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Working with ENERGY STAR as a Home Appraiser

Are you providing an appraisal that reflects the value of energy efficient performance?

Why Energy Efficiency Adds Value to Homes

The ENERGY STAR label for homes is a government-backed label administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that serves as the symbol for energy efficiency for new home construction. EPA sets strict criteria that must be met by builders that assure energy efficient performance better than standard requirements along with improved comfort and durability. ENERGY STAR establishes credible performance with strong technical specifications and third party verification.

Learn More about the Features and Benefits of ENERGY STAR Certified Homes

What is an ENERGY STAR certified home? ENERGY STAR certified homes can include a variety of "tried-and-true" energy-efficient features. To earn the ENERGY STAR, a home must meet strict guidelines for energy efficiency set by the EPA, offering homebuyers a better performing, more comfortable home that costs less to own.

Take a virtual tour behind the walls of an ENERGY STAR certified home. All new homes look great from the outside. But to ensure a home is truly high quality, good appraisers know that it's important to look "behind the walls." Homes that earn the ENERGY STAR include four "must have" features behind the walls that will make a homeowner comfortable, reduce utility bills, and help protect the environment.

House Frame

Benefits of Recognizing the Value in ENERGY STAR Certified Homes


Associating yourself with the ENERGY STAR label will set you apart from your competition. By recognizing the ENERGY STAR label on paper, you will demonstrate that you understand the true value of an energy efficient, high performing home, positioning yourself to meet your customers' needs.

Industry Leadership

Showcasing yourself an as appraiser who understands the value of energy efficiency is a win-win for you and the homebuyers you service. ENERGY STAR certified homes help homeowners save money on utility bills, provide a more comfortable living environment with better indoor air quality, and help protect the environment. Each ENERGY STAR certified home can keep 4,500 lbs of greenhouse gases out of our air each year. By learning how to recognize energy-efficient building practices and technologies, and applying the appropriate values to them, you can stay ahead of the industry curve.



Addressing energy efficiency in homes can result in the expansion of your clientele. The ENERGY STAR program works with thousands of builders who collectively have built more than 1 million ENERGY STAR certified homes. Many utilities offer rebates and other incentives to promote energy-efficient building practices. In addition, some lenders offer energy efficient mortgages to borrowers looking to use their home's energy savings to obtain better financing. By working with participating builders, lenders, and utilities, you can significantly increase your presence in a market. To find ENERGY STAR partners in your market visit the online Partner Locator.

Marketing and Educational Opportunities

Free marketing and educational resources are available to appraisers who want to work with ENERGY STAR. Take advantage of EPA's resources online.

  • Understand the features and benefits of ENERGY STAR. Download useful fact sheets about ENERGY STAR certified homes.
  • Promote builders and lenders that are active ENERGY STAR partners in your area. You can find them by visiting the Partner Locator. Also, encourage lenders you work with to join the program. Be sure to mention the benefits to participation, such as increased profits and market differentiation.
  • Be a local ENERGY STAR expert. Download presentations and other marketing resources from the ENERGY STAR Web site. Prepare a press release or advertorial about your support of ENERGY STAR for local newspapers, magazines, and home-related Web sites.
  • Highlight ENERGY STAR on your website, newsletters, and business cards.
    Participate in free ENERGY STAR Webinars: ENERGY STAR offers live training on the Internet to help partners and stakeholders learn more about ENERGY STAR.
  • Learn to recognize an ENERGY STAR Certified Home: Often, you can tell if a home is ENERGY STAR certified by checking the circuit breaker box for the blue ENERGY STAR sticker label or asking for a copy of the certificate. Refer to the Technical Guidelines to see what goes into an ENERGY STAR certified home.
Energy Star Label

Additional Resources

  • The Appraiser Perspective PDF (2.9MB): Learn what's different about valuing homes that have earned the ENERGY STAR label. Local appraisers explain how they've been able to appraise ENERGY STAR certified homes in their local markets.
  • Fannie Mae Announcement on Appraiser Communication and Selection Criteria PDF (50KB) Exit ENERGY STAR: In Fannie Mae's announcement dated June 30, 2010 they determined that the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) does not prohibit lenders from communicating with appraisers about the basis for a valuation. Fannie Mae also states that they require lenders to use appraisers who have the appropriate knowledge of and experience with valuing particular property types. This would include ENERGY STAR certified homes.
  • Earth Advantage Institute Exit ENERGY STAR: Earth Advantage is a nonprofit organization acting as the premier green building program in the Pacific Northwest. In May 2009, they issued a report PDF (246KB) Exit ENERGY STAR that indicates third-party certified homes, such as ENERGY STAR certified homes, sell for a premium in key Northwest markets.
  • The Appraisal Institute Exit ENERGY STAR: The Appraisal Institute is a global membership association of professional real estate appraisers. Their website hosts information on valuing green buildings, including information on their certificate program called Valuation of Sustainable Buildings Exit ENERGY STARas well as a Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum PDF (303KB) Exit ENERGY STAR that can be completed by appraisers as well as homeowners to identify and describe a home's green and energy efficiency features.
  • In Tight Market, Real Estate Agents Tout Eco Features Exit ENERGY STAR: This National Public Radio story from December 12, 2009 discusses the real estate industry as it relates to green building.
  • RESNET Exit ENERGY STAR: The Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) sets standards for the certification of home energy raters. Home energy raters conduct diagnostic tests on homes to determine their level of energy efficiency. They generate reports that calculate the energy savings value of homes that lenders and appraisers can use for energy efficient mortgages (EEMs).
  • EEMs: An Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) is a mortgage that credits a home's energy efficiency in the mortgage itself. EEMs give borrowers the opportunity to finance cost-effective, energy-saving measures as part of a single mortgage and stretch debt-to-income qualifying ratios on loans thereby allowing borrowers to qualify for a larger loan amount and a better, more energy-efficient home.
  • ENERGY STAR Mortgages: ENERGY STAR Mortgages are targeted at borrowers who are either buying an ENERGY STAR certified home or making improvements under a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program. Participating lenders also provide a financial benefit to borrowers, typically in the form of an interest rate or closing cost discount.
  • Frequently Asked Questions: Have a question we haven't answered? Take a look at our online FAQ's to find more information on ENERGY STAR certified homes.

If you are aware of additional resources that are useful in helping appraisers to accurately value high performance buildings, please send them to energystarhomes@energystar.gov.