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RESNET Sets Path to Rating Quality Improvement

Dec 3, 2013

Across the nation the RESNET HERS® Index Score is fast becoming a mainstream in the housing market.  Homebuilders are having their homes energy rated and marketing the HERS® Index Score of their homes, Multiple Listing Services (MLS) are incorporating the HERS® Index Scores in their listings and code jurisdictions are recognizing a HERS® Index Score as a building energy code compliance option.  With the increased visibility of the HERS® Index Score RESNET is obligated to ensure that HERS® Index Scores are as consistent as possible.

This need has been made more important with the International Code Council adopting an Energy Rating Index option to the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code.

To achieve this goal RESNET formed the HERS® Index Score Consistency Task Force.  Members of the task force were representatives of the nation’s largest production builders, rating software tool developers and Rating Providers.  The task force presented to the RESNET Board a set of findings and recommendations.

The recommendations focused on:

  • Enhanced Quality Assurance of Ratings
  • Independence of Quality Assurance Designees
  • Percentage of Rated Homes by a Rater that Must be Quality Reviewed Annually
  • Clearer and Consistent Information and Training from RESNET to Quality Assurance Designees
  • Home Energy Rating Software Program Improvements to Ensure Greater Consistency of HERS® Index Scores

Based on the findings and recommendations of the task force the RESNET Board of Directors adopted a set of policies which are:

  • RESNET certified Quality Assurance Designees must in the future:
    • Serve as agents of RESNET
    • Have neither a financial interest nor an employee/employer relationship with the entity performing the rating
  • That the RENSET quality assurance standards maintain the current requirement of annual quality assurance review of raters consisting of 1% field reviews and 10% building file reviews with provisions through modification to the standard to add additional oversight of HERS® Raters when errors are found in these reviews.
  • RESNET incorporate changes to rating software standards that would include:
    • Establish limits on input variables for whole-house ventilations systems and other in the RESNET Standards
    • Determine bounds checks that can be incorporated into software to limit or warn users when input values are beyond reasonable limits
    • Enhance rating software tools to enable Quality Assurance Designee flags to be set for internal inconsistencies that should be checked prior to entering a building file into RESNET registry
    • Modify RESNET registry XML schema to include reporting of the Quality Assurance Designee flags to RESNET staff

The RESNET Board voted to create a RESNET Quality Improvement Task Force composed of representatives of Rating Providers, Quality Assurance Designees, Rating Companies and homebuilders that would develop recommendations to the RESNET Board to implement the policies.

To view the process that RESNET will follow in developing the changes to the RESNET procedures click on RESNET Path to Rating Quality Improvement.  Since the changes that RESNET will adopt could have a dramatic effect on the rating industry, RESNET will provide an opportunity for the rating community be informed and have an opportunity to comment on each phase of the process.