RESNET is partnering with the International Code Council (ICC) to develop a national consensus standard for the rating of a home’s water efficiency, the Water Rating Index. The new standard will be a companion piece to the Energy Rating Index.

“In many parts of the nation, water is fast becoming an ever increasingly expensive commodity," RESNET Executive Director Steve Baden said. "There is clearly a need for a system to rate a home's efficiency in water use. This will allow home buyers to know how efficiently water is being used in the homes they are considering buying. It will also provide an opportunity for home builders to monetize the efficiency of their homes in the same fashion that the HERS Index plays for energy efficiency."

RESNET and ICC has formed the Standard Development Committee (SDC) 1100 – Water Rating Index. The SDC 1100 will oversee RESNET’s water rating standards. The committee will build upon the technical guidelines developed by the RESNET Water Index Working Group. A public review and comment process have just been opened on the draft guidelines.

The members of the SDC 1100 – Water Rating Index are:

  • Jacob Atalla, Vice President of Sustainability, KB Home;
  • Brett Cook, Building Code Official, City of Boardman, Oregon;
  • Mary Ann Dickinson, Alliance for Water Efficiency;
  • Andrew Espinoza, Building Code Official, City of San Antonio, Texas;
  • Philip Fairey, Deputy Director, Florida Solar Energy Center;
  • Ed Osann, Team Leader – Water Use Efficiency, Natural Resources Defense Council;
  • David Sauter, Building Code Official, Hatfield Township, Pennsylvania;
  • Jonah Schein, WaterSense Program Manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and
  • Kelly Stephens, Director of Operations, SunRiver Development.

It is planned that the draft Water Rating Index standard will be submitted to the RESNET ANSI standards public review and comment process in the final quarter of 2017.

The Water Rating Index standard, once adopted, can be used by builders to market the water efficiency of the homes they build, by state and local water boards to provide incentives for builders to build water efficient homes, and by code jurisdictions to have a Water Rating Index option in their building codes.