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A Low HERS Score Delivers High Returns

September 19, 2018

When you’re looking for a home that is high on energy efficiency, look for a low number.  The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) was established to provide a careful standard for evaluating new and resale homes. With this particular series of tests, you don’t want to score high on the scale. In fact, a low HERS score delivers high returns. So, Cothran Homes aims low when we build our homes and communities in Greenville, SC, and the surrounding area.The HERS scale runs from 0 to 150. A rating of 100 is the industry standard for energy efficiency. On the upper end of the scale is a home that doesn’t deliver on energy efficiency or comfort. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) established that a typical resale home rates a 130, which means it’s 30% less energy efficient than this baseline. A typical new construction home that was built to 2004/2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) is rated 100 on the HERS Index. Convert those percentage points into dollars and 30% equals approximately $539 in annual energy savings!Every point below that level indicates a percentage point of improvement. So, a home that has been inspected by a certified HERS rater and given a 70 HERS score is 30% more energy efficient than a typical new home and 60% better than a typical resale.Can your home ace this test?The HERS inspection literally examines a home from top to bottom:

  • All exterior walls, above and below grade
  • Floors covering unconditioned spaces (garages and cellars)
  • Ceilings
  • Roof
  • Attic, foundation, and crawlspaces
  • Windows and doors
  • Vents and ductwork
  • HVAC system
  • Water heating system
  • Thermostat

The third-party-certified inspector looks for leaks and checks the effectiveness of your systems and insulation, as well as identifying any possible combustion safety issues.More than 2 million homes have undergone the in-depth HERS inspection since the program was started.The rewards of a low HERS scoreThere’s significant value in learning the HERS rating of a home—whether it’s the one you own or one you’re thinking about buying:

  • Save on energy bills. With more energy efficiency throughout your home, you save money on your utility bills.
  • Lower cost of homeownership. Those high energy bills should be factored in when calculating the total cost of ownership. 
  • Higher resale value. A home that can verify its energy efficiency with a low HERS index rating has been shown to gain an average of 8% in resale value.
  • Qualify for an energy mortgageThis mortgage credits the value of a home’s energy efficiency, which could allow for a higher debt-to-income ratio for the homebuyer.

HERS and OURSCothran Homes is committed to building quality homes. A high degree of energy efficiency is a major component of this standard. Our new construction single-family homes and townhomes reflect the latest advances in materials and methods—and we back  each home with the Cothran Homes 10-year structural warranty. Our homes earn an average HERS score of 68—32% more energy-efficient than other new homes! Before you choose a new home, be sure to ask about the HERS rating. We’re happy to show you ours!

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