The most energy-efficient house in the Shenandoah Valley
Promethean Homes, a custom builder serving Augusta County, recently learned that their model home received a HERS Index Score of 34. That makes it the most energy efficient house in the Shenandoah Valley.
Daniel Ernst, the owner of Promethean Homes, originally designed and built the model home to meet the Passive House standard. More recently, he asked a RESNET® certified energy rater, John Semmelhack, to provide a score on the house. “I liked the simplicity of the HERS rating system,” he said.
Although most people are familiar with the EPA Fuel Economy Label for vehicles, not many are aware that a similar label exists for homes: it is called the HERS Index.
The HERS Index was launched by RESNET® (Residential Energy Services Network) in 2006, after spending a decade researching residential energy use. The company recognized that homebuyers were becoming more and more energy conscious, but lacked objective data when comparing homes for purchase. Would a home’s utility bills cost $150 or $350 per month? Could they afford the mortgage and still be able to pay their utilities?
The HERS Index provides a simple and accurate method for estimating a home’s energy requirements. In addition, it is nationally recognized by the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star for Homes standard, and various green building programs.
“The HERS Score of 34 validates all of the tools and techniques we used in this building. It also proves that you can radically reduce the energy use in homes, in a cost effective manner.” Although Daniel Ernst is excited about the HERS rating, he’s even more excited about the home’s consistently low utility bills.
When asked about next steps, he said, “We’re hoping to build the first EarthCraft Certified Net-Zero house in the Shenandoah Valley, another first in kind.”