Duke-Progress has a new incentives program for builders, the Residential New Construction Program. It is significant money for builders who want to build to a higher energy efficient standard. If you have been considering increasing the efficiency this program will pay a lot of the cost of the upgrades.  There are two ways to go, upgrade equipment or upgrade the whole house as measured by a HERS index through a HERS rater.

Equipment Incentives for installing qualified heat pump water heaters, high-efficiency HVAC systems and air conditioners. 

Whole-house Incentives are based on the High Efficiency Residential Option (HERO) code. (The HERO code is an optional part of the 2012 North Carolina Energy Conservation Code.) This option offers incentives starting at $1,000 for meeting the HERO code and incrementally increases up to $4,000 for a HERO code home that also achieves a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Score of 55 or lower.

In addition, builders who meet or exceed the HERO code will be given the option of offering a Heating and Cooling Energy Usage Limited Guarantee to homebuyers. The guarantee is an effective tool for relaying the home’s improved energy efficiency to prospective buyers.’”  See the Progress website for deetails  https://bit.ly/ZK6q90

So as your HERS index score improves or goes down your rebate goes up.

  HERO Code Only or HERO Code & 
  HERS Index Score of 71+

  $1,000 per home 

  HERO Code & HERS Index Score of 66-70

  $1,750 per home 

  HERO Code & HERS Index Score of 56-65

  $2,500 per home 

  HERO Code & HERS Index Score of 55 and below 

  $4,000 per home 


An interesting factor is that there is no differentiation by size. So you can build a small house that takes less time and materials to reach these thresholds and still get the same amount of rebate.  Our company recently built a 1100 square foot house that we upgraded and got a HERS score of 45 before the Photovoltaic system is factored in.  Most of the added expense was in added insulation.  We are used to building to energy star and Green Built NC standards so this was not a big jump. We added 1 inch of exterior foam on the framed walls and blew in R-60 cellulose on the ceiling.  This was a 2 story home on a Superior wall foundation (R31 after R19 batts added) . The framed walls for the second floor had a total of 96 perimeter feet that were 10 ft tall including the band joist and the raised heel on the roof trusses. So 30 pieces of 1-inch rigid foam added $540 in materials cost, including extra tape. The added Cellulose in the ceiling, from R-40 to R-60 was around $300.   Basically our added materials costs were around $1000. We added the extra inch of rigid foam to the walls as we installed the siding so there was no extra set up time.  Assuming a slow day or two I would say we had an extra $500 of labor, $800 if we were slacking off.  With the house this small and well insulated and air tight we were able to use a mini split heat pump on each floor.  So in this small home we put in about $2000 and will get a $4000 rebate as well as being able to reduce the size and some expense for the HVAC equipment.

The environmental advantage will be around for the life of the house in reduced demand for heating and cooling.  







HERS is 45 without PV and 8 with. Not quite the illusive zero.