Frequently asked questions

 

About EnerScore

[fa icon="plus-square"] What is an EnerScore?

An EnerScore is an "A" - "F" rating of home energy efficiency embedded in real estate listings.  Our algorithms process tax assessor and building permit data to predict the performance of the building shell and its mechanicals: power, lighting, heating, etc. The EnerScore also shows the estimated annual consumption, based on average U.S. occupancy. The EnerScore is not affected by habits of the occupant’s thermostat setting, lighting use, etc. EnerScores are like an MPG rating for the home.

improved_enerscore_panel.png

[fa icon="plus-square"] Who uses EnerScores?

Home buyers/renters use EnerScores to understand full costs of a home; homeowners want to get the most out of their home, especially when they sell or rent; and mortgage lenders like banks, who take into account expected energy bills when they evaluate mortgage risk.  

Whether you own a home or you're planning to rent or buy one, energy represents the third largest cost of housing, on average. 

  • House Hunters: When you are making that important decision about which home to buy or rent, knowing the comparative energy performance -- the efficiency and estimated utility costs -- can make a huge difference in your choice and long-term affordability. 
  • Sellers or Renters: If you are planning to sell or rent your home, the EnerScore can show you how your home stacks up to comparable homes in your area. A higher performing home -- better letter grade and lower energy cost -- typically sells/rents more quickly and for more. Energy upgrades can often be done quickly, and for less then you'll get back from the higher sale or rental price. 
  • Homeowners: I you are planning to stay in your home, the EnerScore can give you insights into your home's potential for energy performance improvements. A competent energy performance contractor can get you a lot of bang for your buck in terms of improved comfort and lower costs, even if you're not planning to sell or rent. And, if you find that your EnerScore estimated costs are lower than your actual expenditures, that's may be a clue that there are some simple things you can do to lower your bills; lowering your thermostat, reducing plug loads, changing to high efficiency light bulbs, purchasing Energy Star appliances, for example.
[fa icon="plus-square"] Who developed the EnerScore?
The EnerScore was developed by our team of building scientists, data experts, software developers, and designers.We also partner with companies that have access to real estate datasets from around the country.

Enerscore for home buyers/renters/owners

[fa icon="plus-square"] Isn't it enough to know past utility bills?

Actually, no; even if those bill are available, and often, they aren't. Two identical houses, with identical energy performance characteristics, can have wildly difference utility bills depending on who lives there. Imagine that one is occupied by a couple that keeps the thermostat at 63 in the winter and 80 in the summer, and who are rarely home because of their jobs. The other is owned by a family of six with kids who are on their electronic devices constantly, and where the clothes washer and dishwasher are constantly on.  

Real estate transactions often occur in the months following a major life change. So, the seller's house may have been unoccupied for some some moths, further distorting the picture of energy bill. 

To accurately compare homes and what what energy may cost you, you need to evaluate the building's structure -- its envelope -- and mechanical systems, like HVAC. 

[fa icon="plus-square"] Are EnerScore projected energy bills accurate?
They are as accurate as the available data allow. To improve our algorithms, we are constantly making tweaks by comparing the verified energy performance of homes (through onsite inspections) in your region with our estimates. However, if your city or town does not maintain up-to-date records of housing information, then EnerScore has to make assumptions based on the best, most recent information we have. That can throw off our rating and cost estimates slightly. We do give homeowners a way to correct, verify, and improve their EnerScore.
[fa icon="plus-square"] Which real estate websites include the EnerScore?

We're working on getting every real estate website, big and small, to include an EnerScore for homes they include. If your favorite site doesn't:

  • Try a different site
  • Contact your favorite site and request that include the EnerScore
[fa icon="plus-square"] How can I improve my EnerScore?

There are great reasons to improve your EnerScore. It can reduce your energy bills, provide a more comfortable living space, and raise your home's value. 

The first step in improving your EnerScore is to get a home energy assessment, or audit, from a qualified expert. These professionals can recommend the most cost-effective improvements for you home, together with any financial incentives that are available in your area. When you look up your home's EnerScore, click Improve_My_EnerScore.png, complete the brief form, and we will connect you with one of our trusted energy assessment/performance partners.  

Once improvements are made, and your home's energy performance re-assessed, your contractor will provide your data to us so we can recompute your home's grade and expected energy costs, and display your updated EnerScore.

[fa icon="plus-square"] I made some home energy improvements and I know my EnerScore isn't that bad.

