HERS Rating: Empowering Colorado Builders and Developers

An aerial view of downtown Fort Collins, CO

Colorado is experiencing a surge in population, and with it comes a heightened demand for energy-efficient homes and buildings. To meet this demand, builders and developers in the state are turning to HERS ratings as a means to ensure their projects meet the highest standards of energy efficiency.

We’ve written a guide that covers everything you need to know about HERS ratings and why they matter to Colorado builders and developers. By understanding the ins and outs of HERS ratings, you can position yourself as a leader in sustainable and energy-efficient building practices.

What is a HERS Rating?

At its core, a HERS (Home Energy Rating System) rating is a measurement of a home’s energy performance. It provides a standardized assessment of a property’s energy efficiency compared to a reference home built to the 2006 International Energy Efficiency Code. This rating is represented on a scale from 0 to 100, with 0 being a zero-energy home and 100 being a home built to the 2006 code.

To determine a HERS rating, a certified HERS rater conducts a thorough evaluation of the property. This evaluation involves a combination of computer analysis, on-site inspections, and performance testing.

Key components of the assessment include the blower door test, which measures a home’s airtightness, and the duct leakage test, which evaluates the efficiency of the HVAC system. The HERS rater enters the collected data into specialized software which calculates a HERS score for the home.

A HERS rating serves as a valuable marketing tool, showcasing the energy efficiency and sustainability of a property. With the growing demand for green homes, a favorable HERS rating can attract more potential buyers and increase the market value of the property.

Why Does a HERS Rating Matter?

Benefits for Builders and Developers

Builders and developers in Colorado can benefit significantly from obtaining a HERS rating for their projects. Firstly, a HERS rating serves as a valuable marketing tool, showcasing the energy efficiency and sustainability of a property. With the growing demand for green homes, a favorable HERS rating can attract more potential buyers and increase the market value of the property.

Also, a HERS rating allows builders and developers to differentiate themselves from their competitors. By prioritizing energy efficiency and obtaining a HERS rating, they demonstrate their commitment to environmental stewardship and can position themselves as leaders in sustainable construction practices. An increasing number of local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) include a data point for the HERS Index, which is one more way for prospective homeowners to compare homes they are looking at.

Benefits for Homebuyers and Renters

Homebuyers and renters in Colorado also stand to gain numerous benefits from HERS-rated properties. Firstly, an energy-efficient home translates into lower energy bills, offering significant cost savings over the long run. HERS-rated homes are designed to minimize energy consumption, which leads to reduced utility expenses and increased affordability for homeowners.

Additionally, HERS-rated homes provide superior indoor comfort and air quality. Through rigorous inspections and performance testing, HERS ratings ensure that homes are properly insulated, have efficient heating and cooling systems, and maintain high indoor air quality. This translates into a more comfortable living environment and improved health for occupants.

It is important to note that the cost of obtaining a HERS rating in Colorado varies depending on the size and complexity of the project. However, the long-term benefits, such as energy savings and increased market value, outweigh the initial investment.

How to Obtain a HERS Rating in Colorado

Obtaining a HERS rating in Colorado involves a straightforward process that begins with selecting a certified HERS rater. These professionals are trained and accredited by RESNET (Residential Energy Services Network) to conduct HERS ratings. It is essential to choose a reputable and experienced HERS rater who understands the specific requirements and regulations in Colorado.

Once a HERS rater is selected, they will work closely with the builder or developer throughout the design and construction process. They will review the construction plans, conduct on-site inspections, and perform necessary tests to evaluate the energy performance of the property.

After completing the evaluation, the HERS rating software will assign a HERS score to the home, which can be used for marketing and certification purposes.

It is important to note that the cost of obtaining a HERS rating in Colorado varies depending on the size and complexity of the project. However, the long-term benefits, such as energy savings and increased market value, outweigh the initial investment.

HERS Rating in Denver and Fort Collins

While Boulder is at the forefront of requiring HERS ratings in Colorado, other cities like Denver and Fort Collins also recognize the importance of energy-efficient construction. Although HERS ratings are not mandatory in these cities, they provide clear guidelines and incentives for builders and developers who opt for HERS ratings.

In Denver, the City has outlined specific requirements for HERS ratings in their residential provision documents. While not mandatory, builders who choose a HERS rating for new construction homes must aim for a HERS score of 55 or less. Additionally, Denver offers a $150 discount on permit fees for projects that submit a HERS rating.

Fort Collins, on the other hand, does not have specific city-wide requirements for HERS ratings. However, the city encourages energy-efficient construction and offers resources and incentives for builders and developers to pursue HERS ratings voluntarily. These incentives include rebates, educational programs, and recognition for achieving energy-efficiency goals.

Fort Collins, on the other hand, does not have specific city-wide requirements for HERS ratings. However, the city encourages energy-efficient construction and offers resources and incentives for builders and developers to pursue HERS ratings voluntarily.

HERS Ratings in Colorado: A Catalyst for Sustainable Builders and Developers

In an era where energy efficiency and sustainability are paramount, HERS ratings have emerged as a crucial tool for Colorado builders and developers.

By obtaining a HERS rating, you can demonstrate your commitment to energy-efficient construction, attract eco-conscious buyers and renters, and increase the market value of your properties.

Whether you are building green in Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, or any other city in Colorado, prioritizing HERS ratings will position you at the forefront of sustainable building practices and contribute to a greener future for the state. Embrace the power of HERS ratings and join the movement towards energy-efficient construction in Colorado.

Ready to explore the benefits of HERS ratings for your project?

Allow Green Insight to navigate the complexities of the process, handling paperwork, organizing meetings, and conducting performance testing to ensure you achieve a solid HERS rating.

Drawing on over a decade of experience and a track record of thousands of completed ratings, we’re here to guide you in optimizing your building’s energy efficiency within your budget. Get your free assessment today.