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Phoenix, Arizona Adopts HERS® Index Score as Building Energy Code Compliance Option

Sep 27, 2013

Across the nation state and local governments are adding a HERS® Index Score target as a performance compliance option to their building energy code.

The City of Phoenix, Arizona has joined the list of jurisdictions that have add a HERS® Index Score as an option to meet their building energy code.

The Phoenix code provides:

R401.2.1 Alternative approach for compliance.   A Home Energy Rating System (“HERS”) Index of 73 or less, confirmed in writing by a Residential Energy Services Network certified energy rater may be used in place of the approach described in section 401.2 above. Compliance may be demonstrated by sampling in accordance with Chapter 6 of the Mortgage Industry National Home Energy Rating Systems Standard as adopted by the Residential Energy Services Network.

The HERS® Index Score option was added in conjunction with the adoption of the 2012 version of the International Energy Conservation Code.

The City of Chandler and Maricopa County has joined Phoenix in adopting the HERS® Index Score option to their codes.

In addition the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) adopted a model code for the municipalities in metropolitan Phoenix to define the verification procedures for the inspection and testing required in the 2012 IECC.  The model standard states:

RESNET Testing & Inspection Protocol. The Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) Mortgage Industry National Home Energy Rating System Standards Protocol for third party testing and inspections, shall be deemed to meet the requirements of sections R402.4.1.1, R402.4.1.2 and R403.2.2. and shall meet the following conditions:

1) Third Party Testing and Inspections shall be completed by RESNET certified Raters or Rating Field Inspectors and shall be subject to RESNET Quality Assurance Field Review procedures.
2) Sampling in accordance with Chapter 6 of the RESNET Standards shall be performed by Raters or Rating Field Inspectors working under a RESNET Accredited Sampling Provider.
3) Third Party Testing is required for the following items:

  • R402.4.1.1 – Building Envelope – Thermal and Air Barrier Checklist
  • R402.4.1.2 – Testing – Air Leakage Rate
  • R403.2.2 – Sealing – Duct Tightness

4) The other requirements identified as “mandatory” in Chapter 4 shall be met.

MAG is the regional planning agency for metropolitan Phoenix local governments.

Phoenix has joined jurisdictions in Arkansas, Idaho, Colorado, Kanasa, Massachusetts, New Mexico and New York have adopted a HERS® Index Score as a compliance option,  For a listing of communities that have adopted the HERS® Index Score go to HERS® Index Score as Code Compliance Option

The reasons why a HERS® Index Score is being tied into energy codes include:

  • The inspection and testing protocols are established in RESNET’s national home energy rating standards. RESNET is a national not-for-profit membership standard setting organization. It is accredited by the American National Energy Standards Institute (ANSI) as a Standard Development Organization.
  • The professionals that undertake the inspection and performance testing are certified following RESNET’s standards stringent training and testing procedures.
  • All certified RESNET home energy raters are subject to RESNET’s quality assurance oversight procedures.
  • The RESNET national home energy rating standards are recognized by the federal government (U.S. Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, Internal Revenue Service) and the mortgage industry.
  • The HERS® Index is a trusted measurement of the energy performance of a home. Over 1.3 million homes have been issued a HERS® Index Score in the US.