Homebuyers focus heavily on a home purchase price, but often don't factor in potential energy savings over the life of a home. Over years of home ownership, factoring in a home’s energy consumption costs could save tens of thousands of dollars.

A Home Energy Rating Score (HERS) is a good threshold for home shoppers looking for an energy efficient home.

Think of HERS like miles-per-gallon fuel economy for your car, except that a lower HERS is better. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a typical resale home in the U.S. rates a HERS 130 and costs approximately $200,000 in utilities over a 30-year mortgage. Utilities for a home that scores 100 would cost 30 percent less, saving $60,000 in operating cost. Utilities for a home that scores 65 would cost approximately half, saving $100,000 in operating cost over 30 years.

More than 2 million homes in the U.S. have been HERS rated for energy efficiency, generating energy savings of $268 million in 2016 alone, according to RESNet. More homes are being rated as home builders increase their participation in the HERS program and post the ratings for the homes they build.

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