News Analysis

New "Fuel Mileage" Label for Homes

Unlike other rating systems, such as Passive House, that tend to indirectly reward larger homes, the Energy Performance Score takes into account the fact that smaller homes usually use less energy, even in the absence of efficiency upgrades. According to Kendall Youngblood, residential sector manager for Energy Trust of Oregon, “The Energy Performance Score uses a technical scale that shows energy consumption instead of a statistical scale that shows a comparison to a baseline, estimating (in millions of Btus) the annual energy consumption of a new home. Typically, larger homes use more energy and this is shown on the Energy Performance Score in terms of a higher score.” 

The tool is particularly useful for homebuyers wishing to compare energy data between homes—based on operating costs, not relative efficiencies—or gauge the efficacy of energy upgrades in a particular home. The Energy Performance Score is currently being used on a voluntary basis for new homes in Oregon and for a pilot of existing homes in Washington; both states are exploring the possibility of mandatory energy labeling for new homes. Development of the Energy Performance Score coincides with the U.S. Department of Energy’s upcoming deadline for establishing a voluntary national rating standard that may allow lenders to provide preferred financing options for energy-efficient homes.

Published March 31, 2010

Bragonier, E. (2010, March 31). New "Fuel Mileage" Label for Homes. Retrieved from