Gaines Group Architects

Green Term Defined: HERS (your home’s Miles-Per-Gallon Rating)

house-leaks-with-text-800Most of us know the miles-per-gallon of our cars. I just went through (for me) the very painful process of purchasing a new (used) car. I weighed the options looking at asking price, insurance premium, maintenance costs, and miles per gallon. These should all be factors when purchasing or building a new home. However, we almost never know the miles per gallon equivalent for a building. That is because a HERS rating is not required in Virginia. It is however, a test that is easy to request as part of your evaluation process for existing homes or performance criteria for new construction.


A home energy rating is an analysis of the efficiency of the home’s energy usage. The Home energy Rating System (HERS) is the nationally recognized scoring system for measuring a home’s energy performance. The results of the test give you a HERS Index Score. This miles-per-gallon for your home allows you to compare how your home is performing vs a baseline accepted standard. The test and report also gives you a checklist of areas that could use attention to improve your homes performance.

For more information read here, here, and here.