|Across the nation the RESNET HERS Index Score is fast becoming a mainstream in the housing market. Homebuilders are having their homes energy rated and marketing the HERS Index Score of their homes, Multiple Listing Services (MLS) are incorporating the HERS Index Scores in their listings and code jurisdictions are recognizing a HERS Index Score as a building energy code compliance option. In 2014 over a third of new homes sold were HERS rated and issued a HERS Index Score.With the increased visibility of the HERS Index Score, RESNET is obligated to ensure that HERS Index Scores are as consistent as possible. This need has been made more important with the International Code Council adopting an Energy Rating Index option to the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code. To date Maryland, Texas and Vermont have adopted the new code. The state of Illinois is in the final process of adopting it.
RESNET has initiated a comprehensive effort to enhance the consistency of HERS Index Scores. The pillars of RESNET’s effort are:
Without this holistic approach it is impossible to have national consistency. If one element if missing, the whole house collapses.
Enhancing the Qualification of Certified HERS Raters and Rating Field Inspectors
While RESNET has long had an online written cognitive test, there was no replicable practical test to determine the qualification of HERS Raters and Rating Field Inspectors. To offer valid practical tests that are cost effective, RESNET has invested in the latest technology for the testing the practical knowledge of candidates. RESNET standards require that existing HERS Raters and new candidates must pass the RESNET Practical Simulation Test and Rating Field Inspectors must complete the RESNET tablet based Rating Field Inspector JobWerks Assessment. These tests will level the playing field and increase the credibility of HERS Ratings in that all RESNET professionals will have passed a valid replicable practical test on the applications of producing a HERS Index.
RESNET is also in the process of rationalizing and streamlining its instruction, assessment and certification standard. The proposed amendment is in the final process of its consensus based public review and comment process following the RESNET “Standards Development Policy and Procedures Manual”.
There are also growth opportunities for HERS Raters. Through partnerships with NATE and the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, HERS Raters can expand their services to include HVAC system verification and through a partnership with the International Code Council can expand their services to energy code inspections.
Enhancing the Quality Assurance Oversight of HERS Ratings
Enhancing the Consistency in the Calculation of HERS Index Scores
Having a Robust RESNET Quality Assurance Oversight Infrastructure