By Heather Benjamin, Content Marketing Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council – originally featured on the USGBC’s Green Home Guide

In 2012, the Department of Energy and its national laboratories created a resource for homeowners, buyers and renters to see a home’s energy use in a simple way. Since then, over 68,000 homes in the U.S. have taken advantage of the Home Energy Score tool, which includes

  • A numeric score based on the home’s envelope (foundation, roof, walls, insulation and windows) and heating, cooling and hot-water systems.
  • A total energy use estimate, as well as estimates by fuel type, assuming standard operating conditions and occupant behavior.
  • Recommendations for cost-effective improvements and associated annual cost savings estimates.
  • A “Score with Improvements” reflecting the home’s expected score if cost-effective improvements are implemented.

The score is developed a one-to-10 scale, where a 10 represents the most efficient homes. It also comes with a detailed fact sheet of how the score was compiled and recommendations for how to make your home more efficient.

Home Energy Score from DOE

Beyond giving homeowners the information they need to make their home more energy-efficient and to save money, the Home Energy Score can also showcase the energy investments you’ve made in your home to make it more attractive to potential buyers in the future.

Assessments can be completed in less than an hour in most homes, and you can find local assessors on DOE’s website.

Watch a video to learn more about the tool:

Explore more inspiring home and garden ideas on Elemental Green!