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: 258

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

Profile IconMark Bloomfield, Effective Basement Solutions, Ricardo and 4 more joined Home Energy Pros
3 hours ago
Paul Raymer posted a blog post

Rocket Science?

The old expression when something is supposed to be simple is to say that, “This is not rocket…See More
9 hours ago
Sean Lintow Sr replied to Jim Gunshinan's discussion Tax Time Blues
"Well if I had to guess your credit will be 0 as it used to be up to $1500 & wasn't as hard…"
10 hours ago
Hannah Miller commented on Adam Flowers's blog post Comfort as a Selling Point
"Hello Adam! I hope you are still messages from this site. I just was forwarded your post and it…"
19 hours ago
Michael Dunseith replied to robert jones's discussion Should your local weatherization company be required to have someone BPI certified on their staff?
"Why the concern with airflow around heating and domestic pipes? Most are inside the envelope. What…"
21 hours ago
Tom White posted a video

Weatherization to Home Performance -- Tools & Tips for Developing For-profit Services

Are you a low income weatherization contractor looking to add home performance work you your services? The Home Performance Resource Center, Efficiency First, and NCAF present resources developed through expert industry engagement. While many of the…
23 hours ago
Jim Gunshinan posted a discussion

Tax Time Blues

There is a tax credit available to homeowners who have walls insulated. The credits were continued…See More
23 hours ago
Bruce Glanville replied to robert jones's discussion Should your local weatherization company be required to have someone BPI certified on their staff?
"I have been testing homes for my state utility as a baseline residential load data collection…"
23 hours ago

© 2015   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service