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Nexus Nears 'Net Zero' Target for New Homes, with Average HERS Rating of 25
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November 21, 2012

Nexus Nears 'Net Zero' Target for New Homes, with Average HERS Rating of 25

By Cheryl Kaften
TMCnet Contributor

Stevensville, Maryland-based home developer Nexus EnergyHomes – which has built a reputation for construction of eco-friendly residential communities on the East Coast – has entered into an agreement with the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) of Oceanside, California, to measure the energy efficiency of each new property the company constructs. 

The intent of the agreement is to raise consumers’ knowledge of new home energy performance by using RESNET’s HERS(Home Energy Rating System) Index – and by doing so, differentiate properties built by Nexus EnergyHomes from others currently on the market in Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia.

Nexus EnergyHomes are designed and built to optimize the relationship between power production and power consumption by incorporating a combination of:

- Geothermal (ground sourced) heat pumps
- Photovoltaic solar panels 
- Super-insulated building shells
- State-of-the-art electronic and Web-based controls and monitoring systems
- Energy Star rated household electrical equipment and appliances
- Power-saving devices.

The Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) is a not-for-profit membership corporation, governed by a board of 17 (who are elected by the membership). The HERS Index ranges from 0 to 150 – and the lower the score, the more energy efficient the home.

A standard new American home built according to the latest energy efficiency standards, for example, is awarded a HERS Index score of 100, while a typical resale home is rated at 130.

Therefore, if a residence receives a HERS Index Score of 70, what that signifies is that the home is 30 percent more energy efficient than a standard new American home and 60 percent more energy efficient than a typical resale home!

The current average score for Nexus’ residences is 25 – which means they’re 75 percent more energy efficient than the standard new home.

Mike Murphy, executive vice president and Construction Division president of Nexus EnergyHomes, said RESNET’s HERS provides a quantitative measure of energy efficiency and permits comparisons between homes. “It is expected that Nexus EnergyHomes’ agreement with RESNET will serve as a model to other local and regional builders that would have positive outcomes for consumers and the new home industry.”

HERS Rating System

Steve Baden, executive director of RESNET lauded Nexus’ commitment to improving the energy performance of new homes. “Today’s new homes are much more efficient, in comparison to homes built just a decade ago. These homes are more affordable to maintain, comfortable and have a higher value. Thanks to leaders like Nexus EnergyHomes, builders are increasing the energy performance of the homes they build. This is good for consumers, the environment, the local economy and our national security.”

In making the commitment, Nexus EnergyHomes has been designated by RESNET as an “Energy Smart Builder.” 

The RESNET designation adds to Nexus’ existing list of certifications and awards by independent third-parties including, the ICC 700 National Green Building Standard (NGBS) certified by the NAHB Research Center at their highest certification level.

During a public proclamation in August at the company’s GeoSolar Community, North Pointe, in Frederick MD, Governor Martin O’Malley acknowledged the builder’s national achievement as the winner of the EnergyValue Housing Award “2012 Builder of the Year.”

“The homes are a testament to what the combination of green design, architecture and technology can do to help homeowners reduce their energy consumption and limit the effects of climate change,” he said.

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Edited by Braden Becker

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