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Blaine County, Idaho Adopts HERS Index Score as Compliance Option to County’s Energy Code

Sep 12, 2012

Blaine County, Idaho has adopted a HERS Index Score option to county’s building energy code.  The county’s energy code was amended to be based on the 2009 version of the International Conservation Code (IECC).  The 2009 IECC was amended to allow HERS Index Score targets as a option compliance path.

The revised code specifies a HERS Index Score target based upon the size of the home.  A HERS Index Score of 70 is required for homes that are less than 2,500 sq. ft.  As the home size grows the required HERS Index Score goes lower.  See below chart:

SQ. FT. of Home

Required HERS Index Score

3,000

68

4,000

63

5,000

58

6,000

53

7,000

48

8,000

43

9,000

38

10,000

33

11,100

29

12,100

27

13,100

25

14,100

23

15,100

21

16,100

19

17,100

17

18,100

15

19,100

13

Greater than 20,000

10

In adopting the code revision the Board of County Commissioners of Blaine County found, “Home Energy Rating System (HERS) is a significantly more robust tool than ResCheck and the tool of choice for most locally adopted ‘above-code’ building programs and is used as a method of verification in Leadership Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Homes, National Green Building Standards (NGBS) and ENERGY STAR programs; third-party testing and verification provides value to builders and home-owners, ensuring subcontractors have built to code and that each home performs as proposed; and HERS compares a home’s energy efficiency to a comparable sized code-built home (based on the 2003 International Energy Conservation Code with 2004 amendments.”

The county seat and largest city is Haley. The county is home to the Sun Valley ski resort, adjacent to Ketchum.

Blaine County’s  action demonstrates the growing momentum of code jurisdictions adopting the HERS Index Score as a performance based code compliance option. To learn more how the HERS Index can be incorporated into a building energy code go to HERS Index as Performance Path to Building Energy Codes

The RESNET HERS Index is the industry standard by which a home’s energy efficiency is measured. The HERS or Home Energy Rating System was developed by RESNET and is the nationally recognized system for inspecting and calculating a home’s energy performance. Certified RESNET Home Energy Raters conduct inspections to verify a home’s energy performance and determine what improvements can be made to increase it. For more information click on RESNET HERS Index

Other local governments that have incorporated the HERS Index into the building code include:

  • State of New Mexico
  • City of Boulder, Colorado
  • County of Boulder, Colorado
  • City of Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Town of Taos, New Mexico
  • Brookhaven, New York
  • Fayetteville, Arkansas

For more information on Blaine County’s HERS Index requirement click on Blaine County Energy Conservation Code