Largest Builders in the U.S. Commit to Have All Homes Energy Rated and Market their HERS Index

March 16th, 2011 - Posted by RESNET under RESNET Notes, RESNET Notes - March 2011

Copy of KB Home energy label based on HERS Index
KB Home energy label based on the HERS Index that appeared in USA Today, Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press

RESNET has entered into Memorandums of Understandings (MOU) with Centex Homes, Del Webb Communities, KB Home, Meritage Homes and Pulte Homes to work together to promote improved home energy performance and home energy ratings of new homes.

The intent of the MOUs is to raise consumers’ knowledge of new home energy performance by using RESNET’s HERS Index scale. This will clearly differentiate homes built by the large production builders and put competitive pressure on the new home industry to follow suit. It is expected that this agreement will serve as a model to other large production builders that would have positive outcomes for consumers, RESNET and the new home industry.

With the agreement the Centex Homes, Del Webb Communities,  KB Home, Meritage Homes and Pulte Homes all commit to having their homes  energy rated by RESNET certified home energy raters and it will provide a label on every new home built that contains the HERS Index score of the home and advertise the home’s index rating.

“Providing clear, visible energy ratings for homes makes sense for today’s energy-conscious consumers who want to save on their utility bills and reduce their carbon footprint,” said Steve Baden, executive director of RESNET. “Marketing the energy efficiency of homes is a winning proposition for homebuyers, builders and the environment. Innovative homebuilders like RESNET’s new builder allies are issuing a call-to-action to the industry.”

“This is a game changer… Once it’s out there, everyone will do it,” Jeffrey Mezger, KB Home’s CEO was quoted as saying in USA Today. The paper reported that he believed that consumers will now understand that KB’s homes, all of which meet Energy Star standards, will “perform better than resales down the street.”

USA Today also quoted Jim Peterson, Director of Research and Development at PulteGroup, Inc, “We know energy performance matters to today’s homebuyers. The RESNET HERS Index enables buyers to understand how they can start to lower their monthly utility bills. We find that consumers increasingly are scrutinizing energy savings, but it can be difficult to make apples-to-apples comparisons. A tool like this that measures home energy efficiency in a consistent way can help homebuyers make more knowledgeable choices about their purchase.”

The leading home builders’ commitment was featured in the lead story of the Money section of USA Today on February 14, 2011.  Go to Builder Home Energy Rating Commitment to download the article.

RESNET is entering into agreements with other builders no matter how many homes they build.  There is no cost and only requires a MOU with RESNET in which they commit to having all of their homes rated and marketing their HERS Index.  If you have builder clients that are interested entering in such an agreement, contact Steve Baden at sbaden@resnet.us

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