Utah Homes Get Energy Equivalent to MPG

Photo credit: RESNET Photo credit: RESNET RESNET
11 April 2016

Utah Adopts the “Energy Rating Index” into the State Energy Code

The State of Utah has joined the ranks of only seven other states to incorporate the “Energy Rating Index” into the energy conservation code for new homes. This is one of the successful outcomes from Utah Clean Energy’s work during 2016 Legislative Session. The new Energy Rating Index method, which becomes part of Utah’s residential energy code on July 1, 2016, utilizes the HERS Index, as a method for builders to show compliance with the updated energy code. The ERI is important because it helps homebuyers compare the energy costs of new homes on the market today! Think of it like comparing the miles-per-gallon rating when shopping for a new car.

What this means for Utah is that Utah homebuilders can use the Energy Rating Index as a tool to show that they have complied with new building energy code. They can get the rating by having a certified Home Energy Rater assess the energy efficiency of a home, assigning it a relative energy performance score. The lower the number, the more energy efficient the home.

Understanding the Rating

According to the U.S. Department of Energy:

  • A typical resale home scores 130 on the HERS Index
  • A standard new home is awarded a rating of 100.
  • Local example, Garbett Homes is a local homebuilder that specializes in super-efficient homes.  Their average homes receive a HERS Rating of between 40 and 50, making theirs some of the most energy efficient homes available.

Builders that want to comply with the new energy code via the ERI method must achieve a score between 65 and 69, depending on where in Utah the home is built. Get a deep dive into the scoring here.