In many parts of the nation, water is fast becoming an increasingly expensive commodity, with national water and sewer rates rising faster than energy costs. Homebuyers need to know how efficiently water is being used in the homes they are considering buying. In response to this need, the national energy standards organization, RESNET, is introducing its first ever water efficiency rating index, HERSH2O.

Similar to the HERS Index Score, RESNET’s nationally recognized energy efficiency standard, this new water index will rate the indoor and outdoor water usage of a home including the bathroom and kitchen, clothes washer, pools, and irrigation, while also accounting for leaks, excess pressure, and waste to derive a HERSH2O score. The score is derived by comparing the rated home to a reference home, which is typical of construction practices in 2006.

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.

That is why the builders, real estate professionals, code officials and home rating professionals recently convened Feb. 27 in Orlando, Florida, for the first-ever live demonstration of the HERSH2O Index rating process during the 2018 RESNET Building Performance Conference.

Nationally recognized builder KB Home and HERS Energy Rating Company TopBuild hosted a live demonstration of RESNET’s water efficiency rating, a short distance from Lake Buena Vista Resort, site of the RESNET 2018 Conference. Home-building professionals in attendance heard a briefing about the development of the HERSH2O rating system, then followed a HERSH2O rater to perform the rating.

For more information on the RESNET water efficiency rating go to RESNET HERSH2O.