With today’s energy codes, a newly built home in Minnesota is more efficient than ever. Add in advancements in building science and new energy products, and you can be sure that all the new homes you’ll find on the Parade of Homes will save you energy dollars over virtually all older homes.
There’s one thing you should be sure to do when visiting homes on the Parade of Homes: ask to see a Home Performance Report (HPR). This report shows that the home has been inspected and energy tested by a certified Residential Energy Service Network (RESNET) energy rater. These experts do more than look “under the hood” of a new home. They provide recommendations to help builders make their homes more energy efficient. When they’re done, they input the data they’ve gathered into modeling software that produces a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index number.
The HERS Index was created to give homeowners and buyers a standard by which they could measure the energy efficiency of houses they currently own or are planning to buy. The lower a home’s HERS Index Score, the better its energy efficiency. For example, the typical HERS Index Score of a resale home is 130 while the average score of a new construction home is 50. So if you’re in the market for a home in Minnesota, a new construction home can be 80% more efficient than an average resale home.
To easily filter for green homes on the Parade of Homes, look for the Green Path logo on the home listings. These homes have been energy tested by an independent third-party rater. Designated Green Path Builders are industry leaders in residential homebuilding. They are committed to energy testing 75% of their newly built homes and attend annual training on green building. Minnesota’s Green Path was created to help homebuyers make smart housing decisions. The goal of Green Path is to provide homebuyers with accurate information about energy efficiency and green features in today’s new homes. To date, Minnesota’s Green Path has provided HPRs to more than 36,000 newly built homes. Find more details and a list of Designated Green Path Builders at ParadeofHomes.org/resouces/go-green.