Homebuilders in Kentucky to adopt progressive rating program

Lexington, Kentucky, is now a national leader in home energy efficiency, as it is the first city in the country to enforce a new rating system that grades recently constructed residences on their environmental friendliness.

The Home Builders Association of Lexington (HBAL) announced a new initiative that will not only help save energy, but also make new houses more attractive to buyers by touting a home's ability to save residents money on bills, reports Business Lexington, a local wire service that monitors commerce in the area.

The official Home Energy Rating System (HERS) from the Residential Energy Service Network (RESNET), a trade organization that promotes energy efficient construction, rates homes on a scale of zero to 150. The lowest scores indicate the most energy efficient new homes and the highest scores represent older houses with outdated appliances.

The scale is also color-coded and designed to resemble a thermometer. The highest scores are in the orange range near the top with the cleanest homes in the green range near the bottom.

By signing a Memorandum of Understanding with RESNET, all new homes built by members of HBAL must submit to the rating system and make home grades available to potential buyers.

HBAL's CEO Todd Johnson said in the story that a HERS score card provided to a potential buyer can be likened to "the window sticker on a car that shows its MPG." Johnson also explained that because RESNET is a leading name in the industry, buyers will be able to trust that their homes are energy efficient according to the score.

Residents throughout the country can lower their house's impact on the environment by requesting an energy audit from a trusted local home inspection contractor, who can provide homeowners with information about their homes current efficiency.