Think about this: There’s a way to compare the fuel efficiency between a Camry and a Prius, a way to compare the number of calories in a can of tomato soup to the calories in a can of chicken noodle soup, why not have a way to compare the energy efficiency of one home to that of another? Seems like a simple idea, and given the fact that for most of us, our home is the single largest investment we will ever make, having a tool that lets you compare one home’s energy performance to another is a pretty valuable thing when you’re shopping for a home.
The Home Energy Rating System, or HERS, is a rigorous, highly accurate way to gauge the energy efficiency of any home. Which means it’s an excellent way to compare the energy efficiency of any two or more homes.
And it’s another first for Daybreak.
“Daybreak was the first community in Utah to commit to 100% Energy Star certification,” explains Piper Rhodes, Daybreak’s sustainability and energy efficiency guru. “Now we’re the first community in the country to commit to 100% HERS certification.”
From now on, every new home in Daybreak will be tested by an independent energy rater and receive a Home Energy Rating System certificate. If you look closely at the HERS certificate shown HERE, you’ll see it provides a wealth of detailed information. It shows the projected energy use — and associated energy cost — of various home systems: heating, cooling, appliances, hot water, etc. But the piece of information that’s probably the most useful is the overall rating number, which in this case is a 52. That’s the number you can use to compare the energy efficiency of this particular home to any other home that has a HERS rating.
“It’s just like the miles-per-gallon sticker on a new car,” Rhodes says. “It lets you compare the actual energy performance of various homes.” She goes on to point out that, as with cars, your home’s efficiency will depend largely on your behavior — how you set your thermostats and whether you leave windows open and lights on.
So what does that 52 rating mean? It means this home almost 50% more efficient than a typical new home built to current state code. Typical new homes get an average HERS score of 100. The average home built between 1990 and 2006 scores a rather inefficient 130 — meaning you’ll spend a lot more on energy than you would with the average Daybreak home.
And that charming little bungalow in Sugar House? “It’s probably a 200 or worse,” Rhodes says. “Which isn’t very charming.”
You can learn more about Daybreak’s commitment to HERS here.