Green Path Energy Efficient Home Tour is part of the Spring Parade of Homes

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Once again, the Parade of Homes℠ will include an Energy Efficient Home Tour sponsored by Xcel Energy. The tour-within-a-tour highlights those Parade Homes℠ that have been independently inspected and rated for energy efficiency by a RESNET rater. A total of 141 homes are taking part in the energy tour and can be found in the Guidebook and online.

New this year, Minnesota’s Green Path has expanded to include an energy-tested level in addition to the three more advanced certifications to signify homes with additional energy and green features and scores. Therefore, each of the homes on the energy tour will receive a MN Green Path Home Performance Report (HPR) that graphically portrays the home’s test results.

RESNET Testing and the HERS Score
Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) is a California-based national association of home energy raters and energy-efficiency mortgage lenders that created the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) index to ensure a standardized, performance-based measurement for energy efficiency in homes.

RESNET certifies their independent raters who conduct inspections in homes under construction to gather data, which is then fed into their computerized programming to establish the home’s HERS Index as well as the ACH50 (Air Exchange index). The resulting HERS is indexed against a reference home, which is an imaginary home of the same size and shape as the home being rated, and based on the 2004 International Energy Conservation Code. The reference home scores a HERS Index of 100, while a net zero energy home scores a HERS Index of 0.

Any rating under 100 indicates better energy efficiency than the reference home; over 100 means the home will use more energy. HERS scores in older homes with little insulation, leaky windows and outdated construction techniques score well over 100. In Minnesota, a new home built just to meet our energy and building codes would test at about 80 HERS.

MN Green Path
MN Green Path was designed as a common sense, affordable program that measures and certifies a new home’s energy efficiency, home performance, and green features. In the past two years MN Green Path has proven to be an achievable and transparent program that was adopted quickly by builders and customers alike.

As the name implies, MN Green Path lets homeowners choose their level of commitment, from taking the first step on the path (the new Energy-Tested level) to the rigorous road to Master Certification. Whichever path is chosen, the home will receive its own Home Performance Report (HPR) that offers independent verification of its energy and green information for customers and future buyers.

Just like the MPG window sticker on a new car, the HPR helps homeowners make better choices about their own family’s needs and wants, including the level of energy efficiency and green features appropriate for those needs. And the MN Green Path HPR ensures complete transparency — documenting the home’s HERS score and green features for all to see.


The Energy Efficient Home Tour is sponsored by Xcel Energy