Certification Process

The graphic below illustrates the process that mid and high rise multifamily buildings follow to earn the ENERGY STAR. Click each step below for more details about the certification process.


  • Step 1: Join

    Developer chooses to partner with ENERGY STAR

    Through a Partnership Agreement with EPA, a Developer Partner agrees to build multifamily buildings that are verified by a Licensed Professional to meet program requirements.

  • Step 2: Design

    Developer submits a Project Application and a set of designs that meet the program requirements through either the Performance Path OR the Prescriptive Path.

    An ENERGY STAR MFHR Project Application PDF (333KB) must be submitted for each project. Once a project application is approved, the project will be held to the specified versions of the requirements as noted in the application.

    There are two paths to earning the ENERGY STAR. Developers may choose a prescriptive package developed by EPA (Prescriptive Path), or a customized approach using ASHRAE approved energy modeling software (Performance Path).

    Prior to construction, the Licensed Professional working on behalf of the Developer Partner must submit a complete Proposed Design Submittal to EPA or its designated agent to ensure that the proposed building design meets program requirements. Visit the Licensed Professional page to learn more about the submittal process and the Guidance Documents page to download the required submittal documentation.

  • Step 3: Build

    Developer constructs the project with the prerequisites and energy conservation measures as described by the Proposed Design Submittal.

    Throughout the construction process, a number of inspections and diagnostic tests are required to verify proper installation of the selected energy-efficient features and overall energy performance of the project. Testing and verification requirements are found in the Testing & Verification Protocols and are documented in the Testing and Verification Worksheets. Both are available on the Guidance Documents page.

  • Step 4: Earn

    The Licensed Professional submits an As-Built Submittal and if approved, EPA issues the ENERGY STAR Certification.

    After the final inspection the Licensed Professional must submit a complete As-Built Submittal to EPA or its designated agent to ensure that the program prerequisites and energy conservation measures are installed to specification. Once the submittal has been approved, EPA will provide documentation to the developer notifying them that the building has earned the ENERGY STAR.

  • Step 5: Perform

    The developer or property owner assesses the energy performance of the project using ENERGY STAR’s Portfolio Manager for a minimum period of two years following the date of receipt of the Certificate of Occupancy.

    Although the ENERGY STAR label is attained by completing steps 1 through 4, building performance is as much a function of proper building management as the energy conservation measures designed into the structure. Therefore, after the project has earned the ENERGY STAR, the developer/owner must commit to benchmarking their building in Portfolio Manager for a period of two years. Please see the Benchmarking page for more information.