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10 Surprising Things You Don’t Know About Bend’s Home Energy Score

Surprised house drawing for Bend Home Energy Score blog post

When it comes to assessing the energy consumption of homes, Bend’s required Home Energy Score is a valuable tool that provides homeowners and buyers with important insights. However, there are several lesser-known aspects of Bend’s Home Energy Score program that may surprise you.

  1. It’s an energy consumption score, not an efficiency score: Unlike traditional energy efficiency ratings, Bend’s Home Energy Score focuses on energy consumption rather than efficiency. This means that large homes with efficient systems and good insulation can score poorly, just like a large bus or SUV can have a poor MPG, even if that bus is an efficient hybrid. It’s all about understanding the context. To learn more click here.
  2. Not all Bend homes require a score.  Do you know what homes are exempt? These include stacked units, homes outside Bend City Limits, detached ADUs, and temporarily manufactured homes. To learn more click here.
  3. Homes without AC usually score better: Surprisingly, homes without air conditioning may receive better scores. The scoring program estimates that these homes use less energy since they are not being cooled during the summer months. This is similar to how a car with air conditioning will get a lower MPG.
  4. Windows may not be recommended on the second page of the report: When reviewing the Home Energy Score report, you may notice that window improvements are rarely recommended on the second page. This is because the recommendations on the second page are estimated to pay back within ten years, while window upgrades typically have a longer payback period. However, it’s important to consider other factors, such as comfort and street appeal when deciding on window improvements.
  5. Sometimes a lower score can be better: While a higher score indicates a home that uses less energy, there are situations where a lower score can be advantageous. For example, a home with a score of 4 today but expected to improve to an 8 after a low-cost improvement is often a better option compared to a home with a score of 5 today but only able to reach a 6 after several costly upgrades. To learn more click here
  6. The Home Energy Score influences behaviors and buyer conversations: Although the Home Energy Score may not directly impact the sale of a home, it often leads to changes in buyer behaviors and conversations. Recent home buyers frequently contact us to seek advice from our company on making the improvements suggested in the report. This demonstrates the score’s influence in promoting energy-conscious decision-making after the sale occurs.
  7. Older homes can score well: Contrary to popular belief, older homes don’t always score poorly. Several factors, such as smaller size, good insulation retrofitting, and ducting within the conditioned space, can significantly improve the score of older homes. The age of the home itself does not determine its energy consumption.
  8. Variances in square footage measurements: The square footage mentioned in the Home Energy Score may differ from the measurements taken by appraisers. Key differences, such as ledges, sloped ceiling areas, rounding, and distinctions between finished and conditioned spaces, contribute to variations in the square footage values. It’s important to understand the specific context in which each measurement is used.
  9. Homes with a better Home Energy Score are often more healthy homes. Factors like good insulation, air sealing, ventilation, and sealed appliances can all contribute to a more healthy home while increasing the score. To learn more click here.
  10. Home Energy Assessor audits ensure accuracy and improvement: To maintain consistency and credibility, one out of every 20 scores conducted is audited for accuracy by Earth Advantage. These audits, along with random and ongoing quality measures, ensure that all homes are scored in a standardized manner. Additionally, the auditing process helps Home Energy Assessors enhance their skills over time. Assessors with extensive experience tend to provide more accurate and reliable scores.

Bend’s Home Energy Score program offers valuable insights into a home’s energy consumption and potential for improvement. Understanding the nuances of the scoring system can help homeowners make informed decisions about energy improvements and enable buyers to have meaningful conversations. A Quality Measurement Bend is committed to providing professional context so you will be better equipped to leverage the benefits of Bend’s Home Energy Score program.  Contact us if you have questions, we are happy to help.

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