• List your home
  • Sign In

DOE Home Energy Score

Better Buildings Solution Center

 

About the Department of Energy's Home Energy Score

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
What is the Home Energy Score?

 Imagine you are in the market to buy a car and comparing your options. You are weighing a number of factors in your purchasing decision, including performance, cost, size, and appearance. When you ask the salesperson what the miles-per-gallon rating for each car is, they shrug and say, “I don’t know.” Even if fuel efficiency is not the only factor you are considering, this would probably concern you as a prospective buyer.

 

 And yet, this is how most people make decisions when buying or renting a home: without any information about how much energy the home is expected to use, how much this will cost them, or how to cost-effectively lower energy expenses

 Example Home Energy Score

 
  Like a miles-per-gallon rating for a car, the Home Energy Score is an easy-to-produce rating designed to help homeowners and homebuyers gain useful information about a home's energy performance. Based on an in-home assessment that can be completed in less than an hour, the Home Energy Score not only lets a homeowner understand how efficient the home is and how it compares to others, but also provides recommendations on how to cost-effectively improve the home's energy efficiency.

 The Home Energy Score uses a simple 1-to-10 scale where a 10 represents the most energy efficient homes.

 The mission of the Home Energy Score program is to build market value for home energy efficiency among single-family and townhomes. Home Energy Score accomplishes this by valuing, understanding, and financing home energy efficiency with nationwide household recognition.

 

 


Features of the Home Energy Score

An energy efficiency score based on the home's envelope (foundation, roof, walls, insulation, windows) and heating, cooling, and hot water systems 

A total energy use estimate, as well as estimates by fuel type assuming standard operating conditions and occupant behavior

Recommendations for cost-effective improvements and associated annual cost savings estimates

A "Score with Improvements" reflecting the home's expected score if cost-effective improvements are implemented


 

 

Background

 

In Fall 2009, the Vice President and the White House Council on Environmental Quality called upon the Department of Energy to create a nationally-applicable home energy labeling system. After years of consumer research, software development pilot studies, and focus groups, the DOE launched the Home Energy Score program in 2012

Since then, Home Energy Score Assessors have scored over 40,000 homes nationwide.

Summary from our 2014 Report about the tool's updates and analysis.

In Fall 2009, the Vice President and the White House Council on Environmental Quality called upon the Department of Energy to create a nationally-applicable home energy labeling system. After years of consumer research, software development, 

The tool is uniquely refined to require minimal data input - to save on time, money, and training for Assessors - while producing maximum accuracy for energy use predictions. Read the Home Energy Score's 
Scoring Methodology on the tool and its assumptions, and the 

More information about the certification 

Explain briefly what is the basic certification process (application, inspection, completion)?

Like a miles-per-gallon rating for a car, the Home Energy Score is a rating designed to quickly and clearly convey a home’s estimated energy performance based on its structure and systems. Any single family home or townhome is eligible for a Home Energy Score. While certifications verify that homes meet certain standards, Home Energy Score provides comparative ratings for all homes.  

Homeowners, buyers, and renters interested in getting a Score should visit the Home Energy Score website to see which Partners and Assessors offer the Score in their area. Once they have scheduled an appointment, an Assessor conducts a home walk-through to gather information about the home’s energy assets – the building structure, insulation, and heating, cooling, and hot water systems. The resulting Home Energy Score remains valid until the home has undergone upgrades or changes could affect its Score.

Approximately how long does it take for a home to get certified?  

Collecting all the data points for a Home Energy Score takes less than an hour of an Assessor’s time in most homes. If the Assessor is offering other services in tandem with the Score, then the Home Energy Score can require as little as fifteen additional minutes. 

What is the cost for a certification/score of a single family home?  

The U.S. Department of Energy provides the Home Energy Scoring Tool free to all Assessors and does not dictate the price of the Home Energy Score. The best way to find out the price for your home is to contact Assessors that offer the Score near you.

What makes you different from other certifications?

The Home Energy Score is the fastest and most broadly applicable tool for understanding a home’s estimated annual energy use based on its structure and systems. Regardless of a home’s age, location in the U.S., or qualifications for a certification, all single-family homes and townhomes can receive a Home Energy Score assessment. The Score uses a simple 1-to-10 scale, where a five represents home with average energy use, and a ten represents homes estimated to use less energy than 90% of U.S. homes. The Home Energy Scoring Tool also produces recommendations for energy efficiency upgrades to improve a home’s Score.

The Home Energy Score is a home energy assessment tool that provides energy asset information to homeowners, buyers, and renters to compare U.S. homes in terms of estimated energy performance. This allows energy asset information to be included in home appraisal, MLS listing, time of sale, and home financing.

 

Do you focus primarily on energy efficiency or multiple elements for certification and what are they?   

 Home Energy Score models a home’s estimated energy performance based on each home’s assets: its energy equipment (heating, cooling, hot water, and ducts), its envelope (attic and roof, windows, foundation, and insulation), and its attributes (size, orientation, and local climate). Analysis of these systems results in a rating.


Approximately how many certifications have been completed?

 As of November 2016, over 50,000 homes have received a Home Energy Score. Our website includes a counter to show the most up-to-date figure.

 

Please describe the region you cover, if not national.

 Home Energy Score is offered nationally, however may be easier to get in some regions that have more Assessors available. Visit our website to see where the Home Energy Score is provided

 

Are renovations/remodels eligible for certification, or is it primarily new construction?

 Home Energy Score is unique in that any single-family home or townhome is eligible for assessment and receiving a Score. Home Energy Score compares a home to existing U.S. housing stock, rather than to code-built homes or another standard of performance. A home should get a new Home Energy Score if it has undergone changes that could affect its Score, such as a renovation or remodel.