Quantitative information about a home is usually limited to square footage, number of bedrooms, cost per square foot, and so on. But what about a grade, or score, that speaks to a home’s energy use?
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Home Energy Score provides exactly that—a miles per gallon rating, if you will, for energy use of a residential home.
Just six years ago, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory completed a mathematical model to transition "home facts" (square footage, number of bedrooms, windows, heating/cooling units) into a measurable home energy score. PNNL is responsible for the Home Energy Score Gateway which "packages" the model into web-based services that enable DOE energy partners and their accredited assessors to evaluate homes. These services provide all of the administrative features needed to manage the overall home energy scoring effort: partner management, assessor training, quality assurance reviews, reporting, and more.
Once a home is scored, the Home Energy Score Gateway automatically generates labels—much like the ENERGY STAR® program for appliances—to individual residences. Added up over time, these individual scores paint a picture of energy use for city planners, among others. And for home builders, realtors, and home buyers, Home Energy Scores can be another data point in the housing market.
Visit DOE’s Building Technologies Office webpage for information on other energy efficiency building programs.