Is anybody out there using the DOE Home Energy Score?  If so, are you using it as a supplement to current WAP/home performance work or are you using it for some other reason?

Views: 1289

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I'm a Home Energy Scorer in the Berkeley, CA area. In Berkeley, Home Energy Scores are required when a home is sold. The sellers and realtors I work with generally see the score as a "check the box" item they have to do when selling, and don't really seem to get engaged with it. Buyers are more interested, especially because I try to spend more time with them going over the results and showing them how energy efficiency improvements can be beneficial to them. Unfortunately, outside of Berkeley the score has not really been sought after by homeowners. If they're not forced to do it, they don't really seem all that interested. Part of that could be addressed by better marketing I suppose, but the mild climate here and an overall energy efficiency mindset that already exists in this area doesn't seem to lend itself to creating demand for the score.

Let's unpack this premise that home energy score is somehow a proxy for value that people will pay something for on a monthly basis.

How, why, would you?

How does it translate to value? Someone please show me the math?

A lower interest rate means a lower payment. I can calculate and correlate that to reality. Why would I pay more for an energy score?

Turn it around. Would you pay more? How much? For what score? What is the average? Does it even correlate to monthly energy cost, because a monthly cost lower than average I CAN value against the average.

A thing the marketplace can't quickly convert to value is unlikely to have much value. Seems obvious.

Plenty of people pay for advice that can't correlate directly to a dollar amount. I don't think that's the point.  No one doubts that adding insulation to your home will save you money, but I have yet to see any good data on specifically how much that would be.  Too many factors. In fact, it's likely that except in extreme cases most major efficiency improvements have a payback period far greater than what is generally assumed/advertised. Knowing that, why would anyone do it at all, unless there was more to it than a dollar amount?

The people I come across who seek out a Home Energy Score (where it's not required) don't do it for the score itself, but are looking for guidance. Their motivation could be saving money, increasing home value, increasing comfort, saving the world from climate change, etc. Or maybe they're just curious. The "value" to the customer takes on many shapes.

The HES is simply a tool that gets the conversation started, at least in my experience.  It's the first step of a larger process I go through with my clients. That said, if it's used solely as a standalone offering, then yes there's little value in it. For those clients who receive a score only because they have to check a box as part of a home sale, almost none seem to care about it.

Ted,

In Vermont we are piloting the use of the Home Energy Score with a twist in effort to increase its usefulness to the real estate professionals. We use the DOE's tool to also populate a wedge shaped chart that displays the expected total MMBtu/year for all fuels combined, the expected cost/per year (in total and by fuel), and the HES (graphic attached below)

In our outreach to appraisers, lenders. and Realtors we are following the 7 steps of the Visible Value Blueprint:

1.Document energy efficiency features and improvements using consistent, standardized 
methods.
2.Disclose inventories of energy efficient homes to track supply.
3.Capitalize on existing [and/or create] high-quality continuing education and designation training.
4.Work with the MLS community to ensure that data about home energy efficiency improvements are incorporated into for-sale listings.
5.Ensure that the data about home energy efficiency improvements are incorporated into the appraisal process.
6.Develop standards and IT solutions that allow quicker, more  accurate, automated transfer of data.
7.Work with partner financial institutions to ensure selection of qualified appraisers.
The Blueprint is in Unlocking the Value of an Energy Efficient Home: 

www.mredllc.com/comms/documents/Unlocking_the_Value_an_Energy_Effic...

The HES can be a useful report that will assist appraisers in understanding the efficiency or inefficiency of the structure they are appraising and the comparables they might use to compare.  The full report is important for the appraiser to view.  It provides details that will assist the appraiser in understanding when judging quality, energy efficiency, and potential cost to cure or updates that would improve the efficiency.  The biggest drawback is that most appraisers are not given the full report - only the score.  We need full energy reports, i.e, HERS, HES, Energy Audits, or BPI reports.  Appraisers consider it "big data" when we receive the full report.  Encourage real estate agents to attach them to the listings in the MLS. That will begin to educate viewers of the records on the value of the report.

Check out the study we did - 97% accuracy to utility data
https://greenhomeinstitute.org/holland-energy-prize-biggest-loser-c...

It's just like an MPG. When you buy or a operate car you need to know the MPG to determine your fuel budget.

We are considering supporting the HES more in Denver though it's unclear if audits or the HES move the needle more. Our state energy office is the administrator for HES and works to train people giving the score, though our motivation would be tied to the best timing of getting residents engaged in making improvements which is when they get into the home.

Is there an opinion on whether the HES versus an energy audit makes a bigger impact? Austin, Berkeley and soon-to-be Portland are requiring the Score but it seems that the timing (before or after listing) is key if you're trying to work with realtors. Portland will require the HES before listing whereas Berkeley requires is post.

In a market like Denver's it's tough to get enough interest prior to sale but I can see potential once they've closed and the homeowner has time to take on energy recommendations.

If anyone has thoughts on whether or not the score is better than an audit I'd love to hear.

