The goal for most homeowners is to make their spaces as comfortable as possible while also keeping the things within them affordable. Often that comes out in the form of energy saving methods that individuals enact in order to keep from finding their usage reflected in their bill at the end of the month. One helpful tool for going about this is something known as a Home Energy Score, an indicator that many people are unfamiliar with. For those hoping to optimize their enjoyment at home while minimizing its expense, this score is something that should be better understood. To explain what a Home Energy Score is and provide you with ways to use it to your advantage, the following is meant to provide all the essentials.
What is a Home Energy Score?
A Home Energy Score is a rating given to homes that is meant to indicate their capability in terms of consuming energy. Most often compared to a car’s miles-per-gallon rating, the score is put on a one to ten scale. The more energy the home uses in comparison to other households across the United States, the lower the score, making a rating of 10 the most efficient. The Home Energy Score makes it simple for homeowners to compare information about energy usage across the nation to see how they stack up. It will provide insights on everything from expected energy consumption to its cost, and the score can also be used to improve the efficiency within the home.
Average Home Energy Score
For homes within the United States, the average Home Energy Score is 5. In determining how to proceed following the assessment, those households with a score below five have an opportunity to reduce their energy consumption through the use of some improvements. These adjustments do not have to be costly and can have a significant effect on the amount of energy that is used. Even for those who have a score of close to ten, pushing to reach that top rating can still be done. The designation between each individual score is determined following the information collected from census data. These scores also take into account that fact that nationwide, the temperature and weather vary across regions, allowing the scores to be applicable to all.
How to Get a Home Energy Score
In order to get a Home Energy Score for your household, you must be located within an area that is serviceable by the Department of Energy’s Home Energy Score Partners. In the event that you are not located in a region that is served, you can still reach out to your state energy office to see when a Home Energy Score will be available. There also exist home inspectors who may be working under a DOE nation Partner, who could assess your home in order to provide you with a score.
How much does it cost to get a Home Energy Score?
Be aware that there is no set fee when it comes to receiving an assessment to determine your home’s energy score. As a result, the cost will differ based upon where you live. That’s not to say that there is not a way to reduce its cost. There do exist some methods for doing this that you may want to consider, starting with energy services. Often, getting a Home Energy Score is included in other assessments or inspection services, so it may be one of a number of bits of information that a professional will provide you with.
Home Energy Scores and House Hunters
Home Energy Scores help to provide some insights into what a homebuyer can expect to pay monthly on energy and how efficient their potential purchase is. As you go about looking at homes and begin to narrow down your list to a few options, use your position to get a Home Energy Score from others. If it is apartments that you are searching for, landlords should be able to provide you with a score before you agree to rent. For those hoping to move into a single-family house, get the Home Energy Score with your home inspection to knock out several items. In some cases, a Home Energy Score can even aid in qualifying for a larger mortgage, so be sure to have that information.
Benefits of a Home Energy Score
As a numerical representation of a home’s energy usage, there is a lot packed into a Home Energy Score. Beyond how it can help a homeowner in determining their opportunity to save, it can also act as a representation of the amount of money they have put into improving their home’s efficiency. If these individuals have a high score and were hoping to sell their home, this information can be valuable in not only outlining some useful points of differentiation for potential buyers, but it will also help to increase the home’s valuation. It is important to note that Home Energy Scores are only given to townhomes, duplexes, and single-family homes, preventing those with multifamily and mobile from using it in the same manner.
Improving Your Home’s Efficiency
Once you have your Home Energy Score in hand, you may find yourself in need of a few methods for improving the efficiency of your spaces. In making these changes, most are hoping to keep costs down but still find energy-saving methods that have the greatest benefit. In order to do that, consider these easy and affordable energy efficiency improvements.
Energy Efficient Bulbs
The most frequent form of energy use within homes is lighting up spaces with the aid of light bulbs. And though minimizing their usage is one way to be more efficient, this can be taken a step further in order to realize even greater savings. As the bulbs in your home burn out or even before that time, begin utilizing LED bulbs instead of incandescents. While CFLs are another option, LEDs are the best on the market and are able to last longer than standard bulbs while also converting more of the energy they are supplied with into light instead of heat. There is a greater upfront cost for LEDs but over time they will pay for themselves and limit household consumption.
When it comes to regulating the temperature within your home, you will want to have a programmable thermostat installed in order to optimize your comfort along with your savings. Programmable thermostats are able to adjust the heat or cooling in spaces on a schedule so as to allow individuals to save while they are away but enjoy the feel of their home while they are within it. You can have your thermostat drop the temperature to a cost-efficient level at night while you sleep or in the day while you are at work and still have it raise them again before you return home. This is an easy method for saving, but its ability to conserve energy relies on how well it has been programmed. As a result, it is important to pay attention to its regulation and keep an eye out for your bill as well.
Energy Efficient Appliances
Throughout many homes are a number of appliances, including laundry machines, ovens, and refrigerators. These machines consume a considerable amount of energy when in use and that can be even more than necessary, especially when their capacity is not optimized. Over time, these appliances are improved upon and given new and exciting features. Beyond that, the amount of energy they require in order to be operated decreases. The most efficient of them are given an Energy Star certification, signaling that not only can they conserve energy but that they are also better for the environment. With the large ones, Energy Star labels can be on smaller items too like televisions and computers. While these do in some cases present an expense, if you are in need of a new appliance or electronic device, purchasing an Energy Star one is an easy way to improve your efficiency and boost your Home Energy Score.
In order to supply your home with heated water, the water heater must consume energy constantly. In the event that you have a tank water heater, there is a significant opportunity to save as this appliance houses warm water constantly in order to supply it on-demand to the sinks, laundry machines and showers. The temperature setting on the water heater may be a little high, using electricity unnecessarily. To change that, decrease its temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, enabling you to receive hot water but costing you less in the process. You can also invest in a tankless heater which does not consume energy while in standby as a tank heater does.
Know Your Number
Whether your Home Energy Score is a dismal 1 or an impressive 10, knowing your number will be important for improving your home efficiency. Your rating could also help in getting a bit more on a home on the market or for those hoping to make a purchase. The move towards efficiency does not have to stop for those at the top however and continuing to find ways to improve your home will not only reduce your monthly energy consumption but will also benefit the environment as well.
To learn more about energy efficiency at home or find a provider that helps you to cut the cost of your usage, visit paylesspower.com. Offering cheap energy plans to suit both personal and business needs, Payless Power is a company committed to providing people not only with some of the best cheap electricity rates in Texas, but also with helpful customer service. Visit the website to learn more about how to save electricity at home, or connect with the online community on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.