As part of the Energy Department's commitment to helping families across the United States save money by saving energy, the Department announced today 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. This provides homebuyers with the opportunity to undertake energy investments when improvements are most likely to take place—at time of purchase or within the first year of owning a home.

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.

The updated tool is more 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.

On Tuesday, January 14, the Energy Department will present a live webinar, titled "Introducing the 2014 Version of the Home Energy Scoring Tool," to provide an overview of updates and explain how utilities, states, local governments, and others can use the Home Energy Scoring Tool to support residential energy efficiency goals.

The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) accelerates development and facilitates deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality. For more information on the Home Energy Score, visit the Home Energy Score website.