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The HERS Index

How do you know?

How do you know which house is more energy efficient and can save you money? If you are in the market for a newly constructed home, you may wish there was one simple number to help. Well, there is. It's the HERS Index.

The HERS Index is the industry standard for measuring a home's energy efficiency. HERS – or Home Energy Rating System – was developed by RESNET and is the nationally recognized system for inspecting and calculating a home's energy performance. Certified RESNET home energy raters conduct inspections to verify a home's energy performance and determine what improvements can be made to increase it. Learn more about the RESNET HERS Index*.

Understanding the index

It's important to know that the lower a home's HERS score, the better. For example, an average existing home has a score of 130. So, a number like 74 can save you hundreds of dollars a year in energy costs.

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What makes a home energy efficient?

There are a lot of things a HERS Rater is looking for, but it really all starts in the design phase. A HERS Rater works with the builder to design a home with energy efficiency in mind. Then during construction, the builder includes features like:

  • effective insulation
  • energy-efficient equipment such as heat pumps and water heaters
  • high-performance windows
  • energy-efficient appliances
  • sealing and caulk to improve a home's infiltration

During construction and again upon completion, a HERS Rater performs diagnostic testing to ensure that the energy efficiency measures the builder has put into place will mean true energy savings for you.

How Georgia Power can help

Georgia Power works with local builders who have agreed to construct homes with greater energy efficiency than is required in a newly constructed standard-code home. Greater efficiency means money savings, year after year, over the lifetime of your home. It also means improved comfort, air quality and durability. All of these are benefits of a Georgia Power EarthCents® New Home. Learn more.

HERS is a registered trademark of Residential Energy Services Network*


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Energy-Efficient Construction

Energy efficiency has become an important factor for many new homebuyers. So you think most newly constructed homes would have a variety of energy savings features, but how do you really know for sure? What should you look for? What questions should you ask? And how do you know the information you're given is reliable? The good news is, there is a way for you to be sure the information you are being told is not only reliable, it is measurable.

If you're shopping for a newly constructed home, ask the builder about the home's HERS score. It stands for Home Energy Rating System and it measures the energy efficiency of a home. The lower the HERS score, the greater the efficiency and energy savings. One advantage of the HERS score is it's governed by an independent, third party organization called RESNET, the residential energy services network, so you know the rating is unbiased.

Most energy efficient features are hidden in the design and construction of a home so the HERS score provides a little piece of mind when it comes to the real energy performance of a new home. A HERS rater will work with the builder during the design phase, perform inspections and diagnostic tests during construction, and test again upon completion.

The HERS rater is looking for many factors that can impact a home's energy efficiency.

One of them is windows. High-efficiency windows block 70% or more of incoming solar heat and provide great insulation in the winter.

Another factor includes household appliances. Appliances account for nearly one fifth of an average household's energy use, so investing in Energy Star Certified qualified products can result in significant savings.

Don't overlook lighting. Energy Star Certified LEDs use about 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs.

Considering your water heater is the second largest energy user in the home. A high efficiency water heater can save a lot of money and energy.

And the biggest energy user in the home is your heating and cooling system. An energy efficient electric heat pump is one of the most efficient ways to heat and cool your home. But to keep that conditioned air where it will keep you and your family comfortable year-round, a home needs to be properly insulated and the ductwork needs to be tightly sealed and insulated. The HERS rater performs a leakage test to ensure this has been done properly.

Then there are the little things like sealing outlets and gaps between moldings, plumbing, chimneys and walls. We call it infiltration control; and those little things can make a big difference. These leaks are collectively measured by another one of the HERS diagnostic tests.

While all these individual features are important, it's how they work collectively that really impacts the efficiency of a home--It's called a whole house approach to energy efficiency. It incorporates the design, the materials, the construction and the individual features which reduce your energy bills and provide improved comfort.

