By Jeff Seman, Assoc. Broker, DL Jones and Associates

Thinking about buying a home but not sure to purchase new or used? There are many

factors to determine which is best for you. One factor that is becoming increasingly more important is energy usage. Builders continue to develop new energy efficient homes to help set themselves apart from resale homes. If you knew the difference in a new energy efficient home vs. a resale home was over one monthly mortgage payment per year, it might make you think twice about buying a resale home.

Building energy efficient homes requires in-depth knowledge and training of energy efficiency measures, and not every builder meets these requirements.

HERS stands for Home Energy Rating System. The HERS index is a scale from 0 to 150. The lower the score the more energy efficient the home. There are many variables used to determine a HERS score from exterior walls and windows to air systems distribution and air leakage. Builders follow strict guidelines set out from RESNET the company that created HERS ratings. HERS approved builders understand how to build homes that are highly energy efficient, so that homeowners can benefit from lower energy costs and greater home comfort.

The typical resale home from 2006 will have a HERS rating of 130. A HERS built home today would have an index rating of 40 to 50. The HERS rating would make the home 60 percent more efficient than a home built in 2006 and 90 percent more efficient than a typical resale home. That alone equates to an annual savings of $1616 in energy usage, close to the average monthly mortgage payment!

HERS ratings can be done for your home by enlisting the help of a certified HERS inspector. For more information on HERS inspectors, check us out at