What’s a HERS rating? And is there a HIS rating? HERS stands for Home Energy Rating. It’s a number between 0 and 150 that tells you about the rate of energy your house is using. It all started in 1995 by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) as an independent, non-profit organization helping homeowners reduce their energy bills. You can have your home audited by a RESNET certified auditor who physically comes to your home to rate you.

A lower number means that your home is more energy efficient. Most homes don’t have this energy audit done, but this is good to know if you are buying a newly built home. Some builders are getting their model homes HERS rated so they can tout the benefits of having a really efficient home, which translates to lower utility bills and stewardship of the environment. I’ve seen ratings as low as the mid 56 by new builders. What does the 56 number mean? A home with a HERS index score of 56 is 44% more energy efficient than a standard new home. So that’s a positive thing.

However, an older home might have a HERS index score of 130 which is 30% less energy efficient than a standard new home. That’s a not so positive thing.

The good news is you can do some insulating here and there to try and change your numbers if it’s not where you want it to be. That’s just common sense. You don’t need an energy auditor to tell you that.

By the way, there is no HIS rating.