LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Home Builders Association of Lexington has become the first in the nation to support a system that rates a house’s energy use.
The HBAL is touting the benefits of the Home Energy Rating System Index, or HERS. It scores a home from 0 to 150 based on how well it is insulated, sealed, and what type of heating and cooling systems are installed. The lower the score, the more energy efficient the building.
According to the Residential Energy Services Network, the organization that developed HERS, most existing homes would score around 130 while typical new residential construction would score 100.
On Thursday the HBAL showed off the features of a home at 3012 Blackford Pkwy, which has a HERS score of 39. The nearly 2,800-square foot property uses a geothermal HVAC and tankless water heater combined with top of the line insulation and windows.
“We feel like the majority of our builders are going to come on to this if for no other reason just the competition in the market is going to drive them to it. As the consumer becomes more aware of the Energy Smart builder program, they’re going to be looking for that HERS label when they’re out looking for a new home,” says HBAL Vice President Todd Johnson.
Johnson says saving on monthly utility bills could push consumers to build new. Home construction is still trying to recover from the economic downturn. Last year was the lowest on record in Lexington for single-family dwelling permits at around 500.
“We’re hopeful that things are coming back a little bit, or at least we’ve been at that bottom and maybe starting that positive trend.”