The market attraction of builders using the RESNET HERS Index to easily explain to homebuyers the energy performance is growing dramatically. Yet the cost to meet these specifications is often greatly underestimated and hard to recoup.
Many town’s in New York have to meet the new energy code which requires that any new single-family dwelling, multiple-family dwelling, Planned Retirement Community (PRC) or Planned Retirement Congregate Housing Community (PRCHC) in buildings containing four units or less, not more than three stories in height must be built to achieve a HERS Index of 70 or less as verified by the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) promulgated by the Residential Energy Service Network (RESNET).
This value fluctuates depending on how strict the code enforcement is in the municipality. In reality, many districts require a HERS Index of less than 50. This means that traditional fiberglass insulation methods are out. In are new, spray foam methods, which can cost up to 4x more and are extremely hazardous to install, requiring special masks, clothing and a vacated property.