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Better Score for Energy Use

A new evaluation tool looks at more than just green building materials when deciding if a house is energy efficient

Courtesy of Energy Trust of Oregon

The Energy Trust of Oregon a nonprofit dedicated to helping Oregonians save energy and generate clean, renewable power, has come up with a way to provide a clear and quantitative way to compare a home's energy use and costs, as well as its carbon emissions.

The Energy Performance Score (EPS) allows buyers of new homes in the state to quickly see how much energy one house uses compared to another one they may be considering purchasing.

According to the Energy Trust of Oregon's website, "a home's EPS is based on many factors, such as the home's size, level of insulation, air leakage, heating and cooling systems, major appliances, lighting and water heating."

Unlike many green building programs that award points based on the materials used in a home's construction (which very often have nothing to do with how much energy the house will use when its completed) the EPS assigns a simple number—lower being better.

Contact the Energy Trust to get a home rated, a great tool for builders looking to market new homes built with energy efficiency in mind. Or direct your house-hunting customers to Energy Trust to compare scores (if you think yours will do well in the comparison, of course). Future plans include a similar scoring method for existing homes.