A Move Toward More Helpful Appraisals

Monday, April 3, 2017

Green Building News (03/16/17) Gibson, Scott

Developers of the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) and the Appraisal Institute are partnering to help homebuyers better understand the costs of living in the houses they want to buy. The Insulation Institute says the alliance between the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) and the appraisers association to include HERS scores on appraisal forms in certain U.S. states would increase the transparency of energy efficiency to buyers, and also could persuade skeptical builders that constructing high-performance buildings have a return on investment. The HERS Index numerically rates energy consumption relative to a standard reference house. The lower the HERS score, the lower the energy costs. A longstanding complaint of high-performance house builders is that standard appraisals do not give enough credit for energy-saving features. "Our goal is to make information, such as the HERS score of a home, visible in the appraisal so that consumers have more facts available to make their decisions," says RESNET executive director Steve Baden. The HERS score will be added to an existing green-building addendum for appraisers, which includes certification under the LEED program, or the National Green Building Standard. The Appraisal Institute will access RESNET's database of HERS-rated homes, and Baden says when a home feature is not formally noted in an appraisal, it cannot be funded via a mortgage.

Scott Gibson 4/3/2017

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