Newly built homes in Minnesota are more energy efficient than ever as many builders are advancing green building practices. Through Housing First Minnesota’s Green Path program, our state has now tested and issued Home Performance Reports for more than 22,000 homes. Minnesota homes scored an average Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index of 50 in 2019, ranking the state’s homes as the most energy-efficient in the country for high-production states, according to Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET).
“For nearly a decade we’ve been working to make Minnesota a leader in energy-efficient homes through our Green Path program,” said David Siegel, executive director of Housing First Minnesota. “We’re proud to see our builders embrace sustainable building practices and incorporate construction techniques, materials and designs intended to provide maximum home comfort while conserving energy and minimizing a home’s impact on the environment.”
Minnesota’s Green Path program, created by Housing First Minnesota, promotes sustainable building practices by providing builders and consumers Home Performance Reports that highlight a home’s RESNET HERS index and air exchange measurement. The lower the HERS index or score the more energy efficient the home. Minnesota tested 7,287 homes in 2019, according to RESNET.
“Minnesota’s Green Path program helps homebuyers understand the energy efficiency of a home and gives them the confidence that comes with independent, third-party testing,” said Siegel.
According to RESNET, in 2019 there were 241,909 homes in the U.S. that were HERS rated and issued a HERS Index Score. This broke the record for the number of homes HERS rated in a year. The previous record from 2018 was 236,116 homes HERS rated. The U.S. average HERS Index Score in 2019 was 59. This is 41% more efficient than a home built as recently as 2006.
RESNET calculates that the energy efficiency driven by Minnesota’s Green Path for families who purchased HERS rated homes in 2019 saved more than $178 million, as compared to the HERS reference home. For Minnesota, HERS rated homes annually save 18,950 tons of C02 which is the equivalent of 3,714 passenger vehicles taken off the road for one year.
The states with the lowest average HERS Index Scores in 2019 were:
Vermont – 34 *Tested less than 200 homes
Hawaii – 42 *Tested less than 200 homes
South Dakota – 43 *Tested less than 200 homes
Minnesota – 50 *Tested 7,287 homes
California – 51
Average HERS index across neighboring states:
For more information on Minnesota’s Green Path visit MnGreenPath.org
Created by Housing First Minnesota in 2011, Minnesota’s Green Path program is the leading energy efficiency and green building program for the residential construction industry in Minnesota.
Housing First Minnesota is the leading voice of home builders and remodelers and all who are dedicated to building safe, durable homes at a price Minnesotans can afford. Formerly known as the Builders Association of the Twin Cities, Housing First Minnesota represents more than 1,100 builders, remodelers, developers and industry suppliers throughout the state.