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RESNET’s Push for New Business Opportunities for HERS® Raters

Mar 14, 2019


RESNET® is committed to expanding the demand for HERS® Ratings.  In 2019, the organization will be developing marketing tools for certified RESNET HERS® Raters and builders to educate consumers on why a HERS® Rating is an essential element in purchasing a home.

Currently, there are uncertainties in the nation’s housing market caused by such factors as labor shortages, the price of housing and the price of building materials.  While boosting the efforts aimed at expanding the demand forHERS® Ratings, it is prudent to think around the corner and start focusing on creating new business opportunities for HERS® Raters.

The RESNET Board of Directors has explored a number of emerging opportunities and identified the most promising near and mid-term opportunities. Over the next couple of years RESNET staff will be developing the following initiatives:

• HERS® Raters Being the Preferred Verification Party for the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) Performance Path Compliance Option – The IECC performance path is becoming increasingly popular energy code compliance code path for builders. Code jurisdictions across the nation are recognizing HERS® Raters to verify a home’s compliance to the code. This represents a great opportunity for HERS® Raters to expand their business offerings. RESNET is partnering with the International Code Council (ICC) on an aggressive education effort to code officials on why they should see certified RESNET HERS® Raters as the gold standard for the performance path verification.

•  Quality HVAC Design and Installation Verification – HVAC systems represent a large portion of energy use in any home. It follows that optimizing HVAC systems can lead to lower home energy consumption, hence a lower HERS® score/better HERS® rating. HERS® Raters will play a key role in this. Currently, the RESNET Standard Development Committee 300 is readying an ANSI candidate standard specifying the inspection procedures for quality HVAC design and installation verification.  Raters may need a few more tools and training in this extension of their work, yet efforts are being made to the standard, maximizing flexibility of execution. The standard will include a new, non-invasive system test for HVAC systems. It is calculated that this could reduce HERS® Index Scores by as much as 6 points. Not only does this represent a great new opportunity for HERS® Raters but also significantly re-unify the process of doing a HERS® rating and earning the ENERGY STAR label.

•   Existing Home Energy Improvement Verification – HERS® Raters can play a key role in the testing in and testing out on home retrofits.  An exciting opportunity is presented by the new partnership between RESNET and Pearl Home Certification.  In the Pearl program, HERS® Raters can verify the improvement of a home’s energy performance after a retrofit or serve as the homeowner’s representative in undertaking a retrofit of the home. These improvements can then translate into a listing of the home’s label in the MLS at the time of sale.

•  Water Efficiency – Across the nation, the affordability and availability of water is becoming an increasing concern.  Not only are areas of the country facing droughts but nationally the cost of water and sewer service is escalating faster than energy costs. Through the RESNET HERSH2O® program, HERS® Raters can produce a water efficiency rating of a home in the same manner as an energy rating. Currently, there are pilot HERSH2O® programs in Arizona, California. Canada, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Utah.  In 2019, it is planned the national rollout of the program will take place and the ANSI candidate Water Rating Index standard is adopted.  The demand for HERSH2O® will grow as governments and water districts implement water efficiency efforts and builders want to market their water efficiency features to meet this emerging challenge.

•  Utility Program Verification – Utilities are increasingly using HERS® Raters for the verification of the improvement of a home’s energy performance.  RESNET is working with the Consortium for Energy Efficiency, the national association of utility energy efficiency managers, to expand this trend.

•  Net Zero Energy Homes – The trend towards net zero energy homes is growing nationally.  HERS® Raters can play a critical role in verifying these homes.  Currently, the U.S. Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home program relies upon HERS® Raters for the verification of a home’s performance.  A new opportunity is emerging with the new partnership with the New Buildings Institute in their new Zero Energy Home program.

•  Light Commercial Program/Energy Code Verification – Light commercial buildings represent a new frontier for HERS® Raters.  The new standard for the rating of multifamily buildings will serve as a foundation for HERS® Raters expanding their services to include the verification of the energy performance of light commercial buildings.  This opportunity will be a longer-term element.

Again, while boosting the efforts aimed at expanding the demand for HERS® Ratings, it is prudent to think around the corner and start focusing on creating new business opportunities for HERS® Raters.

RESNET will be hosting a series of webinars exploring each of these opportunities.  Be watching for the announcement of these broadcasts.