Why HERS Scores Are Worth the Investment

Mar 1, 2018DMA Engineering

Just this past month, our very own Cody Young became a certified HERS rater—making DMA Engineering an all-inclusive rating and design firm. We’re very excited to have this critical skill in-house and as an integrated part of your design team.

While a HERS rating is now required for every new home in Boulder, there is great overarching value to both the rating system and having the person who does the rating be a member of your team. But first, let’s talk a little about the HERS index and what the ratings mean.



Lots of acronyms in that title, but here goes: The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) index is the industry standard by which a home’s energy efficiency is measured, and it was created by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET). It’s 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.

The index is also the nationally recognized system for inspecting and calculating a home’s energy performance, and recently passed the “Two Million Homes Certified” mark.
In 2017, 11,340 of those happened in Colorado! We were 4th in the nation and had an average HERS Index Score of 58.


Who the Heck is Cody?

In addition to being devilishly handsome and a basketball maestro, Cody is a Broomfield, Colorado native and graduate of Colorado School of Mines. “I’ve always been really passionate about sustainability issues, so when I was considering a career path, I decided engineering was the best choice for me to help make real changes,” says Cody. “Combining the technical understanding of an engineering degree with the practical and evidence-based understanding of the HERS system allows me to bring the best of both worlds to our clients–and to the Front Range community.”

And, here’s a little-known fact about Cody: As a kid, his friend pitched a ball (to himself), swung at it with a bat and missed the ball…but his follow through did connect with Cody’s nose. Ouch!
They remained friends despite the broken nose.


Bringing More to the Team

With HERS certification, we see the ability to more accurately track the real performance of a system. DMA has always been a dependable source for high-performing energy, mechanical and plumbing systems—and with an on-staff HERS rater we see a fantastic opportunity to bring even more value to the project for both builders and homeowners!

We debated the pros and cons of Cody becoming a rater, and quickly realized that the additional layers of quality assurance provided by HERS—both physical testing and quantifying the air-tightness of the home’s envelope before final construction is complete—are a perfect complement to having the rater actually be an engineer on the project who can quickly integrate that testing and quantification into the actual design. We broke it down like this:

  1. We are already a licensed and integral part of the design team, so there’s no need to hire an outside agency.
  2. As an engineering firm, we gain a knowledge and understanding of the HERS system that other engineers don’t have, allowing us to incorporate that into our designs from day one.
  3. As a HERS rater, we understand all the engineering that’s involved much better than any other rater could, and will quickly act on any HERS testing to incorporate needed changes into the design.
  4. DMA Engineering is passionate about high performance systems and committed to being good stewards of the Earth, so even if the rest of the design team has less sustainability experience, we can bring along the extra “muscle” that’s needed for a successful project.


Every Front Range home needs a HERS score, every home deserves quality engineering and every design team should have
a qualified
Energy/Mechanical/Plumbing engineer.

Contact us to learn more about how the engineers at DMA can supercharge your team!


Here’s Cody, by the way.