How Does the Yardstick Work?

The Home Energy Yardstick is a basic performance-based home assessment that looks at the actual energy use of your home (based on your last 12 months of utility bills) compared to that of similar homes. To ensure that homes across the country can be properly compared, the Yardstick uses a statistical algorithm to take into account the effects of local weather, home size, and number of occupants on your home's energy use.

A home that scores a '10' on the Yardstick scale used less energy over the last 12 months and performed well compared to its peers; while a home that scores a '1' used more energy and performed poorly compared to its peers.

You can increase your Yardstick score by improving the energy efficiency of the features and/or equipment of your home or by making changes in the way you operate your home to use less energy. You can revisit the Yardstick each month (when your bills arrive) to see the impacts of the energy efficient improvements you make to your home or changes in the way you operate it.

The Home Energy Yardstick is not meant to replace a home energy audit conducted by a professional. The best way to assess the root causes of high energy bills or uncomfortable spaces is to have a home energy professional assess your home.

The Yardstick score is based on data obtained from the U.S. Department of Energy's Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS). Since only single-family detached homes, mobile homes, townhouses, rowhouses, and duplexes are used in the Yardstick analysis, entering apartment energy use data may not result in a valid comparison.