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Reflections on 2021 from RESNET Executive Director Steve Baden

Jan 5, 2022

It is time to take stock of what 2021 had in store for the HERS® industry and RESNET. The year brought many challenges and adversities, but it also revealed how resilient and adaptable our community is. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the anxiety over the U.S. economy, the number of homes HERS rated increased and the home building market was robust. It is inspiring to see how the residential new construction community continued to drive energy efficiency in 2021.

2021 saw our organization and industry in sound health as demonstrated by:

• Steady Demand for HERS Ratings – Over 313,153 homes were HERS Rated in 2021 (surpassing the record-breaking homes that were rated in 2020). To date, over 3.3 million homes have been HERS rated in the U.S.

• RESNET in Sound Financial Footing – Despite the challenges RESNET was able to meet its 2021 budget without government funding. RESNET has been able to meet the demand for its services and expand its activities without the need to increase fees.

• RESNET Properly Managed – Received clean bill of health from the independent financial audit

Notable accomplishments that were achieved in 2021 include:

• State of Texas Adopting Legislation that recognizes the HERS® Rating Index Score for energy code verification statewide

• Collaborated with the Habitat for Humanity International in having their affiliate homes HERS rated

• Collaborated with the Appraisal Institute on educating real estate appraisers on how the HERS Index is the key to valuing green homes

• RESNET entered a formal agreement with ICC to foster enhanced energy code compliance

• Collaborated with the International Code Council (ICC) in launching and marketing the new ICC HERS/IECC Compliance Specialist designation for HERS Raters and Rating Field Inspectors

• Successfully hosted first-ever Virtual RESNET Building Performance Conference with over 1,100 attendees

• Legislation introduced in Congress and unanimously passed by the House Veterans Affairs Committee to Account for Energy Efficiency in Veterans’ Mortgage Loans

• Successful pilot of RESNET HERSH20® water efficiency rating system in Las Vegas that was conducted in conjunction with the EPA WaterSense Program, the Southern Nevada Water Authority, and KB Home. The RESNET water efficiency program has now been nationally rolled out. In its first year, there were over 1,200 homes that were HERSH2O rated. The average HERSH2O Index Score in 2021 was 60.  This is 40% more efficient than a home built in 2006.

• RESNET accredited and California HERS CalCERTS and CHEERS to deliver HERSH20 in California

As we reflect on 2021, we cannot do so without acknowledging Chester Smith. Chester was the founder of RESNET and he deserves much credit for the steady leadership on the birth of the organization and the vision of what we have become. Chester passed this year, but his legacy at RESNET will live on.

We continue working toward his vision with these and other achievements, that will be covered in the soon-to-be-released 2021 RESNET Annual Report.

We could not achieve these notable gains without the contributions of the HERS Raters and Providers, builders, strategic allies, program sponsors, and the RESNET network.

Together we achieved much in 2021 to celebrate, but the team at RESNET is not content to rest on its laurels.

The RESNET Board of Directors has adopted a set of ambitious priorities for 2022. These are:

The RESNET Board of Directors has adopted a set of ambitious priorities for 2021. Read more at https://www.resnet.us/wp-content/uploads/RES-2022-RESNET-Mission-Goals-and-Priorities-v5-Handout.pdf

Additionally, we look forward to your engagement in the RESNET 2022 Conference(s)!