The Louisiana Home Energy Rebate Option (HERO) offers an actual cash payment for Louisiana residents who build new homes to high levels of energy efficiency or make energy improvements to existing homes. HERO is a component of the Home Energy Loan Program of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
The amount of the cash payment depends on the level of energy savings, called the Energy Efficiency Premium. The cash payment is 20% of the Energy Efficiency Premium up to a maximum of $2,000. The Energy Efficiency premium is determined by a home energy rating that is required on all homes participating in the program.
HERO is available to any Louisiana homebuilder, home buyer or homeowner. Applications for HERO are made by contacting a Louisiana Home Energy Rater by clicking on the list located at the bottom of this page titled "Certified Home Energy Raters". Information and step-by-step instructions are also available at the bottom of this page by clicking on "Instructions and Eligibility".
New Homes - For a new home to qualify for the program, it must be built at least 30 percent above the 1995 Model Energy Code (MEC). This corresponds to a minimum of 86 points (five stars) on Louisiana's 100-point rating scale. Application for New Homes participating in HERO must be made during the planning stage prior to the slab being poured.
Existing Homes - For an existing home to qualify for HERO, it must have its level of energy efficiency improved by at least 30 percent. This corresponds to an improvement of at least six points on Louisiana's Rating Scale. Application for Existing Homes participating in HERO must be made before any improvements are made to the home.
The Energy Efficiency Premium differs for new and existing homes. A home energy rater determines the Energy Efficiency Premium as part of a home energy rating that is required on all homes participating in the HERO program.
New Home - On a newly-constructed home, the Energy Efficiency Premium is the present value of the energy saved over the life of the energy improvements made to the home as compared to a similar home built to only 1995 MEC standards. The more energy efficient the home is constructed, the larger the Energy Efficiency Premium.
Existing Home - On an existing home, the Energy Efficiency Premium is the lesser of the cost of improvements or the present value of the energy saved by energy improvements made to the home over their useful lives. Again, the greater the energy improvements made to the home, the larger the Energy Efficiency Premium
A home energy rating lets you compare the energy efficiency of your home to others, estimates your future energy bills, and evaluates improvements that will save you money. It is a standard measure of your home's energy efficiency. According to national standards, the energy efficiency of a home is measured on a 100-point scale. Homes rated at 80 points are deemed to meet the requirements of the Model Energy Code. To qualify for HERO, the home must be 30 percent more efficient than the Model Energy Code and, therefore, must rate 86 or better on the rating scale.
In Louisiana, the Home Energy Rating system is administered by Energy Rated Homes of Louisiana (ERHL), a section of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources. All ratings are performed by private sector raters, trained and certified to submit the required documentation to ERHL for participation in the HERO Program. Included in a rating is a detailed computer analysis and on-site inspection of the home. The on-site inspection includes testing the home for air infiltration and duct leakage using an instrument called a blower door.
For individuals purchasing an existing home, a Home Energy Rating can also be used to qualify the home for an Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM). With an EEM, homebuyers can borrow the additional funds to make energy improvements at the time of purchase. The additional funds are included in their mortgage. The resultant reduction in energy costs is generally larger than the increase in mortgage payment. This means an average savings of $300 to $600 annually for the homeowners.
A list of Home Energy Raters can be obtained by clicking on Certified Home Energy Raters located at the bottom of this page. A rating generally costs between $250 and $400, depending on the size, and complexity of the home.
To be eligible for any rating or home rebate, the home must first meet the qualifying criteria listed under the Eligibility Requirements for Cash Payment section above.
Instructions and Eligibility
Links to Useful Sites on Supplies and Equipment
Louisiana DNR, Technology Assessment Division
617 N. 3rd Street, P.O. Box 44156, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70804-4156
225.342.1399 fax: 225.342.1397 firstname.lastname@example.org