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HERSH2O® and WaterSense Labeled Homes Validated in Study in Journal AWWA

May 12, 2022 AppraisersBuildersGeneralProvidersRaters


The cover story, “Assessing Water Use in WaterSense-Labeled Homes and Quantifying the Savings”, in the May issue of the American Water Works Association’s Journal AWWA adds credibility to both the EPA’s WaterSense and RESNET’s HERSH2O programs.

The story featured the results of a pilot study aimed to quantify how the WaterSense-labeled homes use water in real households by analyzing post-occupancy meter data. The study was conducted by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) WaterSense Program and the Southern Nevada Water Authority on homes HERSH2O® rated in Las Vegas.

The pilot was launched between WaterSense and RESNET, an approved Home Certification Organization (HCO) for WaterSense-labeled homes in Las Vegas in July 2020. It evaluated indoor and outdoor metered water use of 160 WaterSense-labeled homes in the Las Vegas metropolitan region.

The pilot allowed homes to earn the WaterSense label, in part, by demonstrating they met the WaterSense efficiency requirement (30% savings compared with typical new construction) by achieving a HERSH2O® (https://bit.ly/HERSh20) score of 70 or less. RESNET’s HERSH2O® program uses the ANSI standard RESNET/ICC 850-2020 (Standard 850) to estimate a home’s water use relative to a reference case. EPA has evaluated and approved the stan­dard for use in the WaterSense-labeled homes program.

This study shows the approach used to identify water-saving products and features in Standard 850 works, and how WaterSense-labeled homes are saving at least as much water as intended. Currently, the savings appear to be an average of 44,000 gpy per household or a 45% reduction and exceeded their water savings goal.

EPA launched the WaterSense program in 2006 to make it easy for consumers to identify high-performing, water-efficient products. In addition to offering a label for water-efficient products, WaterSense provides resources that help consumers save water. In 2009, WaterSense launched the WaterSense-labeled homes program, the first national certification for whole-house water efficiency. The Version 2.0 (V2) program, launched as a pilot in July 2020 and finalized in February 2021, represents a fundamentally new approach to the program’s requirements.

The article is co-authored by Jonah Schein, national program manager for Homes & Buildings, EPA WaterSense Program, US Environmental Protection Agency; Toby Bickmore, conservation services administrator with Southern Nevada Water Authority, Las Vegas, Nevada; and Kent Sovocool, a senior conservation research analyst with Southern Nevada Water Authority.

The American Water Works Association is an international non-profit, scientific and educational association founded to improve water quality and supply. Established in 1881, it is a lobbying organization representing a membership of around 50,000 members. The article in the journal is important in that it is seen as the go-to technical source for water districts across the nation.

Read more on the results of the pilot study here.

To learn more about HERSH2O® and WaterSense Labeled Homes, visit: https://www.resnet.us/about/hersh2o/