The Energy Department announced on January 9 its first major software update to the Home Energy Scoring Tool, developed by the Department's Building Technologies Office and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). The Home Energy Score allows homebuyers to compare homes on an "apples-to-apples" basis and provides recommendations for energy efficiency improvements. In addition, homeowners and homebuyers receive a cost-saving estimate of how these improvements could reduce utility bills and improve a home's score.
Through the Home Energy Scoring Tool, more than 8,500 homes have been scored by the Energy Department's growing network of more than 25 partners and 175 qualified assessors. After more than a year of implementation and feedback from program partners, the Energy Department made significant improvements to the scoring tool's calculation methodology and user interface. To inspire greater investments in energy efficiency, the tool also provides more detailed and cost-effective recommendations to help consumers further improve their home's energy efficiency to save money.
For example, the updated tool is now sensitive to local climate—collecting data from more than 1,000 weather stations nationwide, compared to the 250 stations used previously. The Energy Department, through LBNL, is working with third-party software companies to license the Home Energy Score application programming interface (API) to build apps and other online resources that exchange data with the tool. See the Progress Alert.