One of the leading contenders in change.org's Ideas for Change in America competition is the notion of an energy performance label for homes that works like the miles-per-gallon sticker that comes with a new car. Called the Energy Performance Score (EPS), the concept heralds from the Pacific Northwest and is more than just an idea, having been developed and piloted by Earth Advantage in 2008, and then adopted on a voluntary basis for new homes in Oregon and Seattle.
The scorecard is similar to the UK's Energy Performance Certificate, which has been mandatory for all buildings on construction, sale or rental, since 2008. Both of these labels go beyond the EnergyStar and ASHRAE EQ energy labels, which measure energy performance, but not CO2 emissions.
The EPS scorecard is completed following a home energy audit by a certified EPS auditor, who reports the home's current score in terms of energy use and carbon emissions. The scorecard indicates where the home falls in relation to the state average and also how the home would score if all of the recommended upgrades were completed. Earth Advantage report that there has been a lot of interest in the label from across the country:
This comprehensive initiative has attracted national interest. The City of Chicago, City of Houston, Clinton Climate Initiative, U.S. Department of Energy, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development are all assessing the final recommendations from the pilot report issued in August 2009.
We look forward to seeing versions of the EPS appearing elsewhere in the not-too-distant future.