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Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) recently released the Trends in HERS Rated Homes—A Statistical Abstract 2022. Developed by RESNET, a HERS Index Score is available only via certified RESNET energy raters and is based on several energy efficiency variables, including exterior walls, attic, windows and doors, heating and cooling systems, ductwork, water heating systems, lighting, and appliances.

The HERS Index Score tells homeowners and prospective buyers how their homes compare with other similar homes in terms of energy usage. The lower the score, the more energy efficient the home is.

In 2021, HERS raters rated more than 313,000 homes, which represents a 4% increase over the number of ratings in 2020 and marks the ninth straight year-over-year increase in HERS ratings. Of the 313,000 homes, 76% were one- and two-family dwellings and 24% were multifamily units.

The report includes a broad national level look at trends in the number of HERS ratings and average index score. It also covers state-level trends, including the total number of HERS ratings in each state and the percentage of new homes that received a HERS rating. It then investigates trends of HERS ratings in cities, including the top 25 cities for single-family and multifamily ratings. Individual trends across HERS ratings and a variety of building envelope components are also covered, including air leakage rates and the use of solar on HERS-rated homes.

The average HERS Index in 2021 was a 58, representing a 42% improvement in efficiency over a home built in 2006. Since 2013, the average HERS Index Score has decreased by five points.

Basic characteristics in 2021 for the average single-family HERS-rated home:

  • HERS Index Score: 58
  • Number of bedrooms: 3.7
  • Conditioned floor area: 2,703 square feet
  • Annual energy cost: $1,630
  • Annual energy cost savings: $795

Basic characteristics in 2021 for the average multifamily HERS-rated dwelling unit:

  • HERS Index Score: 58
  • Number of bedrooms: 2.2
  • Conditioned floor area: 1,385 square feet
  • Annual energy cost: $1,058
  • Annual energy cost savings: $503

Massachusetts stood out with 80% of new homes to receive a HERS rating. Indiana followed with half of all new homes in the state being HERS rated last year, and 12 other states had between 25% and 49% of new homes HERS rated. For all home types by state, Texas had more than 70,000 homes HERS rated, and eight states recorded more than 10,000.

For 2021 single-family homes, more than 4,000 individual municipalities recorded HERS ratings. For the third consecutive year, San Antonio ranks first with the highest number of ratings at 7,352. Richmond, Texas; Las Vegas; Katy, Texas; Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Phoenix follow with 4,100 to 3,100 ratings.

Multifamily ratings included more than 1,000 municipalities with San Antonio also ranking first. Charlotte, North Carolina; Richmond, Virginia; Washington, D.C.; Rowlett, Texas; and Grand Prairie, Texas, were also at the top of the rankings.

New to this year’s report is HERSH2O rating data. Like the HERS Index, a lower score equals less water usage. The whole-house water efficiency rating can be used to achieve WaterSense Label for Homes. After the pilot program in fall 2020, the program steadily grew in 2021 as the first year of ratings were submitted.

Numbers included in the program:

  • Number of homes rated with HERSH2O and receiving the WaterSense Label for Homes: 1,049
  • Average index score of HERSH2O ratings: 61
  • Number of RESNET-accredited HERSH2O providers: 22
  • Number of certified RESNET HERSH2O raters: 197

The report was developed by Ryan Meres, RESNET programs director, on behalf of RESNET’s Suppliers Advisory Board.