About the Green Path Home Performance Report


What is the Green Path HPR?

With today’s energy codes, a newly built home in Minnesota is more efficient than ever. Add in advancements in building science plus new energy products, and you can be sure that all the new homes you’ll find on Parade this fall will save energy dollars over virtually all older homes.

But there’s one more step you can take to be sure – select a home that has been inspected by a certified RESNET energy rater. These experts do more than look “under the hood” at a new home. They make recommendations about helping builders save energy all the time. And when they’re done, they input the data they’ve gathered into modeling software that produces a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index number. The HERS index makes it easy to tell which homes are most energy efficient, so you don’t need to dig into all the components (HVAC system, insulation, R values and more).

And that’s what’s at the heart of the MN Green Path program. At the Energy Tested level, Green Path provides documentation – a Home Performance Report (HPR) – that displays the home’s HERS index. In homes that have even more green features, Green Path offers two certification levels, advanced and master, reporting all green features clearly on the enhanced HPR.

The HERS Index was created by RESNET (Residential Energy Service Network) in order to give homeowners and buyers a standard by which they could measure the energy efficiency of houses they currently own or are planning to buy. You could say it is kind of like the home industry’s version of the MPG (miles per gallon) rating that you find in the auto industry and the lower a home’s HERS Index Score is, the better its home efficiency. Much like a car’s MPG sticker, a home’s HERS Index Score is increasingly being used by builders to market their properties.

Housing First Minnesota created Minnesota Green Path to help homebuyers make smart housing decisions. Like its Parade of Homes, Housing First Minnesota’s goal is to provide families with accurate information about new homes – from pricing to location to style, and now energy efficiency and green features.


How does the HERS Index work?

A certified Home Energy Rater assesses the energy efficiency of a home, assigning it a relative performance score. The lower the number, the more energy efficient the home. The U.S. Department of Energy has determined that a typical resale home scores 130 on the HERS Index while a standard new home is awarded a rating of 100. A home with a HERS Index Score of 70 is 30% more energy efficient than a standard new home. A home with a HERS Index Score of 130 is 30% less energy efficient than a standard new home


what do the scores mean?


HERS Index Score of 150
This house is a WHOPPING 50% LESS ENERGY EFFICIENT than a standard new home! It could be a significant financial drain on the bank account and to the environment in general. A house like this has high energy bills and will be hot in the summer and cold in the winter. This homeowner should immediately talk to a RESNET certified Home Energy Rater who can advise them on what they can


HERS Index Score of 130
This is the typical resale home score. That means if you're in the market for a home, this house will be at least 30% less energy efficient than it should be. Therefore, the smart way to buy a home is to determine its HERS Index score before you decide to buy. If you decide to purchase such a house, you should definitely consider taking advantage of an Energy Improvement Mortgage.


HERS Index Score of 100
Your home is at the same level as a standard new home (national average), which meets the current industry standard for home energy efficiency. But that doesn't mean your home is working at its optimal efficiency! There are still many energy saving measures that you could implement to make your home much more energy efficient, resulting in a safer home environment, lower utility bills and a better effect on the environment.


HERS Index Score of 60
This house has made good progress towards optimizing its energy performance! Not only is this good news from a financial point of view, it's also good news for the environment. Did you know that 16% of greenhouse gases generated in the U.S. come from homes?


HERS Index Score of 50
A great score! This home is 50% more energy efficient than a standard new home and 80% more efficient that the average resale home, which already puts it in a better bracket than a standard new home. However, there are still many improvements that can be made. The average HERS Index score for single family homes showcased in the recent Parade of Homes is approximately 51.


HERS Index Score of 30
This home is 70% more energy efficient than a standard new home and 100% more efficient than the typical resale home! It has been designed and built with energy efficiency in mind, resulting in a home that is environmentally friendly, enjoys a high comfort level and benefits from low energy costs.


HERS Index Score of 0 (Net Zero)
This home is a Net Zero Energy Home. This means that this home produces as much energy through renewable resources, such as solar panels, as it consumes. Only a Net Zero Energy Home can score 0 on the RESNET HERS Index.



ACH50: The Air Changes Per Hour at 50 Pascals is the index used in most blower door testing. As with HERS scores, a lower score is more efficient, indicating more air-tightness.
BTU (British Thermal Unit): A unit used to measure quantity of heat defined as the quantity of energy necessary to raise the temperature of 1 lb. of water 1o Fahrenheit.
BLOWER DOOR TEST: This tool helps determine the air-tightness of new and existing homes using a fan to maintain a pre-set level of depressurization in the structure.
BUILDING ENVELOPE: The assembly of exterior partitions of a building that enclose conditioned spaces, through which energy may be transferred to or from the exterior, unconditioned spaces, or the ground.
BUILDING INSPECTOR: An employee of local or state government building department whose responsibilities reviewing building plans and/or inspecting building sites to determine whether or not they meet existing health, safety, and/or energy codes.
CONDITIONED AREA/SPACE: That portion of the building that is heated and/or cooled.
HERS (Home Energy Rating System): This RESNET Home Energy Rating System scores homes against an index of the average U.S. new home’s energy efficiency HERS of 100. The lower the score, the more energy efficient the home.
HPR (The Home Performance Report): An easy-to-understand document that serves as the energy “window sticker” for a home, allowing home buyers to compare home energy scores in the same manner as they compare miles-per-gallon information when they buy a new car.
INFULTRATION: The uncontrolled inward leakage of air through cracks and gaps in the building envelope, especially around windows and doors.
R-VALUE: A unit of thermal resistance used for comparing insulating values of different materials. The higher the R-Value of a material, the greater its insulating properties and the slower the heat flows through it.
RESNET: Residential Energy Services Network is an independent, non-profit organization that sets national standards for energy ratings, ensuring accuracy and consistency.
RESNET RATERS: Certified professionals conduct on-site inspections and energy tests, including a final blower door test at a new home’s completion.
THERMAL ENVELOPE: The building's exterior shell - walls, foundation, floors, ceiling, windows, doors, and roof.
UNCONDITIONED SPACE: A space that is neither directly nor indirectly conditioned space, which can be isolated from conditioned space by partitions and/or closable doors.