The DOE and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have just released the Home Energy Score. From the blog post on Home Energy Pros (which is another DOE program in partnership with Home Energy Magazine):
The Scoring Tool is a key component of the U.S. Department of Energy's residential building energy label initiative to support the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) funded Recovery Through Retrofit plan. The Home Energy Score Program will be the first national asset rating method that allows all USA regions to opt into a simplified and standardized energy assessment process that complements existing advanced home energy audit methods.
The Home Energy Score is designed to provide a rapid low-cost opportunity assessment of a home's fixed energy systems (also known as an "asset rating") and provide the home owner with general feedback on the systems that potentially need more detailed attention from certified home performance diagnostics and weatherization professionals (such as those engaged with RESNET, Building Performance Institute, and the Affordable Comfort Institute).
The Home Energy Score is similar (in that is gives the home a score), but also much different than a HERS score. The latter being more aggressive and detailed analysis of how a home reduces energy consumption. You can see the methodology behind calculating a Home Energy Score here.
And if you think the Home Energy Score is flying below the radar, it has the backing of the 2nd highest power (at least on paper) in the land, Vice President Joe Biden. From the DOE article on Biden's Home Energy Score announcement:
Vice President Biden joined U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu today to announce the launch of the Home Energy Score pilot program. The Home Energy Score will offer homeowners straightforward, reliable information about their homes' energy efficiency. A report provides consumers with a home energy score between 1 and 10, and shows them how their home compares to others in their region. The report also includes customized, cost-effective recommendations that will help to reduce their energy costs and improve the comfort of their homes.
DOE today also released the Workforce Guidelines for Home Energy Upgrades, a comprehensive set of guidelines for workers in the residential energy efficiency industry.
The guidelines will help develop and expand the skills of the workforce, ensuring the quality of the work performed, while laying the foundation for a more robust worker certification and training program nationwide. Vice President Biden made the announcements today at a Middle Class Task Force event, highlighting the progress that has been made on implementing the recommendations of last year's Recovery through Retrofit report.
We wrote about the Recovery through Retrofit program over a year ago, and I'm glad to see it is making progress.
It's great to see programs like this coming out of the Federal Government. When it seems that we are inundated daily on the failure (real or imagined) of our government, it is good to see some success in the area of energy conservation.
Check out this great video on Home Energy Score from energyNOW!