There are professionals who perform energy ratings and can identify how your home could be improved. You are provided a HERS rating.
The HERS Index is a scoring system established by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) in which a home built to the specifications of the HERS Reference Home (based on the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code) scores a HERS Index of 100, while a net zero energy home scores a HERS Index of 0. The lower a homeâ€™s HERS Index, the more energy efficient it is in comparison to the HERS Reference Home.
Each 1-point decrease in the HERS Index corresponds to a 1% reduction in energy consumption compared to the HERS Reference Home. Thus a home with a HERS Index of 85 is 15% more energy efficient than the HERS Reference Home and a home with a HERS Index of 80 is 20% more energy efficient.
Eco Broker is a new designation whereby a real estate agent is provided 3 in-depth journals which touch on all areas of energy efficient and environmentally efficient homes. After passing a test, the agent is better qualified to assist clients in identifying the true features from claims. There are some builders who do the minimum, such as a radiant barrier, and call the house green. While a radiant barrier is certainly a very important green feature, the house would not qualify with that single feature.
I attended a conference in Denver and participated in 3 days of panels and presentations. There, we had the opportunity to learn a great deal about lending practices, product features, and many other factors that affect the energy efficiency of a home.
While there probably are builders who do nothing to improve the efficiency of the homes they build, their buyers will have homes that will be much harder to resell. This is not a trend. This is a shift in the way home building is viewed. Always, there are those on the leading edge all the way to those who join when they have to face the change.
Those of us who have embraced this change are in a great position to assist our clients. Just as your profit is made when you buy, not when you sell, the same thing can be said for energy efficient. Seven years from now, it will be an expectation. Those who recognize that now are in a much better position to experience value increases in the future.
Betina Foreman, Realtor Austin Texas
Standards for green homes might include direction, instant hot water, lighting, solar panels, min AC SEER rating, min insulation rating, construction materials such as bamboo, insulation types such as foam vs blow, radiant barriers, etc. How about yards....should they be xeriscape?
I see very few homes built in what I consider really green fashion and in many ways they are not green at all.