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ENERGY STAR Certifications

Questions I get everyday

Which Version of the Guidelines Should I Use?

What do I have to do different?

Is it going to cost more money?

Do I have to get more inspections?


ENERGY STAR for New Homes helps homebuyers easily identify homes that are significantly more energy efficient than standard construction in the marketplace.  As code requirements have become more rigorous and builder practices have become more efficient, EPA has periodically modified the guidelines to ensure that qualified homes represent a meaningful improvement over non-labeled homes.

The phase-in period offered by Version 2.5 ENERGY STAR is intended to allow homebuilders, Raters, and especially HVAC contractor's time to work through questions and options that are needed to comply with the new Version 3 guidelines. We strongly encourage you to start working to complete the ENERGY STAR Version 3 checklists to determine if you will need any additional tools, testing equipment, software, or training sessions

Qualifying Homes

The following homes are eligible to earn the ENERGY STAR:

  • Single-family homes;
  • Units in multi-family buildings that are three stories or less;
  • Units in multi-family buildings that are four or five stories and have their own heating, cooling, and hot water systems, separate from other units

Homes may earn the ENERGY STAR using the following ENERGY STAR Prescriptive Path or Performance Path in all states except those
with an energy code exceeding the 2009 IECC and for which EPA regional program requirements have been developed. See EPA‟s Web
site for the latest list. Note that compliance with these guidelines is not intended to imply compliance with all local code requirements that
may be applicable to the home to be built.

For more information http://www.nergystaer.gov/index.cfm?c=bldrs_lenders_raters.nh_v2_5_guidelines

Complete inspection checklists

Both the Performance and Prescriptive Paths require completion of four inspection checklists. These checklists include building science practices that promote improved comfort, indoor air quality, and durability in qualified homes.

While the inspection checklists must be completed under v2.5, certain allowances are made under the Version 2.5 Guidelines (115KB).

  • Inspection Checklists (778KB) – This document includes the checklists that every home qualified under Version 2.5 must complete:
    • Thermal Enclosure System Rater Checklist
    • HVAC System Quality Installation Rater Checklist
    • HVAC System Quality Installation Contractor Checklist
    • Water Management System Builder Checklist

EPA has developed guidebooks on the checklists to explain the rationale behind each item.

Checklist Guidebooks

These field guides for the mandatory checklists explain the rationale behind each item and provide examples of successful and unsuccessful details.

Training Requirements and Resources

  • Version 2.5 Training (450KB) – This presentation explains how to qualify homes under Version 2.5.
  • Because EPA envisions Version 2.5 as an opportunity for partners to become familiar with the requirements of the Version 3 guidelines, partners will find EPA’s training resources for Version 3 helpful as they qualify homes under Version 2.5. The Version 3 Training Requirements and Resources page also explains the training and credentialing requirements that builders, raters, and HVAC contractors will need to meet before qualifying homes under Version 3. Learn More