Imagine you are in the market to buy a car and comparing your options. You are weighing a number of factors in your purchasing decision, including performance, cost, size, and appearance. When you ask the salesperson what the miles-per-gallon rating for each car is, they shrug and say, “I don’t know.” Even if fuel efficiency is not the only factor you are considering, this would probably concern you as a prospective buyer.
And yet, this is how most people make decisions when buying or renting a home: without any information about how much energy the home is expected to use, how much this will cost them, or how to cost-effectively lower energy expenses.
Developed by DOE and its national laboratories, the Home Energy Score provides home owners, buyers, and renters directly comparable and credible information about a home's energy use. Like a miles-per-gallon rating for a car, the Home Energy Score is based on a standard assessment of energy-related assets to easily compare energy use across the housing market.
Great Midwestern Home Inspections has completed the necessary training and testing to be designated as a Home Energy Score Assessor. As an approved Assessor we can properly evaluate your Home's envelop and primary systems (HVAC and water heating), collecting the "Home Facts" needed to calculated a Home Energy Score that is accurate and meaningful.
We process the specific data we collect on your home through the Home Energy Score software.
The software then yields the Home Energy Score Report.
The Home Energy Score Report estimates home energy use, associated costs, and provides cost-effective energy solutions to improve the home’s efficiency. Each Home Energy Score is shown on a simple one-to-ten scale, where a ten represents the most efficient homes.
Scoring a “1” does not mean your home is poorly built. A beautiful home with up-to-date equipment can still get a low score if the square footage is high or if there is insufficient insulation. A low score just means there is significant room for improvement to reduce a home’s energy use.
The Home Facts section (sample pages below) gives you all of the data we collected to calculate your Home Energy Score. In addition to providing facts about the building “envelope” (roof, foundation, walls, insulation, windows), energy systems (heating, cooling, hot water), and floor area, this section also provides energy use estimates for the home.
Recommendations that come with the Score are expected to pay back in ten years or less based on state average utility rates and national average installation rates.
We may provide different or additional recommendations that reflect local rebates or other incentives the Scoring Tool does not consider.
.....but I can get a free Energy Audit from my utility.....
Many local utilities do provides free Home Energy Audits, in fact that is how we got involved in Home Inspections back in the 1980's, as a utility residential energy auditor.
One of the fundamental purposes of the Home Energy Score is to provide consumers with a consistent and uniform means of comparing the energy efficiency of various properties across the nation. The accomplishment of that goal is best represented by the Home Energy (1 to 10) Score. A free utility energy audit does not accomplish that goal.
We would hasten to point out that we are by NO means disparaging the fine work of the local utility. In fact, we would encourage Home Owners of taking advantage of both programs, as often the utility energy audit is the gateway to other programs and incentives.