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The California Energy Commission’s accredited rating providers, CalCERTS and CHEERS, were recently approved by RESNET as official HERSH2O providers — paving the way for the launch of the water efficiency rating program in California.
Built off RESNET’s nationally recognized Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index, which is the gold standard for rating the energy efficiency of a home, HERSH2O was developed as a system for rating whole-house water efficiency including both indoor and outdoor uses through a consensus development process with input from more than 75 organizations.
“The approval of CalCERTS and CHEERS as official HERSH2O providers brings us one step closer to increasing water efficiency in the state of California,” said Mark Johnson, executive vice president, International Code Council. “Due to an ongoing strain on water resources in the state, there is no better time to introduce this water efficiency ratings program that will not only help consumers lower their bills, but also conserve resources.”
The approval of two of California’s accredited rating providers comes as water resources are becoming increasingly strained in many parts of the country and the cost to upgrade aging water infrastructure is taking a toll. With water prices increasing faster than energy prices, there is the potential for water efficiency measures to impact cost savings throughout the US.
“Water is society’s most precious commodity, and we need to ensure we are utilizing it efficiently,” said Steve Baden, executive director, RESNET. “As the water crisis becomes more critical, we are proud to be working with the International Code Council to not only be addressing this issue but provide a solution that will benefit California homeowners immensely.”
With the average family spending more than $1,000 annually on water costs, HERSH2O provides a simple, easy to compare rating on a scale from 0-100+; where lower numbers mean less water use. By using this scale, it makes it easier to cross check efficiency between homes, allowing homeowners to gauge their own home’s effectiveness. The HERSH2O Index was developed as part of a partnership between RESNET, the International Code Council, Natural Resource Defense Council and the EPA WaterSense Program. The basis for HERSH2O is ANSI/RESNET/ICC Standard 850.