• Listings on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in nine states now include a Home Energy Rating score, called the HERS Index, to give potential buyers an idea of a home’s energy usage
  • GE anticipates the universal rating system will drive consumer awareness of energy-efficient products and influence home purchases
  • Energy-efficient appliances, such as GE’s GeoSpring™ hybrid electric water heater, can improve a HERS score three to four points depending on the home

LOUISVILLE, Ky., — Feb. 5, 2015— (NYSE: GE) Alongside the square footage and the number of bathrooms, Multiple Listing Service (MLS) listings now contain a new piece of information—a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score.1 

Consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental impact of everything from reusable water bottles to LED lighting and energy-efficient appliances. Now, with the HERS Index, consumers can get a feel for a home’s “green” snapshot when buying a house or trying to increase the value of their home with product upgrades. This universal rating system helps translate energy consumption, meaning from New York to Los Angeles certified raters tally HERS scores the same way, making it easier than ever to be better educated on home and product purchase choices.

Energy-efficient appliances, such as GE's GeoSpring™ hybrid electric water heater, can improve a HERS score three to four points depending on the home.

What a HERS score means to homebuyers: High score = big bills
The lower the score, the more energy efficient the home. On this index, a home built to the specifications of the HERS Reference Home (based on the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code) scores a HERS Index of 100, while a net zero energy home scores a HERS Index of 0.2

But what does that mean for buyers? Energy usage is directly tied to utility payments. A home with a higher energy score, such as 120 to 150, typically maintains high energy bills and is hot in the summer and cold in the winter. A lower HERS score—typically found with newer homes—produces lower utility bills and provides a more stable temperature throughout the home. The score can be affected by products used in the home, including appliances.

A high HERS score for an older home doesn’t mean lost opportunity to lower utility expenses. Buyers can make improvements with upgrades that can drastically improve a home’s score, such as replacing appliances and lighting with newer, energy-efficient options. For example, upgrading a standard electric water heater with newer technology such as GE’s 80-gallon GeoSpring™ hybrid electric water heater can lower the home’s HERS score by several points. GeoSpring is 67 percent more efficient than a standard electric water heater and saves the average household $376 every year on their utility bills.3

“Providing a HERS score on the MLS helps buyers make a more educated decision about the home and products they want to purchase,” says Fritz O’Connor, contract marketing manager at GE Appliances. “At GE, we’ve introduced and improved many of our appliances to use less energy and operate more efficiently—and that’s going to help your monthly bank account with lower home energy bills.”

Finding your HERS score
Nine states have announced they will list, or are currently listing, the HERS score on the MLS:

  1. Illinois
  2. Minnesota
  3. Nebraska
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Vermont
  6. Washington
  7. Colorado
  8. Maine
  9. Florida

If your state doesn’t offer the HERS score on its MLS listings, a certified Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) HERS Rater can help. A rater can provide an energy rating on your home and compare the data against a “reference home”—a designed-model home of the same size and shape—so your score is always relative to the house you live in.**

For more information on finding a local RESNET professional near you, and to learn more about the HERS score, visit www.resnet.us. For more information on energy-efficient appliances from GE, visit www.geappliances.com/energy-star-appliances.

About GE Appliances
GE Appliances is at the forefront of building innovative, energy-efficient appliances that improve people’s lives. GE Appliances’ products include refrigerators, freezers, cooking products, dishwashers, washers, dryers, air conditioners, water filtration systems and water heaters. General Electric (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter to build a world that works better. For more information on GE Appliances, visit www.ge.com/appliances.

1. Covers single family homes, town houses and condos listed by a real estate agent
2. Building ENERGY STAR® Qualified Homes and Incorporating Energy Efficiency and “Green” Building Practices into HOME-funded Affordable Housing. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development/Office of Community Planning and Development.
http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=19758_200809energystar.pdf. p.102. Accessed on Oct. 23, 2014.
3. Based on DOE test procedure and comparison of a 50-gallon standard electric tank water heater using 4646 kWh per year vs. the GE GeoSpring Hybrid Electric Water Heater using 1514 kWh per year.