So remember, when it comes to energy efficiency, all new homes are not created equal. Ask your builder or real estate professional about a Georgia Power EarthCents New Home. Each of them has been evaluated by a HERS rater so you know the energy performance has been validated. These homes have been built for quality, comfort and energy savings.

Helping you make smart energy choices... that's Georgia Power.

Construcción - Energía eficiente

La energía eficiente se ha convertido en un factor importante para muchos nuevos compradores de casas. Tal vez piense que la mayoría de las casas que han sido construidas recientemente tengan una variedad de características de ahorro de energía, pero ¿cómo podría estar seguro de ello? ¿en que debería fijarse? ¿qué preguntas debería hacer? ¿y cómo saber que la información recibida es confiable? La buena noticia es que hay una manera de asegurarse que la información que está recibiendo no sólo es confiable, es también medible.

Si está comprando una casa nueva, pida al constructor la calificación obtenida en HERS (sistema de evaluación de energía en casas/Home Energy Rating System). Cuanto menor sea el puntaje de HERS, mayor será la eficiencia y ahorro de energía. Una ventaja de la puntuación HERS es que es dirigida por una organización independiente llamada RESNET, red de servicios de energía residencial, lo que confirma que la calificación es imparcial.

La mayoría de las características de eficiencia de energía están ocultas en el diseño y la construcción de una casa, por lo que la puntuación HERS brinda tranquilidad en relación al rendimiento energético real de una nueva casa. Un evaluador de HERS trabajará con el constructor durante la fase de diseño, realizará inspecciones y pruebas de diagnóstico durante la construcción y volverá a revisarlo una vez finalizado.

El evaluador de HERS está buscando muchos factores que pueden afectar la eficiencia de la energía de una casa, siendo las ventanas uno de ellos. Las ventanas de alta eficiencia bloquean el 70% o más del calor solar entrante y proporcionan un gran aislamiento en el invierno.

Otro factor son los electrodomésticos, los cuales representan casi una quinta parte del consumo de energía de un hogar promedio, por lo que invertir en productos calificados con certificación Energy Star puede resultar en ahorros significativos.

No ignore la iluminación. Lámparas con certificación Energy Star LED utilizan un 75% menos de energía que las bombillas incandescentes.

Tenga en cuenta que su calentador de agua es el segundo mayor consumidor de energía en el hogar. Un calentador de agua de alta eficiencia puede ahorrar mucho dinero y energía.

Y el mayor consumidor de energía en el hogar es su sistema de calefacción y refrigeración. Una bomba de calor eléctrica de energía eficiente es una de las maneras más efectivas de calentar y refrescar su hogar. Pero para mantener ese aire acondicionado donde usted y su familia permanecerán cómodos durante todo el año, una casa necesita estar aislada adecuadamente y el conducto debe estar sellado y aislado firmemente. El evaluador HERS realiza una prueba de fugas para asegurar de que se ha hecho correctamente.

Luego están los pequeños detalles como sellar salidas y huecos entre molduras, plomería, chimeneas y paredes. Eso es, control de infiltración. Y esas pequeñas cosas pueden hacer una gran diferencia. Estas fugas son evaluadas conjuntamente por otra de las pruebas de diagnóstico HERS.

Si bien, todas estas características individuales son importantes, es su funcionamiento colectivo lo que realmente impacta la eficiencia en una casa, siendo este un enfoque total en energía eficiente. Aquí se incorporan el diseño, los materiales, la construcción y las características individuales que reducen sus facturas de energía y proporcionan mayor comodidad.

Así que recuerde que cuando se trata de energía eficiente todos los nuevos hogares no son iguales. Pregúntele a su constructor o profesional de bienes raíces sobre el programa de casas nuevas de Georgia Power (EarthCents New Home). Cada una de ellas ha sido analizada por un evaluador HERS, quien confirmará que el rendimiento energético ha sido validado. Estas casas han sido construídas para calidad, comodidad y ahorro de energía.

Ayudarle a tomar decisiones inteligentes de energía ... eso es Georgia Power.