Home Energy Score

Jenny Edwards, Dave Bohac, P.E., Isaac Smith — Feb 2012


Many homeowners may hesitate to finance expensive energy upgrades without clear information about their home’s current energy performance. Building energy ratings help homeowners understand their energy use and potential savings from improvements. Well-designed rating systems should be cost-effective and easy to understand, and should accurately represent a home’s upgrade priorities.

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The Home Energy Score is an asset-based rating tool developed by the Department of Energy (DOE) that informs homeowners about their home’s energy performance. CEE was one of nine organizations that partnered with DOE to pilot the Home Energy Score during the spring of 2011. These findings will help refine the tool for its national launch in 2012. As a DOE partner, CEE is assessing the performance of energy rating systems for homes in Minneapolis and Apple Valley, MN, which fall in Building America’s “Cold” climate zone.  

In addition, CEE is evaluating two other building performance models as part of the pilot: REM/Rate™ and SIMPLE. All three tools vary in their complexity and required input data. CEE is looking specifically at accuracy and ease of use in the field for Minnesota area homes, with a focus on home retrofit applications. This pilot will help determine which, if any, tradeoffs exist between the time required for a home energy rating and its ability to predict building energy consumption. 

This work is funded in part through Building America.