Lights, Appliances, and Sunshine: A New HERS?

November/December 2002
This article originally appeared in the November/December 2002 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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November 01, 2002
The HERS industry debates incorporating new end uses into a HERS score.
        For more than a decade now, a HERS rating has been calculated with an eye on the meat and potatoes of energy end uses. Only the energy use associated with heating, cooling, and the production of domestic hot water contributes to the making of a HERS score (see “The Current Construction of HERS”). It may be time to bring out the vegetables.         Discussions about expanding HERS to include other end uses have been ongoing for years, but recently the debate has become more pointed.Two new studies on the impact of incorporating lighting and appliance energy consumption, and even PV power generation, into HERS ratings have helped to ground the discussions. Why the Debate?         From the beginning, HERS ratings were designed to rate only the permanent features of a home.“Rate the house, not the occupants” has been the often expressed industry mantra, implying that a home’s performance should not be distorted just because energy hogs live there. In keeping with this philosophy, two identical houses that have different thermostat setpoints, for example, should and will ...

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