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Home Builders, Rev Up Your HERS Index for the Cross Border Challenge


John Godden, Canada's Green Building Champion of the YearHome builders and HERS raters in the US have been up in arms about the new changes with Version 3 of the ENERGY STAR new homes program. Guess what? Canada thinks we're wimps. Here's why:

  • We've had 3 big changes in about 17 years; they've had 5 in 6 years.
  • ENERGY STAR Version 2 (US) is roughly equivalent to their 2009 energy code.
  • ENERGY STAR Version 3 (US) is roughly equivalent to their 2012 energy code.

John Godden, who brought me up to Toronto to teach the first HERS rater class in Canada this week, has thrown down the gauntlet to US home builders. John describes himself as a recovering builder (like I'm a recovering academic) and is Canada's Green Building Champion of the Year. Here's his challenge:

Which country, US or Canada, can get more homes to a HERS Index of 50 or below for all of 2011?

I know the year is two thirds gone already, but let's see what we can do. I know I've approved quite about 50 files this year that achieved that level of home energy efficiency. Once I return to the States next week, I'll start collecting info so we kick Canada's collective butts! The way we do in hockey.

Don't we beat them in hockey? I have no idea, but we must've beaten them sometime. I think the answer is in this video somewhere, but I need to sit down with my calculator and work it out.

Well, OK, forget hockey. Does anyone understand it anyway? Let's focus on this Cross Border Challenge of getting the most homes to a HERS Index of 50. I'll set up a page on the Energy Vanguard website to start tracking US homes soon. Send me your data!


Allison, we can't let those Canadians "whop up" on our home builders ... thanks for the blog post. I have recently upgraded my High Performance Lending software to include an analysis which compares the performance of two competing homes based on the HERS ratings of each home, and delivered in a simple dollars and cents format. If any of your builder clients are building homes with strong HERS scores want to see this groundbreaking tool to help them sell more homes ... drop me a note. I am on a mission to help builders and home buyers nationwide ... take care.
Posted @ Thursday, September 29, 2011 8:31 AM by Kerry Langley
I am interested.
Posted @ Thursday, September 29, 2011 4:50 PM by Craig
How about HERS minus 50? If we are going to do this thing, lets' make it meaningful. I have a home that has proven actual performance equal to -55 on the HERS scale!
Posted @ Thursday, September 29, 2011 11:33 PM by Ted Clifton
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