Paul Recker, left, former Habitat for Humanity construction manager, and Matt Rau, Habitat director, hold the three awards the Putnam County agency received for their energy efficiency rating on the last home they built. (Putnam Sentinel/Nancy Kline)
Paul Recker, left, former Habitat for Humanity construction manager, and Matt Rau, Habitat director, hold the three awards the Putnam County agency received for their energy efficiency rating on the last home they built. (Putnam Sentinel/Nancy Kline)
PUTNAM COUNTY — When Matt Rau, Executive Director of Putnam County Habitat for Humanity received an invitation to attend a luncheon in Columbus, he put it aside, not planning to attend. Then he received a phone call specifically asking if someone from Putnam County Habitat for Humanity would attend a special awards ceremony.

“They said they were letting the cat out of the bag but wanted us to know we were receiving an award,” said Rau.

When he attended the luncheon, Rau discovered the Putnam County group had been awarded a second place racing for having an “Efficiency Crafted” home. The “Efficiency Crafted” program is an energy efficiency program created by Columbia Gas of Ohio and AEP Ohio.

“We had our 2016 new home build inspected/rated by a certified H.E.R.S. inspector (Home Energy Rating System). The rating takes into account how energy efficient the home is,” Rau said. He said 2,535 new homes in Ohio were inspected and rated in 2016.

“Predominantly all by big home building companies and developers. Out of all of those homes, ours came in with the 2nd best rating! 2nd out of 2,535.”

Rau commended former construction manager Paul Recker for all the work he did to make the home energy efficient.

“I give him a lot of credit for us receiving these awards,” Rau said.

Recker, who served as construction manager for eight of the nine homes built by Putnam County Habitat for Humanity, said everything on the houses was a cooperative effort.

“I thank all the volunteers who helped with the homes,” he said.

“This is a true testament to our volunteers and contractors that work on our homes,” said Rau.

HERS is short for “Home Energy Rating System®.” The system uses an index to create a HERS score. A HERS score is a measure of energy efficiency. Here’s how it works. The lower the score, the more energy efficient the home. Typical existing homes have a score over 100, while standard built new homes have scores in the range of 85 -100. EfficiencyCrafted® homes score below 70 and often as low as 55–signifying the home is 45% more efficient than a 100-point reference home. Builders that participate in the EfficiencyCrafted program are required to use a combination of proven technologies, advanced building practices and performance testing to drive down the HERS scores of their finished homes.