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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013

Home energy-efficiency ratings



By Clark Howard

ClarkHoward.com


Homebuyers in parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin have access to a new way they can measure the energy-efficiency of a potential home they might buy.

The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) is a new effort from the MLS that gives an energy efficiency score for a home that's on the market. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says it's like a miles per gallon sticker on a car, but for a home.

The new HERS rating reflects the fact that the energy efficiency of a home can vary so much based on what's been done to it. And that energy efficiency, or lack thereof, becomes a cost of ownership.

Studies show that homes with solar typically sell for more than those without.

Meanwhile, commercial property owners are so much further along on this track than the we residential buyers are. Walgreens is just one example. They just built a new store north of Chicago that is a net zero energy store, according to The New York Times.