The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced its first major software update to the Home Energy Scoring Tool, developed by the Department’s Building Technologies Office and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). The Home Energy Score can allow homebuyers to compare homes on an “apples to apples” basis and provides recommendations for energy efficiency improvements. In addition, homeowners and homebuyers receive a cost-saving estimate of how these improvements could reduce utility bills and improve a home’s score. This can provide homebuyers with the opportunity to undertake energy investments when improvements are most likely to take place—at time of purchase or within the first year of owning a home.

The updated tool is more sensitive to local climate—collecting data from more than 1,000 weather stations nationwide, compared to the 250 stations used previously. The DOE through LBNL, is working with third-party software companies to license the Home Energy Score application programming interface to build apps and other online resources that exchange data with the tool.

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