Energy Performance Score Rates New Homes

In Europe, ultra efficient passive house requirements are considered the gold standard in green building. But here in the United States, even greenies in the know may not be fully aware of the advantages – both environmental and economic – offered by a home certified to passive house standards. Now the Earth Advantage Institute and Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) in Portland, Ore., have teamed up in an effort to change that.

Together, they’re launching a miles-per-gallon styled Energy Performance Score (EPS) rating system for homes that will allow buyers to compare the estimated annual energy costs and energy consumption of different homes before they buy. The EPS is part of an overall collaborative effort between the two organizations in the residential building sector that will also include education courses for professionals and consumers – all of which is expected to boost the adoption rate of passive house-certified homes.

Passive House, Salem, Oregon

image via Sarah Evans

“The massive energy savings offered by passive house certification have attracted significant attention in the Northwest and in other parts of the country,” Sean Penrith, Earth Advantage Institute’s executive director, said in a statement. He went on to note that the organizaiton’s ability to reach the builder and homeowner communities will help PHIUS bring a significantly higher level of residential energy performance into the mainstream.

The EPS was designed to work as an energy efficiency metric for appraisers, lenders, insurers and other sectors providing services for the home industry, offering at-a-glance information on the way a home will use energy over the long term. More than 1,900 homes have been rated using the system in the Northwest, and pilot programs are underway in Massachusetts, Virginia and Alabama.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

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