WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the first major software update to its Home Energy Scoring Tool, developed by DOE’s Building Technologies Office and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).

DOE said the Home Energy Scoring Tool 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, DOE said more than 8,500 homes have been scored by its growing network of more than 25 partners and 175 qualified assessors. After more than a year of implementation and feedback from program partners, DOE made significant improvements to the scoring tool’s calculation methodology and user interface. To drive 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. DOE, 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.

For more information, visit the Home Energy Score website.

Publication date: 1/20/2014

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