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RESNET® Accredited Software Moves the Industry Forward Through Enhanced QA

Nov 22, 2023 BuildersGeneralProvidersRaters

RESNET HERS® Rating software tools are the best in the business and are continually focused on making our industry stronger. From automating quality assurance to supporting new programs, software continues to innovate and improve HERS rating quality.

RESNET accredited HERS Rating software tools are Ekotrope, EnergyGauge USA, and REM/Rate.

Here are a few key innovations that help drive success and maintain quality:

Software Tool Accreditation: All RESNET-accredited HERS Software Tools are subjected to rigorous software test suites, including ASHRAE Standard 140 building load tests. A RESNET software certification committee then verifies all test results. In addition, all Software Tool Providers serve on a RESNET Software Consistency Committee dedicated to maintaining consistency of results across all HERS Software Tools.

Software-Assisted QA: All RESNET software tools implement automated error checking, including input boundary validation, key ratio checks, and guards for common mistakes. In addition, RESNET leverages its new Quality Assurance and Data Analytics tool, Kibana, and its new app, RESNET QA, to make both RESNET QA and Provider QA faster and more comprehensive. This all helps RESNET, and its members maintain an extremely high quality of HERS Ratings.

First Access to New Codes, Standards, and Programs: RESNET software tools are the first to market to support critical industry programs like ENERGY STAR, DOE Zero Energy Ready Home, IECC, and many regionally amended energy codes.

RESNET Registry Checks, Validations, and Data Analytics: Software checks provide direct feedback to the user prior to a Rating being uploaded to the RESNET Registry. Once a Rating is submitted to RESNET, more than two hundred automated quality assurance checks and validations are performed. The validations ensure that a Rating should be accepted by RESNET, while the quality assurance checks identify potential discrepancies in data inputs. The RESNET Registry will reject Ratings that don’t pass validations, including Ratings that are missing critical data fields.

Validations will ensure that a HERS Rater is certified, a Quality Assurance Provider is accredited, and the software version used for the Rating is accredited. Quality assurance checks are used to determine values that could be outside of expected bounds or other erroneous inputs. RESNET uses both outlier and red flags for quality assurance. Outlier flags are used to determine input values that are outside of expected bounds, while red flags indicate an input that is outside of expected bounds and could have an impact on the HERS Index score.

In 2021, RESNET staff began using a new state-of-the-art Quality Assurance and Data Analytics tool, Kibana. This tool provides powerful data analytics that allows RESNET to track flags and anomalies across all HERS Ratings, and drill-down to the underlying causes of anomalies. In 2023, RESNET provided access to this tool to all accredited Rating Providers.

As the HERS industry grows to new heights, RESNET and its accredited software tools will continue to evolve to maintain our position as the Gold Standard for quality assurance.