HERS, DICS and Other Sexy Stuff.

energy rating

Who knew a blog post about the HERS Index and energy rating could be so enticing? I suppose it could be considered “adult content” since every parent knows all too well that kids could care less about energy bills… Truth is, we just love talking about how to design and build homes with the lowest HERS scores and more importantly, the lowest energy costs available. Admittedly, not very sexy.

Let’s start with the HERS Index, a uniform energy-efficiency scoring system for your home. Think of it as an MPG rating for your house.

A home energy rating, is scored from 0 to 100 and each HERS point increase is a 1% increase in energy usage. So lower is better! A home with an excellent HERS Index of 50 uses half the energy of a 100 HERS home, the current code minimum. A home that scores a 0 HERS is a Net-Zero Energy Home which produces as much energy as it consumes over twelve months. (See the chart above.)

HERS Home Energy Rating System

To achieve a zero HERS, or a Net-Zero Energy Home, requires the addition of renewables, most notably Solar PV. First building a very low HERS home makes a Net-Zero Energy Home not only possible, but affordable. Consider for instance that a 100 HERS home would require 2X the Solar panels to achieve a Net-Zero energy. Many would argue, correctly in my opinion, that throwing money at an Energy Hog home makes no sense at all, financially or otherwise. The moral of the story? First build a Hi-Performance home with the lowest energy costs before even considering the Solar PV necessary to achieve a Net-Zero Energy Home.

So, the question is, how to build the most energy-efficient, affordable, or Hi-Performance home? Enter DICS!

Building Scientists agree, minimizing the energy demands of a Hi-Performance home’s mechanical system (heating and cooling) is the single most important item to significantly lower energy costs. So designing and building with the entire mechanical system and the Ducts In Conditioned Space, is number one on the list!

That’s where we come in.

Energy Smart Home Plans makes building energy-efficient homes as easy and affordable as it gets.

Instructions on air sealing, insulation optimization and plans for building the mechanical system and Ducts In Conditioned Space is included in all of our plans.

Building our plans to spec can result in a 60% reduction in the energy costs when compared to a brand new code minimum home. ESHP homeowners enjoy energy costs as low $.30 per square foot of living space per year verses $.75 per sq. ft. That’s under $60 per month for a 2,000 sq. ft. home (that’s without solar)!

Dave Jenkins

Dave Jenkins is a leading designer of Hi-Performance homes for the residential market. His award-winning home designs boast the nation's most energy-efficient homes available. Dave has over 25 years of experience in high-end, residential design and illustration for luxury builders and developers.

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