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State of Colorado Launches Program to Assist State’s Builders to Lower Their HERS® Index Scores

Mar 26, 2015

The Colorado Residential Buildings Program has launched an initiative aimed at providing technical assistance to Colorado builders to determine their homes’ current RESNET HERS® Index Scores and to make recommendations for cost-effective measures to reduce their homes’ HERS® Index Scores.

About 45% of all new single family homes built in Colorado received a HERS® Rating in 2014 with an average HERS® Index Score of 58. However, market penetration rates vary across the state. To help builders become comfortable with the HERS® Index Score and find cost effective ways to reduce the score, the Colorado Energy Office is providing 10 technical assistance grants to production builders who build between 40 and 750 homes per year.

Program participants will receive up to $4,000 in technical assistance to understand the performance of current models and various cost effective measures to reduce the HERS® Index Score. Typical assistance will include:

  • Plan review, modeling, and consulting on individual models
  • Field inspection of current builds
  • Performance testing including blower door and duct leakage testing utility program and other state/federal incentives coordination and support
  • Overview of the building programs specifically the RESNET Energy Smart Builder program
  • HERS® Index and compliance with the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)
  • At least one net-zero or near net-zero package for a builder’s model

If the builder develops an energy package that reduces the HERS® Index Score below 50, homebuyers will be eligible for the Colorado Energy Saving Mortgage Incentive Program.

To sign up for the program, the builder needs to email the residential program at the Colorado Energy Office at CEO_grants@state.co.us with their name and the number of home starts in 2014. If the builder has selected a certified RESNET HERS® Index Rater to provide the technical assistance, the selected HERS® Rater must provide a W-9, as the CEO will directly reimburse the HERS® Rater.