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: 221

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.

Latest Activity

Christopher Morin's blog post was featured

5 Things New Energy Efficiency HVAC Contractors Need to Know

1. Do not sell on Price! Use 'Simple Payback'The price of High-efficient equipment will undoubtedly…See More
13 hours ago
Jim Gunshinan's blog post was featured
13 hours ago
Profile IconDan Liska and Rob Moreno joined Home Energy Pros
13 hours ago
Jim Gunshinan posted a blog post
15 hours ago
Kim Tanner commented on Diane Chojnowski's group Home Energy Pros on Twitter
"Follow The Energy Conservatory on Twitter! We'll follow…"
18 hours ago
Kim Tanner joined Diane Chojnowski's group
Thumbnail

Home Energy Pros on Twitter

We've created a twitter list of members of Home Energy Pros who tweet!See More
18 hours ago
Bud Poll replied to Kaushal Bharath Raju's discussion Affordability & Deep Energy Upgrade/Passive House Retrofit in Berkeley, California.
"Hi Kaushal, First step is to understand where you are in terms of energy costs.  If current…"
21 hours ago
Kaushal Bharath Raju posted a discussion

Affordability & Deep Energy Upgrade/Passive House Retrofit in Berkeley, California.

We have a small 1940s single level house (1005sqf) in Berkeley, California that is in need of a…See More
yesterday
Christopher Morin posted a blog post

5 Things New Energy Efficiency HVAC Contractors Need to Know

1. Do not sell on Price! Use 'Simple Payback'The price of High-efficient equipment will undoubtedly…See More
yesterday
David Eggleton commented on David Eggleton's group Considering Permaculture &/or Transition
"In August 2014, in Minnesota, there's another unprecedented opportunity to meet and mix with a…"
yesterday
Glen Gallo commented on Jim Gunshinan's blog post Energy Upgrade California—Up Close and Personal
"Nate, RE: Duct test On my own home and a rental I have tested more than once over the last many…"
yesterday
Profile Iconangela hines and Charles Goldman joined Home Energy Pros
yesterday

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service