InterNACHI Home Energy Score

Initially launched in November 2010, the DOE’s Home Energy Scoring Program is aimed at “…giving American families the tools they need to invest in home energy upgrades,” according to Vice President Joe Biden. The program’s ultimate goals include putting less demand on public utilities and natural resources, and helping homeowners save money on their energy bills, which will potentially make them eligible for discounts on home supplies and even insurance coverage.

The Home Energy Score will be a quick way for homeowners to understand how their home’s energy performance compares to that of others in the same region. And, the Home Energy Score will be more than just a simple number or label. Along with the score will come customized recommendations for simple energy upgrades, intensive energy audits, as well as an estimate of how much energy improvements can reduce the homeowner’s utility bills.

InterNACHI Energy Ratings Will Benefit Homeowners
Homeowners often find that energy improvements can dramatically improve the comfort and integrity of their homes, so it makes sense for homeowners to act as soon as possible to enhance their quality of life. Using the InterNACHI Energy Rating, home inspectors can assess areas in the home for energy improvement and make specific, cost-effective recommendations to clients so that they can develop a specific plan of action to address their home’s energy deficits.  Whether they’ve lived in their home for years or have just moved in, all homeowners and prospective homeowners can benefit from a home energy inspection.

By getting an InterNACHI Energy Rating performed by a specially trained InterNACHI inspector, homeowners can quickly learn how to save energy and money, while also seeing how their home ranks compared to others in the area.  After the homeowner makes energy improvements, the home’s energy efficiency is likely to increase.  So, similar to radon testing that is performed both before and after mitigation, homeowners can ask their contractor to include a post-upgrade assessment as part of the energy improvement package to compare pre- and post-upgrade scores.

An InterNACHI Energy Rating can help homeowners understand how to integrate energy upgrades into a home renovation project or addition. When done as part of a larger project, it makes sense to have the home inspected before and after work is done so the homeowner can verify that the home’s energy performance has improved. The Rating serves as a way to document these improvements, thereby enhancing the home’s appeal and value when it’s ready to sell.

To perform a Home Energy Inspection, the inspector conducts a brief walk-through of the home and collects 45 data points related to home energy.

The inspector then enters the data into a web-based energy calculator developed by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy to:

  • estimate the home’s yearly energy usage;
  • pinpoint potential energy inefficiencies;
  • calculate a score based on these estimates; and
  • develop recommendations for energy improvements.
The house is scored on a scale from 1 to 100.  A 100 would represent a home with perfect energy performance whereas a 1 would represent a home that needs significant energy upgrades. This score can be used to compare homes.

A higher score generally means a lower energy bill and a more efficient home (with less of an environmental impact).