Home Energy Score from The Sustainability Institute is the nationally recognized label for residential energy performance — is a low cost, apples-to-apples comparison of a home’s energy performance — much like the miles-per-gallon rating for new cars.
The simple 1 to 10 scale compares the scored home relative to all homes in the local market and climate zone. Homes that score 10 cost the least to operate at normal energy settings. Homes scored 5 or less waste lots of energy and are great candidates for whole-house energy improvements, reducing wasted energy dollars and improving indoor comfort, air quality, occupant health.
The Home Energy Score report will identify cost effective home energy upgrades with 10% to 30% or better return on investment and refer clients to the CharlestonWISE program for unbiased advice and trusted contractor referrals for quality-assured home energy upgrades, financial incentives and low-interest financing.
Homeowners can access up to $25,000 for energy improvements — heating, cooling, ventilation, duct and air sealing, insulation, and renewable energy systems through CharlestonWISE PowerSaver Loan with interest rate buy-downs, now below 5%, for applicants with FICO scores less than 700.
The score is based on computer modeling at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab to evaluate total energy consumption based on the local climate zone. Homes are ranked on total energy consumption, so a large home is expected to score lower than a small home with similar energy attributes. Actual Energy use will depend on how the home is operated and maintained, including number of occupants.
A certified Home Energy Score Assessor will collect home data to evaluate the energy-related components of a home, consisting of the Building Enclosure (walls, attic, basement or crawl space) and Mechanical Systems — heating, cooling, ventilation systems and major appliances.
The Dept. of Energy Home Energy has partnered with The Sustainability Institute as the only Home Energy Score provider in South Carolina. Currently, the Home Energy Score is only available in Charleston County, and available state-wide next year. The cost is $120 for the score and home energy upgrade report, which includes blower door diagnostics and thermal bypass inspection using a FLIR camera.
Right now, the Home Energy Score is available only through the CharlestonWISE program of The Sustainability Institute. Call our hotline at 843-724-9014 speak with program advisor Lindsey Graham to qualify for a free Home Energy Score through CharlestonWISE, an innovative community energy programs in partnership with the City of Charleston and South Carolina Energy Office.