Gita Subramony for Zondits, July 9, 2015. Image credit: moerschy
Connecticut recently introduced a new energy labeling program for homes. Using the US Department of Energy’s program, the Constitution State will employ an energy scorecard to help home buyers and owners evaluate homes based on efficiency. The state hopes to have this data accessible through real estate listings in the near future. Making energy efficiency part of the decision-making process for home-buying has the potential to drive the market towards more efficient construction and retrofit practices. Just as miles-per-gallon ratings are now commonplace for evaluating vehicle purchases, perhaps building performance will begin to play a greater role in house hunting.
Connecticut Launches Nation’s First Home Energy Score Program
Energy.gov, May 19, 2015
Connecticut recently launched a statewide residential energy labeling program that will make energy efficiency labels ubiquitous across the state. Using the Energy Department’s Home Energy Score, EnergizeCT’s Home Energy Solutions program will provide an energy efficiency score and recommend efficiency improvements to residents across the state. This change signals an important step to improve the nation’s housing stock and encourage energy-saving solutions.
Several other states are following Connecticut’s lead and making the Home Energy Score available on a statewide basis where the score is available at the point of sale. Besides Connecticut, Colorado and Vermont are close to implementing a Home Energy Score program. Elsewhere, some cities, including Berkeley, California, are exploring its use in energy disclosure policies. The goal is to help more Americans realize potential energy savings when purchasing a new home.
Similar to a vehicle’s miles-per-gallon rating, the Home Energy Score helps homeowners and homebuyers determine a home’s expected energy use. It also provides recommendations for improving energy efficiency. In Connecticut, Home Energy Score Assessors collect data during a home’s energy assessment and provide a score on a 1-to-10 scale. A score of 10 indicates that the home has excellent energy performance.
The Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund funded both United Illuminating Company and Eversource to integrate the Home Energy Score into their Home Energy Solutions program. It is regarded as the flagship residential energy efficiency program.