Tim Carter with Georgia Power shares some comments on the future of energy efficiency in Atlanta real estate. Because energy efficiency means different things to different people, he shares what energy efficiency means for the Atlanta new homes market.

One of the basics for measuring a homes energy efficient is its HERS Score. HERS stands for Home Energy Rating System. A HERS score will give you lots of data, just like when you are shopping for new appliances you can see a sticker on them that shared how much they will cost to operate for a year. Much like ENERGY STAR has become the rating for appliances, HERS is the future for rating new homes.

A group called RESNET (Residential Energy Service Network) certifies HERS raters. There are several things involved in rating a house. The rated will take the following steps before and during the construction of the home.

  • Analysis of the construction plans
  • Onsite inspections (what you can’t see is important) including a blower door and duct blaster test

(See Carl Seville’s comment below for clarification of how a HERS score works.)

Some of the characteristics of energy efficient homes:

  • Effective insulation
  • Efficient heating and cooling equipment
  • Tight construction and ducts
  • Energy efficient lighting and appliances
  • High performance windows
  • Certified third-party verification

Today’s Atlanta real estate market is volatile. Consumers don’t have the confidence in new homes that they once did, and they have more options that ever when shopping for homes for sale. Both foreclosures and short sales can be very tempting for home buyers due to attractive pricing.  For builders looking for a competitive edge, going green or rather building energy efficient homes could be the key to selling more homes. With rising energy costs, consumers have higher energy awareness than in recent years and are often willing to spend more on green.

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