On Wednesday we received our HERS rating evaluation based on our final design from MaGrann Associates who is handling our Energy Star and LEED certifications. We have been working with MaGrann and Zero Energy Design to make improvements to our envelope design and mechanical systems since our initial HERS rating came back much higher than our target score of 50 or 50% more energy efficient than a standard code built home of the same size.
The target of 50 helps us achieve two major goals:
- We will be eligible for the energy efficient builder tax credit from the Federal Gov’t for $2,000. This will pay for the solar thermal system along with the Federal solar incentives.
- A HERS rating of 50 will give us the points we need in the Energy section of the LEED checklist to obtain our goal of LEED Platinum certification.
MaGrann took our updated mechanical design and actually used some more conservative figures in order to make sure we had some slack if we needed to make minor adjustments at the last minute due to budget. MaGrann also calculated the potential energy use and cost of the house based on our design and I was happy to see that their calculations matched those that Zero Energy Design came up with a few months ago. The total utility bill including both gas and electric is estimated to be around $1,300 a year or just over $100 a month. Since we will be occupying the home for its first years in use, we will be able to compare actual figures to these estimates.
These results are a big load off of my mind as I can finally shift my research focus from the mechicals to the other design and LEED details of the project that still need to be nailed down. Have a great weekend and stay tuned for more geeky research related posts in the coming weeks on ventilation, finishes and green landscaping.
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