How to read a Home Energy Report

Home Energy Score. Homes are scored on a ten-point scale, with “1” indicating higher energy use and “10” indicating lower energy use. The score is comparable to the miles-per-gallon ratings on cars: it conveys information about what a house’s estimated energy use is, based on the physical characteristics (size, orientation, window types, insulation, roof materials, etc.) of the home, and its systems (heating, cooling, etc.). It does not reveal information about the personal behavior of occupants. 

Cost. The costs listed in the Home Energy Report are estimates based on average use patterns in similar homes. Like a miles-per-gallon rating, actual usage and costs may differ from what the Report shows due to the behavior and choices of the occupants. 

Assessment date. This is the date on which the assessment was completed. If it is more than two years old (but not yet expired) a free update should be pulled from the Green Building Registry prior to listing for sale to update the report for current energy costs and carbon emissions factors. This report is only necessary to obtain on the occasion that the home is again advertised for sale. 

Score expiration date. This is the date after which a new on-site assessment is required. The Home Energy Score is valid for eight years after issue, provided that no changes to mechanical systems, energy efficiency or square footage in the home has occurred. 

Score with improvements. This is the Home Energy Score that this house could achieve if all of the practical energy improvements listed on the back of the Home Energy Report were installed. Working with a contractor or on your own, you could implement a select package of measures which achieves an even higher score.

Estimated energy savings with improvements. The amount of money you could save on energy costs each year. Please note, this estimate is based on the systems in the house and not behavior or energy use decisions of the occupants.

Estimated carbon reduction with improvements. The carbon reduction percentage is also an annual amount and is based on installing the practical energy improvements listed on the back of the Home Energy Report.

Practical energy improvements. The back of the report includes a list of recommended improvements which is customized to the data from the house. This list is limited to improvements with a simple payback of ten years or less. There are likely more energy efficiency measures that could have a highly positive impact on the Home Energy Score but fall outside of the 10 year payback threshold.