2014 July Newsletter

Message from David A. Wilson, director of Utah Energy Conservation Coalition, d.b.a Energy Rated Homes of Utah:

Now that the heat of summer is upon us, we are reminded that not all energy savings come from inside the house.  Proper landscaping may also help to save energy costs during summer and all year long.  As suggested in the July 2014 RESNET newsletter, it takes some planning, but a well-designed landscape may save enough energy to pay for itself in eight years.

In Utah, where weather is a constant factor of life, knowing the how’s and why’s of landscaping allows for a much more comfortable lifestyle.  Being aware of where sun and wind (summer and winter) impact a house and yard help determine which windows and walls need protection, or can possibly be used as part of passive solar collection systems.

Placing tall-standing, deep-rooted deciduous trees fifteen to twenty feet from areas that receive the most intense solar heat in the summer may aid cooling the house, while allowing that same solar heat to warm the house in the winter.  Trees also improve air and soil quality around the house, and provide shady areas for play and relaxation outside.  For more information on energy efficient landscaping, click here.

Heating Energy Assessment Tool™ by AREVS

Understanding home heating energy performance just got easier. The new Heating Energy Assessment Tool (HEAT) from AREVS is a RESNET Approved, easy-to-use web-based application that tells home energy professionals, homeowners, and renters whether or not a home is in need of energy retrofits or upgrades. Using patented algorithms that are normalized for house size and geographical location, and information from its utility bill, HEAT provides a heating energy audit for a home in less than 5 minutes. A simple A+ through F grade range gives instant understanding of home heating performance.

Advantages for Professionals:

  • A “first line” assessment tool to determine if a home needs further envelope assessment.
  • Can be used for performance-based quality assurance verification for homes that have undergone weatherization upgrades.
  • Eliminates need for on-site inspections.
  • Offers opportunity for en masse initial ratings.
  • Pre-qualified leads sent directly to your sales team.
  • Use HEAT as a complement to asset-based rating programs.

Advantages for Homeowners:

  • Economical and easy-to-use.
  • Information from a single energy bill results in a custom HEAT Assessment in less than 5 minutes.
  • Determine energy consumption and costs for heating, air conditioning and hot water.
  • Provides an accurate assessment of whether a home is in need of energy retrofits or upgrades.
  • Provides an accurate assessment of whether a home is in need of a further envelope assessment from a certified RESNET professional.
  • Verify energy savings achieved through weatherization and energy upgrades.
  • Know a home’s PITI+E payment: Principal, Interest, Taxes, Insurance, and Energy – the true cost of home ownership.

RESNET is offering both home energy professionals and homeowners a one-time free Heating Energy Assessment to demonstrate how HEAT works. Afterwards, you can purchase a detailed HEAT Rating Report from AREVS outlining your home’s exact alpha grade, Energy Rating Number, and heating and cooling fuel consumption and cost data. To learn more about HEAT, visit https://www.arevs.us/heatpartner.php?partnerid=A12bck98W4342Z

AREVS develops software and data sets for the Home Performance, Real Estate, and Energy industries. HEAT is available for all customers as a stand-alone web application, a white label web application, or a website plugin.

RESNET Revises the Home Energy Rating Standards of Practice

The RESNET Home Energy Rating Standards of Practice guides certified RESNET Home Energy Raters and Rating Field Inspectors in the inspection and testing of a home’s energy performance. The Standards of Practice are adopted by the RESNET Board of Directors to help clients of rating services understand what is and what is not required in a home energy audit/rating. The RESNET Home Energy Rating Standards of Practice addresses:

  • Scope of standard
  • Limitations of rater responsibilities
  • Additional services that a rater may provide
  • Minimum rated features of a home
  • The rating report
  • Rater financial interest disclosure
  • General limitations and exclustions

On June 18, 2014, the RESNET Board of Directors revised the standards of practice.  The revision are to put the standard in compliance with ANSI – RESNET 301-14,  The revised document is posted at RESNET Home Energy Rating Standards of Practice

Owens Corning and RESNET Team Up

RESNET has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Owens Corning to promote building energy performance.  The collaborative effort is aimed at new homes and existing homes as well as commercial buildings.
The elements of the collaboration include:

  • Owens Corning agrees to introduce its contractor customers to the RESNET Energy Smart designation and educate them on the benefits of being part of a RESNET Energy Smart Home Performance Team.
  • Owens Corning will work collaboratively with RESNET and its other strategic allies in educating its contractor customers and allies on utility, local and state programs that finance and promote the energy upgrades of homes in the Energy Smart Contractor program.
  • Owens Corning, RESNET and its other strategic allies will use their best efforts to advance tax incentives for new energy efficient construction and energy efficient retrofits for both homes and commercial buildings.

