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RESNET Water Efficiency Rating Index Guidelines Working Group

May 28, 2015

In many parts of the nation water is fast becoming an increasingly expensive commodity. There is clearly a need for a system to rate a home’s water use efficiency. This will allow homebuyers to know how efficiently water is being used in the homes they are considering. It will also provide an opportunity for homebuilders to monetize the efficiency of their homes in the same fashion that the HERS® Index does for energy efficiency.

RESNET is partnering with the International Code Council (ICC) to develop a national consensus standard for a Water Efficiency Rating Index (WER Index).

RESNET’s initial efforts in this regard will comprise a WER Index Guidelines Working Group.  The working group is composed of subject matter experts that represent a balance of expertise including raters, software providers, indoor and outdoor water use experts and water appliance usage experts.  The Working Group will draft guideline provisions.

The working group will be co-chaired by:

  • Jacob Atalla of KB Home
  • Ed Osann of the Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Jonah Schein of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program.

Other members of the RESNET WER Index Guidelines Working Group are:

  • Dave Bell, Masco Home Services
  • Peter V. DeMarco, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials
  • Philip Fairey, Florida Solar Energy Center
  • Amanda A. Hatherly, Santa Fe Community College
  • Gary Kline, Gary Kline and Associates
  • Brent Mecham, Irrigation Association
  • Kathy Nguyen, Cobb County, Georgia Water System
  • Thomas E. Pape, Best Management Partners
  • Kim Shanahan, Santa Fe Area Homebuilders Association
  • Kent Sovocool, Southern Nevada Water Authority

The working group will be appointing Working Subgroups to draft specific guideline provisions.  The Working Subgroups will be composed of technical experts in the following fields.

  • Modeling and development of reference home
  • Rating inspection and testing procedures
  • Rater training and qualification requirements
  • Indoor water appliances
  • Outdoor water use

RESNET has also formed a National RESNET WER Index Advisory Council that is comprised of subject matter experts on residential water use.  The advisory council will vet the guidelines drafted by the RESNET WER Index Guidelines Working Group before they are submitted to the RESNET public review and comment process.  The membership of the National Advisory Council represents a wide diversity of interests and expertise in the fields of water use efficiency as well as HERS® ratings.

The members of the advisory council can be found at National RESNET WER Index Advisory Council

It is RESNET’s goal to develop and adopt interim guidelines by December 31, 2015.  The interim guidelines then will serve as the basis for development of an ANSI standard on the Water Use Efficiency Rating Index.