RESNET Board of Directors adopts RESNET Water Efficiency Rating Technical Guidelines

Jonah Schein (far right), technical coordinator for homes and buildings for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's WaterSense program and vice chairman of the RESNET/ICC Standard Development Committee 1100, addresses attendees during an open house demonstration of a KB Home that was HERSH2O rated at the 2018 RESNET Building Performance Conference in Orlando.
The Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) is in the initial phase of field testing the HERSH2O Technical Guidelines, rating process and inspection procedures. Code officials, builders, real estate professionals and home rating professionals recently gathered in Orlando, Fla., for a live demonstration of the HERSH2O Index rating process hosted by KB Homes and HERS Energy Rating Company TopBuild. KB provided use of the home for the demonstration, which was located near Lake Buena Vista Resort, site of the RESNET 2018 Conference. Homebuilding professionals in attendance heard a briefing about the development of the HERSH2O rating system, then followed a HERSH2O rater to perform the rating.

HERSH2O builds off of RESNET's nationally recognized Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index, which is the gold standard for rating the energy efficiency of a home. HERSH2O is a system for rating whole-house water efficiency that includes both indoor and outdoor uses. With the average family spending more than $1,000 annually on water costs, HERSH2O provides a simple, easy-to-compare rating on a scale from 0–100+; where lower numbers mean less water use. The HERSH2O Index was developed as part of a partnership between RESNET and the International Code Council (ICC). The HERSH2O Index also provides an opportunity for homebuilders to monetize the water efficiency of their homes in the same fashion that the HERS Index does for energy efficiency.

The final HERSH2O Technical Guidelines were recently approved by the RESNET board and will serve as the basis for a joint RESNET/ICC American National Standards Institute candidate standard that is currently under development. Later this year, RESNET expects to launch a more formal pilot project to allow builders and HERS raters to begin doing ratings. In 2019, a full national roll-out of the HERSH2O Index will occur.

Members of the RESNET HERSH2O Technical Guidelines working group and RESNET board during an open house demonstration of a KB Home that was HERSH2O rated at the 2018 RESNET Building Performance Conference in Orlando. Pictured (left-right): Jonah Schein, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Jacob Atalla, KB Home; Steve Baden, RESNET; Dave Walls, International Code Council; Mark Johnson, International Code Council; Dave Bell, TopBuild; and Ed Osann, Natural Resources Defense Council.