WER Index development continues through ICC-RESNET partnership

The partnership between the International Code Council (ICC) and Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) has been the catalyst for substantial progress in the Water Efficiency Rating (WER) Index.

Due to the diligent work of the WER Index task force comprised of a 13-member voting committee, five subcommittees and a 75-member advisory council, RESNET Executive Director Steve Baden announced in September that the technical guidelines were finalized and that nearly all the task force work had been completed.

The one exception being the Rater Training & Qualification Requirements Subcommittee, which is tasked with establishing the training requirements for both existing HERS Raters to conduct WER Index ratings as well as other previously unaffiliated professionals. The remaining work of the Rater Training & Qualification Subcommittee is expected to be completed this fall, and RESNET plans to conduct a limited field verification to ensure that the rating system works smoothly.

Baden noted, "Our intention has always been to develop the technical guidelines within this framework to both serve as the basis for the rating procedures, as well as to form the basis of a candidate American National Standard (ANS)." This is the same process that was used in the development of the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index.

The next steps include creating the RESNET/ICC Standard Development Committee 1100 Water Rating Index (SDC 1100). Members of the SDC 1100 include the following:

  • Jacob Atalla, KB Home
  • Brett Cook, city of Boardman, Ore.
  • Andrew Espinoza, city of San Antonio, Texas
  • Ed Osann, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • David Sauter, Hatfield Township, Pa.
  • Jonah Schein, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency WaterSense
  • Kelly Stephens, Sunriver
  • Philip Fairey, Florida Solar Energy Center
  • Mary Ann Dickinson, Alliance for Water Efficiency
The development of the standard, first as a RESNET guideline then as a candidate ANS, is intended to expedite the advancement of a useful rating index. The guidelines serve as a starting point for SDC 1100.

In September, the SDC 1100 met for the first time, electing Jonah Schein as the vice chair and appointing RESNET's WER Index Committee as a formal subcommittee. This committee appointment gives the SDC 1100 members access to a wide range of expertise and background knowledge of the guidelines. "We are confident that this will facilitate a smooth transition and reduce the risk of redundant efforts," said Baden.