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Minneapolis/Western Wisconsin Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Incorporates HERS® Index Scores

Jun 5, 2013

Working with the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC), the NorthstarMLS® Multiple Listing Service beginning on June 6, 2013 will incorporate a home’s HERS® Index Score into their MLS.

The HERS® score is the industry standard by which a home’s energy efficiency is measured. The HERS® (Home Energy Rating System) was developed by RESNET, an independent, non-profit organization that sets national standards for energy ratings, ensuring accuracy and consistency. Certified RESNET raters conduct on-site inspections and energy tests during construction and at the home’s completion. Data gathered by RESNET raters is entered into energy modeling software that calculates the home’s energy rating or HERS® score. The three-digit HERS® score rates homes against an index of the average U.S. new home’s energy efficiency HERS® of 100 based on the 2004 International Residential Code for construction. The lower the score, the more energy efficient the home. (In Minnesota, homes built to code generally test at around 80 while older homes often test around 120-130, if not higher.)

“Our agents have made it very clear that information on energy ratings and green features are very important to their homebuyer clients,” said John Mosey, President of NorthstarMLS. “We concluded that adding these two fields and accompanying documentation to our home listings is the most effective way to offer a simple yet powerful tool for Realtors® to better meet the needs of their individual clients.”

According to BATC Executive Director David Siegel, home energy ratings are becoming the standard for new homes in Minnesota.  “In Spring 2013, over 30 percent of homes on BATC’s Parade of Homes were tested and received a Green Path Home Performance Report (HPR), which documents the home’s HERS® score. When Minnesota adopts the next generation of building codes (sometime in 2014), testing is expected to be required. By then, new home buyers will demand to see a HERS® score just like they demand to see a MPG rating before they buy a new car.”

The Minneapolis/Western Wisconsin MLS action joins recent adoption of the HERS® Index Score into the MLS that have taken place in Gainesville, FL, Omaha, NE and the state of Colorado.  This demonstrates the trend towards the HERS® Index in housing markets across the nation.

Steve Baden, RESNET’s Executive Director commented that, “Including the HERS® Index Score in the MLS is a significant push to the mainstreaming of the HERS® Index Score in the housing market in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. REALTORS® rely on the MLS to guide potential homebuyers and appraisers use the service to locate comparable properties. Having this information will make it easier for builders to market their HERS® Index Scores and appraisers to calculate the market value of rated homes.”

NorthstarMLS® serves more than 14,000 REALTORS® in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin.  For more information on the organization go to NorthStar MLS

The Builders Association of the Twin Cities represents 1,100 builders, remodelers, developers and industry suppliers with a mission of helping its members grow their businesses through marketing, advocacy and industry connections. BATC offers Minnesota’s Green Path, a growing new home and remodeling certification program providing healthy, durable, energy-efficient homes to buyers and homeowners. The builder association program requires HERS® Index Score of 70 or lower and a blower door test result of ≤0.3 cfm50 per sq. ft. of building enclosure or lower.   For more information go to Minnesota’s Green Path