As states design policies and programs to encourage energy efficiency in homes, one challenge is lack of homeowner awareness and information on the energy performance of their properties. This makes energy efficiency hard to prioritize when making home buying and retrofit or upgrade decisions.

To address this challenge, several states have developed residential energy labeling programs and policies. Residential energy labeling programs produce an assessment of a home’s energy performance and compares it to that of other similar homes. They provide valuable information for  homeowners, homebuyers, and other stakeholders such as real estate professionals, appraisers, lenders, and contractors. The energy label and supplementary information are used to inform real estate purchasing decisions or investments in energy efficiency upgrades. Numerous considerations go into state and local residential energy labeling programs, such as determining the best metrics to use when describing home energy performance and how to account for differences in new and existing homes.

NASEO is working with the State Energy Offices on several home energy labeling and home energy scoring initiatives, including:

  • Residential Energy Labeling Coordination  -- To better coordinate activities and assist states in leveraging resources, NASEO holds a Residential Energy Labeling Coordination call each month, and conducts periodic meetings in conjunction with the NASEO Annual Meeting and Energy Outlook Conference.  The calls provide a forum for State Energy Offices, local governments, interested NASEO Affiliate Members, and other stakeholders active in residential energy labeling to elevate best practices, new approaches, and market concerns.

Resources

  • U.S. Department of Energy Home Energy Score
    National residential energy labeling program. The Home Energy Score is mainly used for existing homes.
  • RESNET
    Manages the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index, which is a system for inspecting and calculating a home's energy performance. HERS scores are predominantly used in new construction.
  • Energy Trust of Oregon: Energy Performance Score 
    One of the longest-running state energy labeling programs, the Energy Trust of Oregon implements the EPS (Energy Performance Score) program. The EPS is an energy performance score that rates the efficiency of a home and measures it against similar-sized homes in Oregon.
  • Berkeley, California Building Energy Saving Ordinance 
    Berkeley’s Building Energy Saving Ordinance (BESO) “requires building owners and homeowners to complete and publicly report comprehensive energy assessments to uncover energy saving opportunities at the time of sale.
  • Portland Home Energy Score 
    Portland’s Home Energy Score ordinance requires a Home Energy Score be obtained and disclosed prior to listing a home for sale effective January 1, 2018.