Buying a home represents the single largest investment most families ever make. The cost of heating, cooling and provide hot water is the highest cost of homeownership outside of the mortgage loan. It is calculated that energy represents 15% of the cost homeownership. Unfortunately it is the case all too often that homes for sale do not come with a convenient “miles per gallon” performance rating that would allow consumers to compare the energy performance of homes on the market.
The South Carolina Home Builders Association is addressing this lack of transparency in the market place. The builders association has launched the South Carolina Energy Conscious Homes Program. The program offers a label on the energy performance of a home participating in the program. The label offers a star from the Home Builders Association of South Carolina for increased energy performance based on the home’s HERS Index Score. The following is a distribution of stars with a HERS Index Score:
HERS Index Score of 90 -100 – One Star
HERS Index Score of 70 -89 – Two Stars
HERS Index Score of 50 – 69 – Three Stars
HERS Index Score of 30 – 49 – Four Stars
HERS Index Score of less than 30 – Five Stars
The Energy Conscious Home program is designed so that it can paired with other programs such as ENERGY STAR, EarthCraft and LEED.
It is logical that the Home Builders Association of South Carolina is playing such a leadership role. According to RESNET Board Member Nancy St. Hilaire of the South Carolina based Home Energy Group, South Carolina builders are aware of what the HERS Index is and most of the state’s biggest builders have their homes rated. We estimate that the greater Columbia market has over 60% of their new homes rated.”
For more information on the South Carolina labeling program go to South Carolina Energy Conscious Home