3.)

SAF in the table stands for Size Adjustment Factor, which is the penalty that houses have to pay when they go above the benchmark home size. Of the homes above, 5 were above the benchmark size, and thus had to meet a lower HERS Index to qualify, as indicated in the fourth column. The benchmark home size is the maximum size allowed without penalty for a house with a given number of bedrooms, shown in the table below.

As you can see, homes will definitely have to be more energy efficient to qualify for the ENERGY STAR homes label in Version 3 of the program. This requirement kicks in with Version 2.5, which applies to all homes permitted in 2011, as well as those permitted before 2011 but finished after 1 July 2011. Grade I insulation installation and reduced thermal bridging are two of the ways that homes will have to improve, both of which are required in Version 3.


This article has been cross-posted from the Energy Vanguard blog.

Views: 264

Tags: 3, ENERGY, STAR, Version

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Comment by Allison A. Bailes III on December 2, 2010 at 4:36am
I just posted a 16 page white paper on ENERGY STAR Version 3 on our website, and you can download it for free by clicking the link below. In it, I cover what's new, what are most likely to be the difficult parts, advice for the various stakeholders (raters, builders, trades, & providers), and more.

http://bit.ly/hGyP1X.

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.  Home Energy Pros is sponsored by the Better Buildings Residential Network.

Latest Activity

Dan Martens added a discussion to the group Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase
Thumbnail

Fluke Thermal Imager and Minneapolis Blower Door for sale

I have a Fluke TiR Thermal Imager purchased 5 years ago and a complete Minneapolis Blower Door…See More
5 hours ago
Dan Martens joined allen p tanner's group
Thumbnail

Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase

Discuss the pros and cons of the equipment you are interested in prior to purchase. Post equipment…See More
6 hours ago
Todd Collins replied to Carly@AirCycler's discussion The (Small) Cost of Ventilation Without Recovery
"I get it ... the article is focused on cost.  Cost is not why people put an ERV or HRV in a…"
8 hours ago
Green Training USA posted events
14 hours ago
Crosbey Archery posted a photo

Timber-Double-doors

This door is made and hand finished at Bradford workshops by skilled craftsmen.…
18 hours ago
Green Training USA updated an event
Thumbnail

BPI CEU's - Online Anytime at Online

December 4, 2014 to December 3, 2015
Get All 30 BPI CEUAvoid BPI's Written Exams for Certification Renewal…See More
19 hours ago
David I. Shepherd-Gaw added a discussion to the group Job Board
Thumbnail

JOB: Energy Efficiency Specialist @ Cowlitz PUD

Primarily a position with a residential focus in a great community. Opportunities to expand your…See More
yesterday
David I. Shepherd-Gaw joined Diane Chojnowski's group
Thumbnail

Job Board

This group is for posting jobs related to all aspects of the home performance industry including…See More
yesterday

© 2015   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service