What is your Home Energy Score?

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Defines a home energy score, and explains how to look up a home's score and understand the home energy report.
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What is a Home Energy Score?

The Home Energy Score measures the energy efficiency of a home based on an onsite evaluation of its physical characteristics. To provide consistent comparison for home shoppers, a Home Energy Score does not measure actual energy usage of its current occupants.

If your home scores a 5, it is expected to perform comparably to an average home in Portland in terms of energy use. If your home scores a 10, it ranks among the 10 percent of homes expected to use the least amount of energy. A home scoring a 1 is estimated to consume more energy each year than 85 percent of homes.

If your home receives a Score of 1, it does not mean your home is poorly built. It’s also possible that a beautiful home with up-to-date equipment can still get a low score if the square footage is high or if there is insufficient insulation. A low score just means there is significant room for improvement to reduce its energy use. Even higher scoring homes may benefit from some additional energy efficiency or renewable energy investments.

The City of Portland has partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy to use the Home Energy Score model and software as the official scoring system for the City’s home rating and disclosure requirements. For more information, check out the scoring methodology used by the U.S. DOE to calculate Home Energy Scores.

Look up a Home Energy Score

Finding a Home Energy Score is easy. Once an assessment is completed, the Score and Report are available to view in the Green Building Registry at any time.

homepage for Green Building Registry

Enter the property address and search for the home’s profile. Find Home Energy Score information by clicking on “HES” to expand. The unique URL for the Home Energy Report will appear at the bottom of the window.

You can copy and paste this into any listing service. Click on “Download Report” to download and print a copy of the Report. 

Web view of Home Energy Report
Click the link at the bottom of the Green Building Registry Home Energy Score page to dowload the report. Use the direct link to the PDF in advertising the home for sale.

How to read a Home Energy Report

A Home Energy Report provides a simple indicator of energy efficiency. For low scoring homes, it also provides a road map of improvements that can improve comfort, save energy and cut costs.

sample energy report page 1
Sample home energy report, page 1.

This home's score. Homes are scored on a ten-point scale, with “1” indicating higher energy use and “10” indicating lower energy use. The score conveys information about a home’s estimated energy use based on physical characteristics (size, orientation, window type, insulation, roof materials, etc.) and its mechanical systems (heating/cooling, hot water heating etc.). It does not measure the actual energy use of the home’s current occupants.

Energy costs. The costs listed in the Home Energy Report are estimated based on typical use patterns in similar homes. Actual usage and costs may differ from the Report due to the behavior and choices of the occupants.

Assessment date. This shows the date the assessment was completed.

Score expiration date. The Report is valid for use to meet Home Energy Score requirements until this date, provided that no changes to mechanical systems, energy efficiency or square footage in the home has occurred. After this date a new on-site assessment is required, regardless of whether changes have been made to the home or not.

sample home energy report page 2
Sample home energy report, page 2.

Score with priority improvements. This shows the Home Energy Score the home could achieve if all of the priority energy improvements are completed.

Estimated energy savings with priority improvements. The amount of money you could expect to save on energy costs each year if all priority energy improvements are completed. This estimate is based on typical use of the home and does not reflect variances in occupant behavior or energy use decisions.

Estimated carbon reduction with priority improvements. The amount of carbon reduction you could expect to achieve annually if all priority energy improvements are completed.

Priority energy improvements. This list includes customized improvement recommendations which provide simple payback of ten years or less. There may be more energy efficiency measures that could have a positive impact on the Home Energy Score but fall outside of the 10-year payback window.

Additional energy recommendations. Energy efficiency measures that could have a positive impact on the Home Energy Score and reduce energy use but fall outside of the 10-year payback window will be listed here.

Interested in learning more about your Home Energy Score and Report? Watch this video: