logos courtesy of NAR The Home Ownership Matters consumer advocacy program from The National Association of Realtors® recently highlighted the value of the HERS® Index to prospective homebuyers on its website https://homeownershipmatters.realtor/ The piece entitled “What Is A Home Energy Rating and Why Does It Matter To Prospective Homebuyers?” discusses the need to budget for utility costs as a total cost of a home, and the value of using the HERS® Index Score to do so. The article continues by explaining how the HERS® Index is derived and its benefit to prospective homebuyers. “During your home search, if you’re comparing two homes that are otherwise equal, knowing the HERS® Index scores of those homes can help you understand which home will be a better value over time,” the author writes. For current homeowners, the article notes how the HERS® Index can suggest smart energy upgrades to increase energy savings for now or future home sales. Consumers’ concerns regarding energy costs are confirmed by the NAR’s 2020 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report, citing the importance of heating and cooling costs as environmental features with 35 percent of surveyed homebuyers find these features very important. Most notably from an advocacy perspective, the article notes how many local and state governments nationwide have been adopting policies that require energy ratings or disclosures for residential dwellings. “As more cities and states move toward requiring the disclosure of energy ratings at the time of sale, the easier it will be for homebuyers to make informed comparisons of potential homes”, the author writes. It concludes by suggesting that as legislation requiring energy rating disclosures will increase cost transparency and allow for informed purchasing decisions. Read the full article here.