What Is An Energy Rating?

In September of 1991, the state of Alaska adopted the "Building Energy Efficiency Standard."  This standard was adopted to establish acceptable and appropriate energy standards for buildings based upon practical and cost-effective measures that reduce energy consumption.  This standard permits flexibility in compliance with the standards by allowing alternative methods of meeting the requirements of the standard.  The most commonly used method for meeting the requirements of the "Building Energy Efficiency Standard" is known as the energy rated method.  This method currently requires achieving a rating of "4 star plus" or higher.  Energy ratings must be done by an energy rater certified by Alaska Housing Finance Corporation.  The energy rating can be used to qualify the buyer for energy efficient mortgage programs and to add value to the home's appraisal.  An energy rating can also be used in existing homes to evaluate and compare the cost of living in different homes and to qualify for energy mortgage programs.  This helps the buyer purchase the very best home they can afford.  The average home owner spends more on energy costs than any other household expense except the monthly mortgage payment. 

There are several types of Energy Ratings, each of which are used for several different purpose:

AS-IS Rating:  this is the first rating conducted on an existing home (more than one year old) to establish a baseline for energy improvements.  It includes an improvement list from the rater of recommendations for upgrades to the home.  The improvement list includes a cost analysis of the recommended upgrades. 

BEES Rating:  This rating is used for newly constructed homes only.  The rating shows compliance with the Alaska Building Energy Efficiency Standard.  It is used to qualify buyers for energy efficiency mortgage programs to add value to a home's appraisal. 

Post-Improvement Rating:  This documents the improvements installed after an AS-Is Rating. 

Proposed From Plans Rating:  Produced from the blueprints of the project, this rating is used as a tool to project the rating of the final product and to check cost effectiveness of different options facing the builder and owner.  This rating can result in major savings to the owner in the long term by predicting utility costs and the effects of changes in the construction plans for pay back periods of various upgrades.