First, thanks for working to improve your energy efficiency. Every bit counts. 

Now, let's get your EnerScore right. EnerScores are estimated from public record information. Sometimes, tax assessor information or building permit data from your city or town is unreliable. And, some towns still maintain their records on paper, so we can't access them.  

To correct your EnerScore, you have a couple of options: 

  • If you believe that your base information is incorrect, such as square footage, number of bedrooms, or (effective) year built, contact your municipality's tax assessor or building department office and ask them to come back to your home and update your information. You will see your corrected EnerScore within seven business days. If don't see your corrected EnerScore, please contact us at [email protected].

  • If you made improvements that didn't require a permit – or simply want your home to show a "confirmed" EnerScore – look up your home's EnerScore and click Improve_My_EnerScore.png or navigate to http://www.enerscore.com/energy-assessment to connect with a home energy assessor through EnerScore. S/he will assess the home’s energy efficiency, take a look at the work you’ve done, and update your EnerScore. The score will be updated within 7 business days. If you have any questions about the process, please contact us at [email protected].
[fa icon="plus-square"] How can I include an EnerScore on my Craigslist listing?
Just go to our "Working With Us" page and select the type of solution that's right for you. If you have questions about the process, please contact us at [email protected].

enerscore for brokers

[fa icon="plus-square"] Why should I include EnerScores on my website?

Home buyers and renters have lots of real estate sites companies and websites to choose from. Which one they select is often based on who offers the most complete, transparent information about homes of interest.  

Many sites don't list expected energy costs, though this represents the third largest expense for homeowners; the second largest for renters. If you are committed to ensuring that your users get the fullest picture of the costs associated with a home, EnerScore is the solution. 

For more information, view our partnering web page or contact us at partnering@enerscore.com.

[fa icon="plus-square"] How can I include EnerScores on my website?
Just go to our "Working With Us" page and select the type of solution that's right for you. If you have questions about the process, please contact us at [email protected].
[fa icon="plus-square"] What does it cost to display EnerScores?

First, we want you to learn about the impact EnerScores will have for your clients through a no-cost 60-day trial. After you see the benefits of having EnerScore on your site, we look forward to discussing with you the best ways we can work together. 

For more information, please contact us at http://www.enerscore.com/work-with-us.

enerscore for energy assessors and performance contractors

[fa icon="plus-square"] How does EnerScore partner with assessors and contractors?
Homeowners frequently want to correct or improve their EnerScore. When they click our <Improve My EnerScore> button, it creates a request for a home energy assessment, which we regard as the first step to performing energy upgrades. We then connect one of our partner contractors with the homeowner. Here's more on the process. We're happy to discuss with you how we share leads. Please contact us at http://www.enerscore.com/work-together
[fa icon="plus-square"] Can cities and towns use EnerScore to reduce energy consumption?

Many cities and towns strive to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in their community. Lowering residential energy use by increasing efficiency -- improving homes' EnerScores -- is an important factor. 

EnerScore works with municipalities to help them identify which homes represent the most cost effective opportunities for energy efficiency improvements. Our projects analyze energy performance for your community's housing stock using public record data. For more information, visit www.enerscore.com/municipal

[fa icon="plus-square"] How does EnerScore connect businesses like mine with homeowners?
When a homeowner clicks our <Improve My EnerScore> button to create a request for a home energy assessment or performance upgrade, we connect them with a partner assessor/contractor based on location. Here's more on the process. We're happy to discuss with you how we share leads. Please contact us at http://www.enerscore.com/work-together.

EnerScore for Municipalities and Researchers

[fa icon="plus-square"] Can cities and towns use EnerScore to reduce energy consumption?

Yes. Many cities and towns strive to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in their community. Lowering residential energy use by increasing efficiency -- improving homes' EnerScores -- is an important factor. 

EnerScore works with municipalities to help them identify which homes represent the most cost effective opportunities for energy efficiency improvements. Our projects analyze energy performance for your community's housing stock using public record data. For more information, visit www.enerscore.com/municipal

[fa icon="plus-square"] Does analyzing energy use in a community's housing stock require on-site inspections?

No. Our projects analyze energy performance for your community's housing stock using public record data.

However, if the municipality's tax assessor and building permit data is unavailable, incomplete, or out-of-date, our report may recommend that homeowners request an energy assessment by a qualified contractor.

For more information, visit www.enerscore.com/municipal