Cars have miles-per-gallon ratings, neighborhoods have walkability rankings, and people have carbon footprint calculators.
What's up with homes then? Why isn't there be a comparable, affordable way to size up your home's energy performance? Well, now there is. The Department of Energy just released a program called the Home Energy Score that shows the energy efficency of a home on a 1-10 scale, and gives recommendations on how it could become more efficient.
In the program, if homeowners decide to upgrade components of their home like insulation, duct sealing, or renewable energy systems, they get have access to federally insured loans up to $25,000 at or below market rates. This will not only allow for cost effective home efficiency upgrades, but will also create jobs for the contractors, auditors, and installers. Also, the DOE has a set of voluntary guidelines for home energy workers that should assure higher quality control.
Nine regions around the country will start testing the program immediately, and it will hit the rest of the nation next summer.
For more, watch a video explaining the program.