Energy Performance Scores: In New & Existing Homes

by: Michael Freels

Energy Performance Score (EPS) is:

  • An energy performance scoring metric or rating (think of mpg for homes)
  • A tool that works with all programs and all homes, regardless of their certificationsEnergy Performance Score EPS.png
  • Focused on the energy consumption and associated carbon for a home
    • Estimated energy costs
    • Lists energy-efficient features built into the home

EPS is NOT a certification, program, guarantee, cash incentive, or an alternative to ENERGY STAR®, Earth Advantage Homes Standard®, LEED® for Homes or any other certification program.

 Why was EPS developed?

To create an easy way to assess and compare important factors when buying a new home:

  • Estimated utility costs
  • Energy efficiency
  • Environmental impact
  • Motivate consumers to make energy-efficiency improvements

EPS provides value to homeowners:

  • Allows home-to-home comparisons
  • Provides clarity to energy efficiency claims
  • Quantifies energy use on a scale
  • Educates homebuyers/owners about a home’s energy use, environmental impact, estimated utility, costs and potential improvements

Various factors impact the EPS including: Insulation level,  Air leakage / Infiltration, Heating and cooling systems, Lighting, Water heating, Square footage, and Renewable energy systems such as solar.

 

EPS Calculation

REM/RateTM software is used to model the home

  •  Measured or verified inputs include:
    •  Home size
    •  Insulation levels
    •  Air and duct leakage
    •  Heating and cooling systems
    •  Solar energy systems (if applicable)
  • Assumed standardized conditions include:
    • Occupant behavior
    • Appliances
    • Thermostat settings
    • Number of occupants (based on bedroom count)

Why a carbon score?

  • It helps homeowners make the connection between energy and the environment
  • Increasing awareness of the effects of carbon on the environment
  • Carbon is specific to the homeowner’s utility or utilities

EPS Score Sheet Example

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Energy Trust of Oregon is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping utility customers benefit from saving energy and tapping renewable resources.