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HERS® Ratings and Housing in the Post Pandemic World

Jul 20, 2020

HERS® Ratings and Housing in the Post Pandemic World

By Steve Baden, RESNET Executive Director

While we are still struggling with coming to grips with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is worth taking a minute and consider what the role that HERS ratings and energy efficiency will have in the post pandemic housing market.
It can be expected that in the post COVID pandemic world there will be an increased consumer concern over human and environmental health. This interest will be extended into the housing market. Since the pandemic struck Americans have been spending more time in their homes. This experience will be bound to affect consumer preferences. Another trend is that increasingly more Americans will be working from their homes at least some of the time.
Consumers will expect that their future homes play more of a critical role in providing a healthier and safer place to live and work. The good news is that we already have effective building blocks for designing and building such homes – the high performance, energy efficient home. The foundation of a healthier home is an energy efficient home.  A high-performance home now features controlled ventilation and other features that enhances a healthier indoor air environment. The HERS rating fits in that the performance of the home is inspected, tested and labeled by a qualified third party, the certified RESNET HERS Rater.
And through the RESNET website consumers and appraisers can determine whether the home they are considering is HERS rated.
But this should be only the beginning. As the market places a higher premium on safer and healthier homes, new ways to inspect and label a home’s contribution to public health contribution need to be developed and implemented.  In the near future we will see green and healthy construction concepts integrated into certification programs and into building codes.  Already there are efforts that have begun in this area. RESNET is eager to join in this effort.
Over the past two decades, the RESNET HERS Index has proven to be extremely effective and adaptable in increasing building performance.  The HERS Index will continue to evolve and encourage ever more effective building designs and practices for improving environmental and human health of our homes as well as energy efficiency.
Please join us in this endeavor to bringing tomorrow homes in today.