Frequently Asked Questions

For Homeowners

What is a Home Energy Score?

A home energy rating developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that provides a standardized method for quickly assessing a home’s envelope and major energy systems. The rating on a house is comparable to the MPG rating on a car. It rates the home on a scale of 1-10, based on how much energy the home is expected to use assuming standard operating conditions and occupant behavior. It also provides homeowners with suggestions for improving their homes' efficiency. For more information, visit the DOE Home Energy Score website.

Who provides it?

Home Energy Score Partners: Local and state governments, utilities, non-profits, and other home performance industry organizations. Assessors working under Partners conduct home assessments and produce the Home Energy Score. StopWaste is a Partner of the Department of Energy, working in all nine Bay Area counties.

What types of homes can get a Home Energy Score?

At this time, only single family homes and townhomes can be scored. Multifamily and mobile homes cannot be scored.

What does a homeowner get?

An Asset Score (between 1 and 10), Home Facts (a list of data collected and energy use calculations), and Improvement Recommendations. View a sample Home Energy Score report here.

What does an Assessor look for during a Home Energy Score walk-through?

When an Assessor does a walk-through of a home, she or he will collect about 40 pieces of information. Information about a home's envelope (foundation, insulation, walls, windows, etc.) as well as its heating, cooling and hot water systems will be entered into the Home Energy Scoring Tool. Information about how residents operate the house and non-permanent house features like lighting, home electronics and appliances are not included in the Score calculation since these are not considered to be fixed assets. The Home Energy Scoring Tool assumes standard operating conditions in order to allow homes to be compared on an apples-to-apples basis, independent of occupant behavior. 

For Assessors

What is the cost associated with providing or getting a score?

While available, Assessors may be eligible to receive a $250 rebate for each home scored (except in the City of Berkeley- see below). There is no cost associated with using the Scoring Tool.

What are the Insurance Requirements for Home Energy Score Assessors?

In order to become a Home Energy Score Assessor, you must maintain the following insurance (inlcluding sole proprietors), as outlined in Appendix A of the Home Energy Score Assessor Participation Agreement

  • Comprehensive general liability insurance, including personal injury liability, blanket contractual liability, and broad-form property damage liability coverage. The combined single limit for bodily injury and property damage shall be at least $1,000,000.
  • Automobile bodily injury and property damage liability insurance covering owned, non-owned, rented, and hired cars. The combined single limit for bodily injury and property damage shall at least $1,000,000.

In addition to the above, the following workers compensation is required for all companies with at least one employee. For sole owners with no employees, this insurance is optional: 

  • Statutory workers' compensation and employer's liability insurance as required by state law with a limit of at least $1,000,000 per accident for bodily injury or disease. Neither Assessor nor its carrier shall be entitled to recover any costs, settlements, or expenses of workers' compensation claims arising out of this agreement. The Employer's Liability policy shall be endorsed to waive any right of subrogation against StopWaste, its employees or agents.

Are there additional requirements for offering Home Energy Score in the City of Berkeley?

The City of Berkeley’s Building Energy Saving Ordinance (BESO) Rebate Program has additional requirements for assessments and rebate payments. If you want to provide Home Energy Scores in the City of Berkeley, please complete the StopWaste Assessor Agreement, and let us know you would also like to work in the City of Berkeley. We will then work with you to complete the additional requirements. An Assessor must be registered as a Home Energy Score Assessor with StopWaste in order to be a BESO Assessor.

Will I receive a rebate on energy assessments performed in the City of Berkeley?

We do not provide rebates to Assessors that perform a Home Energy Score in the City of Berkeley, because Berkeley provides a $200 rebate to homeowners who receive a Home Energy Score.   More details can be found here: Building Energy Saving Ordinance (BESO) in Berkeley