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RESNET HERS® Standard Development Procedure Changes For January 1, 2022

Dec 22, 2021

RESNET standard development procedures require that major changes to the RESNET HERS® standards are implemented on January 1 and July 1 of each year.

Several major changes that had been planned to take effect in 2021 will now go into effect January 1, 2022. These are the implementation of the 2019 editions of Standards ANSI/RESNET/ICC 301 and ANSI/RESNET/ICC 380 and implementation of the new HVAC grading Standard ANSI/RESNET/ACCA/ICC 310. Software accredited for compliance with Standard 301-2019 must be used for rating units with a building permit date of January 1, 2022, or later.

The changes to HERS® ratings industry will observe are the result of several RESNET initiatives. The most visible are changes resulting from updates to Standard ANSI/RESNET/ICC 301.

Other important changes that will affect the HERS® industry establish training, certification and quality assurance criteria that support expansions of the RESNET Home Energy Rating System by Standard 301-2019, Standard 380-2019, and Standard 310-2020. They include new training and qualification requirements for HERS® Raters and RFIs who conduct HVAC grading, and training requirements for the new certified HERS® Modelers, Raters, and RFIs.

In addition, the new year brings a new change to the WaterSense Labeled Homes program. Effective January 1, 2022, all homes seeking the WaterSense Label through RESNET will be required to certify under version 2.0 of the program. This means homes will have to be rated using HERSH2O® and achieve a score of 70 or less; along with meeting a few simple WaterSense requirements.

What these standards changes mean for Raters and RFIs:

RESNET has pursued improving consistency of HERS® ratings through a number of initiatives. Those include initiatives to improve Rater and RFI competency and accountability and actions that improve the consistency of ratings calculated by RESNET accredited rating software. In addition to the enhancements for rating multifamily homes and for providing credit for quality installations of insulation and HVAC systems, the adoption and implementation of Standard ANSI/RESNET/ICC 301-2019 is the transition point that many of rating quality and consistency improvement changes take effect.

Rater and RFI knowledge in how to collect data and how to use it for the calculation of HERS® ratings directly impacts the consistency of ratings produced throughout the industry. One of the initiatives the RESNET Board of Directors pursued was creation of the HERS® Modeler certification. The new certification will establish criteria for demonstration of competency in the use of software Raters and RFIs use to calculate ratings and ensure continued training in software use is part of their professional development requirements. Another development is training requirements for those Raters who offer the service of HVAC system installation quality assessment. Credits for quality installations of HVAC systems is a new component of the HERS® system established by Standard 301-2019 and Standard 310-2020.

The other major initiative for improving rating consistency is improving how accredited software calculate ratings. Two major parts of the initiative have been in the works for several years and their impact will be apparent with implementation of Standard 301-2019. The first part of the initiative is the requirement that all accredited software will perform hourly simulations of home energy use. Previously, software could perform hourly simulations of energy use or use seasonal simulations. The second part was RESNET’s creation and staffing of the Software Consistency Committee which has developed consensus criteria for how simulations for certain systems will be performed and for the tests required for accreditation of software. Implementation of the committee’s first major tranche of criteria for the RESNET HERS® was adopted via MINHERS® Addendum 53f noted above and via several changes to RESNET Publication 002, Procedures for Verification of RESNET Accredited HERS® Software Tools. The criteria have improved the consistency of ratings produced by different rating software and together with the hourly simulations mandate will have a different impact on the HERS® Index calculated for each software program.

Other changes to Standard 301 in the 2019 edition will also impact Rater and RFI practices. The addition of credits for quality installations of HVAC systems is optional but it’s an opportunity for Raters to expand their services. Other major changes include: 1) Expansion of Standard 301’s Scope and criteria to include ratings for multi-family Dwelling Units in buildings over 3 stories; (2) Modification and incorporation of insulation installation grading protocols directly within Standard 301, Appendix A; and, (3) Modification and incorporation of Minimum Rated Feature inspection directly within Standard 301, Appendix B. These three changes are now in Standard 301 but have been a part of the RESNET HERS® since 2019 or earlier.

The RESNET Guidelines for Multifamily Energy Ratings were approved by the RESNET Board of Directors in 2014 and have been in use for Dwelling Units in buildings over three stories since then. They were amended somewhat by public review and comment when incorporated into Standard 301-2019 but remain largely the same. Standard 301-2019 requirements for multifamily will preempt the Guidelines as of January 1, 2022, with the exception of the Guidelines’ criteria for inspections and tests performed for Sampled Ratings. The Guidelines’ criteria for those inspections and tests can be used until the update to MINHERS® Chapter 6 (currently underway) is completed.

The protocols for grading insulation installations are also incorporated within Standard 301-2019 but they are the same as the protocols Raters and RFIs have been following since 2019. The protocols were adopted by Standard 301-2014 Addendum F and incorporated into the RESNET HERS® in 2019. The same is true for the Minimum Rated Feature requirements of Standard 301-2019, Appendix B. Those requirements were established by Standard 301-1014 Addendum N and have been in effect for the HERS® since 2019.

The new requirements and a summary of the changes of each standard and addendum can be accessed via the links below. The MINHERS® posted online will have addenda that take effect January 1, 2022 incorporated within it.

MINHERS® Addenda:

• Addendum 42 – Adoption of Standards ANSI/RESNET/ICC 301-2019 and ANSI/RESNET/ICC 380-2019. Adopts Standards ANSI/RESNET/ICC 301-2019 and ANSI/RESNET/ICC 380-2019 as the basis for the RESNET HERS.

Addendum 53f – (final for 53i and 55i) Modifications to ANSI/RESNET/ICC 301-2019 for Consistency of HERS® Index Calculations. The addendum impacts Raters indirectly by establishing criteria to improve the consistency of ratings produced by different software that may impact energy ratings produced by some vendor’s software. The addendum is part of RESNET’s initiative to improve the consistency of ratings produced throughout the HERS® industry.

Addendum 50 – HERS® Modeler. Implements a RESNET Board of Directors policy requiring that all persons using Accredited Software Tools to develop HERS® ratings must be certified to use that software. The Addendum requires: development of a core curriculum for use in HERS® Modeler training; HERS® Modeler training by approved Training Providers; HERS® Modeler demonstration of proficiency in the use of each Accredited Software Tool they use to develop HERS® ratings, and; HERS® Modeler certification by a HERS® Provider. The addendum is part of RESNET’s initiative to improve the consistency of ratings produced throughout the HERS® industry.

Addendum 59 – Include Modeling Skills in HERS® Rater Capabilities & Recertification. The addendum clarifies that even though current HERS® Raters are grandfathered in as HERS® Modelers, the professional development and training requirements for HERS® Modelers apply to Raters.

ANSI/RESNET Standards:

  • ANSI/RESNET/ICC 301-2019, Addendum A-2019, Addendum B-2020 – Major changes include: first time requirements for rating multi-family dwelling and sleeping units in buildings of all heights and the new capability to obtain credits based on the quality of HVAC installations.

*The Multi-Family Guidelines can no longer be used after January 1, 2022, with the exception of the Guidelines sampling criteria for inspections and tests for developing Sampled Ratings of Dwelling Units in multifamily buildings.

• ANSI/RESNET/ICC 380-2019 – Updates air leakage testing and ventilation testing requirements used by Standard 301-2019 to determine ratings.

ANSI/RESNET/ACCA/ICC 310-2020 – Establishes procedures for grading the quality of HVAC system installations that can be used to obtain credits for ratings determined by Standard 301-2019. Updated rating software programs that implement Standard 301-2019 and its addenda provide the calculation of credits based on the quality grade determined according to Standard 310-2020.