Just How Green Can A Home Get?

Real Estate Agent with Vision Real Estate - Park's Edge Townhomes

We hear a lot about “green” these days. However, what is the definition of a “green” home and how “green” can a home get? There really is a good reason for all the fuss because it’s important. Like affecting your pocketbook type of important!

Have you ever heard of HERS?  HERS stands for Home Energy Rating Score.  HERS actually provides a way to quantify all the systems that go into a home and how they work together for energy efficiency. The more efficient the appliances, wall insulation, windows, HVAC equipment, etc., the more energy efficient the home. The general rule is the lower the score, the better.

For example, a home built to 2006 building standards would have a HERS index of 100. A home with a HERS index of 0 would essentially be “off the grid” and not pay anything in energy costs.  A home that is Energy Star rated would have a HERS index of 85. For every one percentage point drop in a HERS index, a 1% point saving in energy costs can be expected. So, an Energy Star home would have 15% energy savings over a home built to code in 2006.

As can be guessed from the above, homes built prior to 2006 might really be energy hogs with HERS indexes of 120 or more!  

At Park’s Edge Park City, a HERS index of 62 was obtained and third party certified. That's right! 62!  This means a 38% savings in energy costs can be expected when compared to a 2006 home. At Park’s Edge we were curious and decided to track actual monthly utilities on three homes for over two years. The average energy cost per home (gas and electric combined) came to $95 per month!

So, when looking for real estate, consider not just the square footage and price but also what the home will actually cost to operate on a monthly basis. If a home is not leaving “green” in your pocket, it’s clearly not “green” enough!

Comments (1)

Alan Kirkpatrick
Austin Texas Homes - Round Rock, TX
Alan in Austin


Nice post and very good info. Going Green is growing in importance to many buyers.

May 16, 2011 11:37 AM