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ENERGY STAR Certified Homes (Version 3/3.1, Revision 09)

To certify a home to ENERGY STAR, the builder’s home must meet the mandatory requirements listed in the five checklists below and achieve a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score that is better than the HERS Target score for a Reference Design Home. Read More »

A Reference Design Home is a theoretical home built to the requirements shown in the ENERGY STAR National Program Requirements, Exhibit 1: ENERGY STAR Reference Design Home, in the builder’s climate zone. When configuring the actual home, the builder does not need to follow the prescribed features shown in Exhibit 1 but has the flexibility to select a custom combination of such measures as heating, cooling, and ventilation equipment and insulation types, so long as the house design meets or exceeds (is lower than) the Target score. The house must also meet all of the mandatory requirements shown in Exhibit 2 of the National Program Requirements; these mandatory requirements consist of five checklists described below. The builder (or designer) uses a RESNET-accredited Home Energy Rating software program to determine the ENERGY STAR HERS Target Index and uses the same software to determine if the desired home design meets or exceeds (is lower than) that Target score.

See the ENERGY STAR National Program Requirements for detailed information about the certification process, including home eligibility and partnership requirements, criteria, and exceptions. Note that some states have adopted Version 3.1, Version 3.2, or region-specific versions of ENERGY STAR Certified Homes. An implementation timeline on the ENERGY STAR National Program Requirements page shows which versions and permitting dates have been implement by each state. Regional program requirements documents can also be accessed from that page. The Home Energy Rater certifying the home may define the “permit date” as either the date that the permit was issued or the date of the contract on the home. In cases where permit or contract dates are not available, Providers have the discretion to estimate permit dates based on other construction schedule factors.

After construction, a Home Energy Rater will verify that the completed home has met the HERS Target score as well as the mandatory requirements of the five checklists:

  • HVAC Design Report –This checklist is completed by the HVAC Designer and provided to the Rater.
  • Rater Design Review Checklist - The Rater conducts the design review and fills out this checklist after running the home energy rating software to verify that the home design meets the HERS Target.
  • Water Management System Builder Requirements –This list does not need to be turned in, but the Builder must ensure that each certified home is constructed to meet these requirements.
  • Rater Field Checklist – The Rater completes this Checklist during two site visits – one prior to drywall installation and the other after construction is complete.
  • HVAC Commissioning Checklist – The HVAC installer fills out this checklist and retains it, along with a copy of the corresponding HVAC Design Report. One checklist is completed for each system installed. The HVAC installer must provide copies of the checklist to the Builder, the Rater responsible for certifying the home, and the HVAC oversight organization, upon request.

The checklists are provided below with links to installation or information guides for each measure.