The most comprehensive, nationally recognized system that measures the home energy is known as the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) index. But this index score has never been part of the home appraisal process – that is about to change.
A new partnership between the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) and the Appraisal Institute will soon include these HERS scores in appraisals. This score is the nationally recognized system for inspecting and calculating a home's energy performance.
The move is expected to help potential buyers better gauge a home’s energy efficiency and it will also be a new factor in the appraised value of the home.
“One of the largest barriers to the building and selling of high energy performance homes is that the value of energy upgrades is too often not reflected in the real estate appraisal of a home,” said RESNET Executive Director Steve Baden. “Many of the features that make a home energy efficient are hidden behind drywall and aren’t obvious to home buyers. Our goal is to make information, such as the HERS score of a home, visible in the appraisal so that consumers have more facts available to make their decisions.”
The Appraisal Institute will have access to RESNET’s database of HERS-rated homes. Initially, access will be available in states with a large number of HERS-rated homes, such as Texas, which has the highest number of HERS-rated homes at 40,012 and counting. More states will be added over time. In 2016, there were more than 206,000 HERS-rated homes nationally, 16,000 more than in 2015.
To many buyers, home builders and sellers, this change is long overdue because a bad appraisal is the number one reason signed deals fall apart.
Working with RESNET, the HERS score of the home is being added as a green building certification element that will be included among the other home certification options.