Have you ever wondered what factors determine a Home Energy Score? A Home Energy Score is a rating system that assesses a home’s energy consumption (not efficiency) on a scale of 1 to 10. The higher the score, the less energy the home uses.
To help you understand what affects a home’s energy consumption, we have provided two cross-sectional illustrations of similar homes. One home has a higher Home Energy Score than the other, but can you guess which one and why?
Here are the six reasons why the house on the left would have a better Home Energy Score:
- Lower Ceilings: The house on the left has lower ceilings, which means there is less air volume to heat. This is important because heating the air in a room is one of the most significant energy expenses in a home.
- Fewer Bedrooms: The house on the left has fewer bedrooms, so the Home Energy Score program will estimate less water to heat and less plug load for occupants even if that bedroom is not occupied. The score modeling software estimates full occupancy so that users of the score can compare likely energy consumption of the assets and not owner behavior that can vary.
- South Facing Windows: The house on the left has south-facing windows to let the sunshine in during the winter, which helps to heat the house. This is known as solar gain, and it can be an important factor in a home’s energy consumption.
- Unconditioned Attic: The house on the left has an unconditioned attic, which is typically more energy-efficient than a cathedral ceiling. Unconditioned attics are easier to add insulation to, and their design is more efficient at slowing heat loss.
- Ducts Built Within Conditioned Space: The house on the left has heating ducts built within the conditioned space, which means that those ducts are not losing heat to the outside of the house like they would in the house on the right running through a vented crawl. Even when ducts are insulated, they lose heat.
- Air Conditioning: The house on the left does not have air conditioning and therefore would use less energy than the house on the right. Remember that the score estimates the home is being heated and cooled using average thermostat settings.
It’s important to note that the hot tub is included on the left house to throw the reader off. Hot tubs and pools are not considered by the Bend Home Energy Score program and would not change a home energy score, even though they use a lot of energy.
At A Quality Measurement, we have performed over 4,000 Home Energy Scores and are happy to be a resource for anyone with questions about the Home Energy Score. Contact us for more information or to schedule your score.
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