RESNET Process for Enhancing the National Consistency of HERS Index Scores

Introduction

Across the nation the RESNET HERS Index Score is fast becoming a mainstream in the housing market. Homebuilders are having their homes energy rated and marketing the HERS Index Score of their homes, Multiple Listing Services (MLS) are incorporating the HERS Index Scores in their listings and code jurisdictions are recognizing a HERS Index Score as a building energy code compliance option. With the increased visibility of the HERS Index Score RESNET is obligated to ensure that HERS Index Scores are as consistent as possible.

This need has been made more important with the International Code Council adopting an Energy Rating Index option to the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code.

HERS Index Score Consistency Task Force

To achieve this goal RESNET formed the HERS Index Score Consistency Task Force. Members of the task force are representatives of the nation’s largest production builders, rating software tool developers and Rating Providers. Members of the task force are posted at HERS Index Score Consistency Task Force

The mandate of the task force was to identify areas of inconsistency and recommend actions to improve consistency and present them to the RESNET Board of Directors. Task force members undertook an analysis of the consistency of how rating scores are produced. This analysis included surveys of builder division managers and their Rating Provider clients.

This analysis found three broad areas of the inconsistency of rating scores:

  • Inconsistency of quality assurance oversight by Rating Providers
  • Inconsistency of the way the various software programs allowed variance of raters in inputing data into the program
  • Inconsistency of Home Energy Rater candidate testing

Based on these findings the task force made a set of recommendations to the RESNET Board of Directors. To view the recommendations go to Recommendations of HERS Index Score Consistency Task

RESNET Board of Directors Policy on Enhancing Consistency of HERS Index Scores

At its Fall 2013 Board Meeting in San Diego the RESNET Board of Directors adopted the recommendations of the task force. The board voted to adopt a set of policies to guide the development of enhancing the consistency of HERS Index Scores. The policies are posted at RESNET Board Policies

RESNET Quality Improvement Task Force

The RESNET Board voted to create a RESNET Quality Improvement Task Force composed of representatives of Rating Providers, Quality Assurance Designees, Rating Companies and homebuilders that would develop recommendations to the RESNET Board to implement the policies. The co-chairmen of the task force are Galo LeBron of Energy Inspectors and Dean Potter of K. Hovnanian Homes. The members of the task force are posted at RESNET Quality Improvement Task Force

RESNET Quality Improvement Working Groups

RESNET has formed two working groups to develop options of implementing the RESNET Board’s policies on enhancing the consistency of HERS Index Scores nationally. The working groups are:

RESNET Quality Improvement Working Group – Quality Assurance
RESNET Quality Improvement Working Group – Software Fixes

The working groups will send the options of the RESNET Quality Improvement Task Force who will send its recommendations to the RESNET Board.

Members of the working groups are posted at RESNET Quality Improvement Working Groups

RESNET Process for Developing New Quality Assurance Procedures and Standards

Transparency of Process

Since the changes that the board will adopt could have a dramatic effect on the rating industry it is critical that they be informed and have an opportunity to comment on each phase of the process.

The options and analysis of the working group be sent to the rating community to review and comment prior to being sent to the task force for consideration. This would allow members of the task force to have an additional source of information in making their recommendations.

Once the task force has made it recommendations, they would be sent to the rating community to review and comment on prior to be submitted to the RESNET Board. This would allow the board to have an additional source of information in making its decision.

This transparency process would also serve to educate the rating industry and establish a sense of ownership prior to the standard public review and comment process.

Consensus Process

A consensus development process be employed in the effort where there is a majority recommendations as well as minority opinions documented in each stage of the process.

Board Action

Armed with the analysis and recommendations the RESNET Board would then vote to adopt the procedures. Once the procedures are adopted they would be submitted back to the working groups to draft standard amendment language. This would be reviewed by the board and then voted on whether to be submitted to the RESENT standard amendment public review and comment process. The working group would be empowered to consider and document the consideration of every comment. Once this process is completed the RESNET Board would vote to adopt the amendments with an appropriate effective date to allow a smooth transition.

Supporting Information

Input on Options Development by the RESNET Quality Improvement Quality Assurance Working Group

On August 18, 2014 the RESNET Quality Improvement Quality Assurance Working Group released its proposed options on RESNET Quality Assurance Options The rating industry was invited to comment on the proposed options. To see the comments submitted click on Comments on Quality Assurance Options.

Input on Draft of Requirements for Additional Quality Assurance Review Based Upon Errors Discovered in a Quality Assurance Review

On September 10. 2014 RESNET staff released a proposed draft on Additional Quality Assurance Review Based Upon Errors Discovered in a Quality Assurance Review The rating industry was invited to comment on the proposed draft. To see the comments submitted click on Comments Received to Draft Additional Quality Assurance

Recommendations of RESNET Quality Improvement Working Groups to RESNET Quality Improvement Task Forces

Recommendations of RESNET Quality Improvement Working Group – Software Fixes

To view the recommendations of the working group click on Software Fixes Recommendations to Quality Improvement Task Force

Recommendation of RESNET Quality Improvement Working Group – Quality Assurance

To view the recommendations of the working group click on Recommendations of Quality Improvement Working Group – Quality Assurance

Recommendation of RESNET Quality Improvement Task Force

To view the recommendations of the task force click on Recommendations of RESNET Quality Improvement Task Force

Comments of the RESNET HERS Index Score Consistency Task Force

The consistency task force reviewed the recommendations of the Quality Improvement Task Force. To view the comments click on HERS Index Consistency Task Force Comments on Quality Improvement Task Force’s Recommendations

Comments of the Rating Industry on RESNET Quality Improvement Task Force

The rating industry was provided an opportunity to review and comment on the recommendations of the Quality Improvement Task Force. To view the comments click on Rating Industry Comments on Quality Improvement Task Force’s Recommendations

RESNET Board Action

On November 3, 2014 the RESNET considered the recommendations of the RESNET Quality Improvement Task Force and the industry comments on the recommendations. To view the policies adopted by the RESNET Board go to Quality Improvements Adopted by the RESNET Board

The deliberations of the RESNET Board was audio streamed. To listen to the board deliberations go to Deliberations of RESNET Board on Quality Improvement Task Force Recommendations