Owens Corning Corporation is the world’s largest manufacturer of fiberglass and related products. The company’s products include residential Insulation, commercial insulation and roofing and asphalt.
RESNET Executive Director Steve Baden commented, “It is exciting to be able to work collaboratively with such an industry giant as Owens Corning. The collaboration will further spur the mainstreaming of improved energy performance in the U.S. building sector.”

Upcoming Energy Star Webinars:

Stepping up from the HERS Index to ENERGY STAR Thursday, August 7th, 2014; 1:00 p.m.-1:45p.m. ET
Air Sealing Done Right Wednesday, August 13th, 2014; 1:00 p.m.-1:45p.m. ET

For more information on future webinars, please check our website at utahenergy.org.

Working Advisory Version of National Home Energy Rating Standards

RESNET’s standard publication control procedures require that the RESNET Mortgage Industry National Home Energy Rating Standards only be updated once every three years.  Since RESNET’s standards are on continuous maintenance, the standards are continuously being amended.  The amendments are added to the standards as addendums in the back of the standards.  Due to the dynamic nature of the RESNET standards there have been a number of amendments approved and currently there are seven addendums.

This procedure makes it difficult to keep track of changes within the standard.  To resolve this RESNET has posted an “advisory version” of the national home energy rating standards.  The advisory version is a working copy of the standards that incorporates all the approved amendments into the text of the document.

The working document is posted at RESNET National Home Energy Rating Standards Advisory Version

RMP New Homes Program – New Standalone Spreadsheet (not Energy Star homes)

Rocky Mountain Power has a new standalone submission form when submitting a group of homes that are not Energy Star certified to the RMP wattsmart New Homes Program.  This form is for use for IECC 2009 or other measures which can be either single family or multifamily.  In an effort to make their forms similar, RMP used the same format as the Energy Star form they recently created, and Questar’s form. 

As some might be aware, the Energy Star form is combined between the two utilities but the standalone spreadsheets are separate.  As always, there is only one builder per spreadsheet and the builder information only needs to be listed once (for RMP at least).  All currents requirements are still in place.  The Rater Page has not been updated but RMP plans to do so.  Please note the form’s revision date is 6.27.14.  Use this new form as soon as possible, but RMP will accept the older standalone forms is the homes are already started.

For more information, see Rocky Mountain Power forms here.

RESNET Publishes Factsheets on Home Energy Ratings

and the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code

In October 2013 the International Code Council added an Energy Rating Index option to the 2015 version of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).  The Energy Rating Index Option set the following scores as compliance to the 2015 IECC:

Climate Zone 2015 IECC Energy Rating Index Score
Zone 1 52
Zone 2 52
Zone 3 51
Zone 4 54
Zone 5 55
Zone 6 54
Zone 7 53
Zone 8 53

The 2015 IECC Energy Rating Index performance path also requires builders to achieve the mandatory code requirements of the IECC, follow hot water piping provisions and comply with the minimum insulation and window envelope performance requirements of the 2009 IECC.
To educate code officials, home builders and consumers on the Energy Rating Index compliance option RESNET has produced a series of factsheets.  The factsheets cover:

  • Energy Rating Index Performance Path Score Alternatives  – This factsheet compares HERS Index Scores for the 2009 IECC, 2012 IECC, 2015 IECC and the proposed alternative scores advocated by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Leading Builders of America and the Institute for Market Transformation.

The factsheets are designed to give certified RESNET Home Energy Raters, energy efficiency advocates and supporting industries tools to educate code jurisdictions on the benefits of the Energy Rating Index performance option to the IECC.

Utah Energy Conservation Coalition and Energy Rated Homes of Utah

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