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Information on the Home Energy Score

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The Home Energy Score is a home energy rating developed by the Department of Energy. The rating on your house is comparable to the MPG rating on your car. It rates the home on a scale of 1-10, based on how efficient the home uses energy. Unlike a traditional energy audit that is based on utility bills, the Home Energy Score only uses the attributes (furnace, insulation levels, windows, etc.) of the home to calculate the home energy score.


This allows a homeowner to compare her or his home's efficiency (and long-term cost with concern to energy bills) to another home, or their neighbor’s home. So similar to how you might go car shopping, and compare the MPG rating between two vehicles, you can do the same with homes. Like a car, your actual fuel mileage may vary with occupancy and use, but the Home Energy Score provides a standard way for a consumer to compare the efficiency of homes of similar size in your area.


The Score also has a feature that shows the amount of energy and financial savings there would be if the owner made different upgrades.

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You can get background information, where to find a rater, and more by going to the Department of Energy Home Energy Scoring Tool page.

 

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The Certified Home Inspector will be at your home for no more than 1.5 hours. They will then go back to their office to run information collected, about 50 data points, in the Scoring Tool to produce the Home Energy Score and report. The energy analyst will go over the report with the home owner.

 

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No, the home energy score is part of a comprehensive home energy audit, which looks at the home’s health, safety, and durability issues.  The score provides a visual way to understand improvements recommended in an audit or assesment.  

For home buyers that would like to take advantage of the FHA’s or VA’s Energy Efficient Mortgage program, a HERS Index Rating is still required. The Home Energy Scoring Tool can provide an initial look at the home to see if an Energy Efficient Mortgage would beneficial.

 

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The CEO has worked with stakeholders, including real estate brokers, from around the state on increasing the energy efficiency of Colorado homes. The CEO has also been asked by real estate stakeholder about the impact energy efficiency has on the home buying process. The Home Energy Scoring Tool can serve as a proxy for energy efficiency that may provide data for the CEO to help answer this question.

 

A consistent theme in real estate transaction is that brokers need a 3rd party energy rating system that costs less than $200 and be viewed like a radon test.  In many parts of Colorado, through the partnership with local programs and the Building Performance Institute (BPI), a home owner will be able to obtain the score for less than $150. 

 

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Currently the Department of Energy is limiting the home energy score to single family homes and town homes.  Town homes are defined as a home that only shares side walls. 

 

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Substantially renovated means an upgrade to a major component, including but not limited, to at least one of these renovations; a retrofitted kitchen, a remodel to all the of bathrooms, or new carpet/paint throughout, that would make the home "move-in" ready or reduces the effective age (appraiser term) of the home.


There will be variation in terms of how a real estate agent defines it, but the general consensus that most homes will have a similar level of finish. The idea behind this is that we can limit some of the variables in the homes, much like limiting to one school district.

 

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As a homeowner, the CEO will not disclose the Home Energy Score unless a waiver is obtained from the homeowner.   However, the CEO partners will provide recommendations and resources to improve your score. 

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As part of the development of high performing real estate listing, it is important to provide information to Multiple Listing Service (MLS) platforms to help evaluate the impact of energy efficiency on home sales. The goal of the program is to provide a value add to consumers.  No scores below a 6 will be reported to the MLS vendors who provide real estate listings. 

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No, but we encourage you to sign the waiver so that we can work with energy efficiency programs and utilities data to validate the Energy Scoring tool  and provide a value add to future real estate transactions. 

 

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The CEO is working with the current residential auditing programs around the state to develop the appropriate infrastructure.  The goal is to implement the program at the start of 2015. 

 

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The Colorado Energy Office is working with the current residential auditing programs around the state.  These organizations, not the State will provide the Home Energy Score