The Home Energy Score program was developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and launched nationally in 2012. Since then, home energy score assessors have scored over 68,000 homes nationwide. This program has been adopted by several other cities, including Portland starting on January 1, 2018. A home energy score is a low-cost, reliable method for homeowners and buyers to understand their homes' energy efficiency. Home energy score is an "asset" score based on the home’s envelope (walls, windows, roof, foundation) and heating, cooling, and hot water systems. Estimated total energy use is estimated by fuel type assuming standard operating conditions and occupant behavior.
Understanding the Home Energy Score Method
This graphic may help you understand how U.S. Census home energy data has helped inform the Home Energy Score scale. The bar graph shows home energy use data for the nation based on U.S. Census surveys, and the Home Energy Score’s scale below is stretched to show how homes score based on their energy use. If your home scores a 5, it is expected to perform comparably to an average home in the U.S. in terms of energy use. If your home scores a 10, it ranks among the ten percent of U.S. homes expected to use the least amount of energy after accounting for climate. A home scoring a 1 is estimated to consume more energy each year than 85 percent of U.S. homes, again after accounting for local climate.
U.S. Department of Energy created a simulator uniquely refined to require minimal data input – to save on time, money, and training for Assessors – while producing maximum accuracy for energy use predictions. Energy eScore by Home Energy Score PDX, LLC is an official software partner with U.S. Department of Energy, and created an easy to use interface for homeowners and realtors called Energy eScore.
These tools are widely used and influential the market, leading to an improved U.S. housing stock with better energy performance, lower costs and greater comfort as well as more efficient use of natural resources. Our goal is to build market value for energy efficient single-family homes and townhomes that improve quality of life. The Home Energy Score Program accomplishes this by:
- Providing homeowners and homebuyers knowledge of home energy efficiency and cost-effective improvements in order to reduce energy use and costs.
- Encouraging use of reliable, consistent home energy efficiency information in real estate transactions to inform decisions, and build a market value for comfortable, energy efficient homes.
- Integrating energy information into financing products to help drive the market for comfortable, energy efficient homes.
More information can be found at the U.S. Department of Energy home energy score methodology website.