The November 2023 RESNET® HERS® Index Builder of the Month is Kentucky builder, Housing Oriented Ministries Established for Service, Inc. (HOMES, Inc.) HOMES, Inc. is a 501C3 nonprofit organization providing affordable housing solutions in the coal field region of central Appalachia. HOMES, Inc. provides affordable and efficient housing solutions to distressed communities in Eastern Kentucky through new construction, home repair, solar system installations, and rental opportunities. In this month’s feature, we asked Seth Long, HOMES, Inc. Executive Director, to share some insight on building HERS® homes for their customers. “Historically, energy efficiency has not been a priority in our region, and there tends to be a general skepticism towards green building techniques and sustainable housing efforts. Our customers are surprised by how affordable our homes are to operate and how comfortable they are to live in”, says Long. He explains, “Low to moderate income families often pay a disproportionate amount of their income towards their housing costs since they often live in older, less efficient housing. We have seen families move into a new HERS-rated home and save nearly enough on their energy bills to pay the principal payment on their loans. Lenders can be more confident that the cost of electricity will not burden a new homeowner helping the success rates of their loan products.” Long adds that one of the chief reasons they HERS rate their homes is to continue to improve the quality and performance of their homes. “Fifteen (15) years ago, we rated our first home which scored an 84. Since then we have used each build to inform the next house improving the quality and performance of our houses to where the average rating is 50 (rated by HERS® Rating Company Bremen Auditors). With the addition of solar, the last three homes we built have had scores below 0 in negative territory. We are seeking to demonstrate that Net-Zero housing is possible with an additional investment that is relatively small and repeatable.” Read the full HOMES, Inc. profile here.