Berkeley actually gives the seller an option of completing the report prior to sale, or deferring it to the buyer, who then has a year to complete it.  They are almost always deferred. I rarely conduct a HES for the seller - realtors are too concerned about a "bad" score affecting the sale price (they'll have to disclose the report to the buyer) and convince the seller to defer. The only scores I've done for realtors/sellers are new construction, where a good score is almost certain. Outside of Berkeley, where a HES is not required, the only success I've had in getting the HES into the sale process is to have buyer agents "gift" a HES to the new owners.  My services also include a consultation session that the buyers find helpful in understanding their new home a little better. 

I think both Home Energy Scores and audits can be useful as long as the homeowner is able to fully understand the data behind the report. Just sending a HES report with no follow up will not help.  As you point out, getting the residents engaged is the key part - how that's done is more a preference, at least in my opinion, because the data from both will typically lead to the same recommendations. 

Agreed Shawn.  I think the reason for the push-back from realtors is that they don't understand it simply provides a transparent transaction and actually reduces their liability.  We have MUCH more liability than the public is aware, and ignorance is part of that liability.  If agents don't understand the benefit if a HES or a HERS then they won't communicate it out of acting ignorant. If they are educated as to what those are and the differences, then that's a bonus for everyone.  

Thankfully the solar course by NAR, grant by DOE, will hit the marketplace for realtors next month.  The course discusses both HES and HERS.  The course is inexpensive and online, so I'm hoping more realtors will take advantage of the opportunity and take the course.  

Attachments:

The score is the audit! 

The Home Energy Score isn't the same as an energy audit. Are you referring to something else?

RSS

Forum Discussions

Mini split air conditioners and ceiling fans

Started by Beverly Lerch in General Forum. Last reply by Blake Reid 15 hours ago. 12 Replies

Think of the house as a really big duct

Started by Frank Spevak in HVAC. Last reply by Franco Oyuela yesterday. 1 Reply

What's the Most Profitable HVAC Job for Your Company?

Started by Wayne Melancon in HVAC. Last reply by Franco Oyuela yesterday. 4 Replies

Mini split installation location

Started by Jan Green in HVAC. Last reply by David Butler on Monday. 1 Reply

Latest Activity

Blake Reid replied to Beverly Lerch's discussion Mini split air conditioners and ceiling fans
"Good opinions in these replies!  I'll just add a few: * Experiment.  It's your…"
15 hours ago
John White replied to Jerry Needham's discussion Condensation on ceiling and walls of master bedroom
"Condensation on ceiling occurs when the attic space above is poorly ventilated or insulated. The…"
yesterday
Joshua P Murphy is now a member of Home Energy Pros Forum
yesterday
Franco Oyuela replied to Frank Spevak's discussion Think of the house as a really big duct
"THANKS for the information. Ducted mini splits offer hidden benefits."
yesterday
Franco Oyuela replied to Wayne Melancon's discussion What's the Most Profitable HVAC Job for Your Company?
"Get into commercial, it's more money!"
yesterday
David Byrnes's video was featured

Why One Room Is Hotter Than Others

Ever wonder if your air conditioner is working right because one room never gets a cool or warm as others? Do you need a bigger air conditioner to fix a room...
yesterday
Profile IconEric MacCallum, Adam Morgan and Caolan Hutchens joined Home Energy Pros Forum
Monday
David Butler replied to Jan Green's discussion Mini split installation location
"Really hard to advise without knowing the layout. But you're asking good questions. Any chance…"
Monday
Jan Green posted a discussion

Mini split installation location

Reaching out to the experts today to ask about location of installation of a mini split.  I'm a…See More
Monday
David Butler replied to Beverly Lerch's discussion Mini split air conditioners and ceiling fans
"Among the various opinions expressed here, I offer a few 'truths'... Ceiling fans are…"
Monday
Walter Ahlgrim replied to Beverly Lerch's discussion Mini split air conditioners and ceiling fans
"This is one of thouse topic where you ask 10 people and get 12 different opinions. I will give you…"
Monday
Brett Little's event was featured
Thumbnail

Full Circle Urban Forestry: Introducing Urban Wood Opportunities - Free CE Webinar at Webinar Online

October 17, 2018 from 12pm to 1:15pm
Many common urban tree removal practices in the United States view felled urban trees as costly…See More
Monday
Beverly Lerch replied to Beverly Lerch's discussion Mini split air conditioners and ceiling fans
"Now I am confused.  Everyone has a different opinion.  "
Monday
Joseph Novella replied to Beverly Lerch's discussion Mini split air conditioners and ceiling fans
"Don't use the fans! They generate heat and mix the stratified high warm air with the low cool…"
Monday
John White replied to Beverly Lerch's discussion Mini split air conditioners and ceiling fans
"If you are using air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting…"
Monday
John White posted a blog post
Monday
Profile IconDana Launius and Susan Dee Cummins joined Home Energy Pros Forum
Sunday
Linda Wigington liked Don Fugler's discussion Depressurization/make-up air issues
Sunday
Profile IconCourteney Hazard, Erin Kelly, Megan Bailey and 3 more joined Home Energy Pros Forum
Friday
Kent Browning replied to Julie Saporito's discussion Tankless water heating and existing gas lines
"First the problems - increased CO due to poor combustion, flue condensation delayed ignition, etc.…"
Friday

Photos

  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2018   Created by Home Performance Coalition (HPC)   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service