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California ENERGY STAR Version 2.5 Program Requirements

Should I use the Version 2.5 Program Requirements?

  • Homes permitted between January 1, 2012 and September 30, 2012 must be certified under Version 2.5 or 3 of the Program Requirements for California.

For more information about the transition from Version 2 to Version 3, see the Transition Timeline for California.

How to Qualify a Home

Select the core energy efficiency measures

There is only one path to qualify a home to earn the ENERGY STAR in California, the Performance Path. The Performance Path is based on a customized package of upgrades. See the Version 2.5 Program Requirements for California PDF (121KB) (Revision 04).

Complete inspection checklists

The Version 2.5 Program Requirements for California require the completion of four inspection checklists:

  • Thermal Enclosure System Rater Checklist
  • HVAC System Quality Installation Rater Checklist
  • HVAC System Quality Installation Contractor Checklist
  • Water Management System Builder Checklist

These checklists include building science practices that promote improved comfort, indoor air quality, and durability in certified homes. The Inspection Checklists document contains the four checklists that every home certified under Version 3 must complete. See the national Inspection Checklists PDF (858KB) (Revision 07).

While the inspection checklists must be completed under Version 2.5, certain allowances are made that will help partners successfully transition from the Version 2 to 3 Program Requirements. To see these allowances, read the Version 2.5 Program Requirements for California PDF (121KB) (Revision 04).

Technical guides for the ENERGY STAR Inspection Checklists are available at the Building America Solutions Center, created by the U.S. Department of Energy. These free guides replace EPA's Inspection Checklist Field Guidebooks and provide a wealth of building science and energy-efficiency information. They are intended to be aligned with, and used as a supplemental resource to, the Version 3 Program Requirements but do not represent the official policy of the ENERGY STAR Certified Homes Program. Where questions arise, please contact energystarhomes@energystar.gov.

Sampling Protocol

’Sampling’ allows builders who have demonstrated an ability to consistently meet the ENERGY STAR Program Requirements to minimize production interruptions and verification costs. For more information, see the California Home Energy Rating System Program Regulations Exit ENERGY STAR

Policy Changes and Clarifications

EPA periodically makes policy changes and clarifications, typically in response to a unique situation within a particular climate zone, and shares frequently–asked questions. See Recent Policy Changes and Clarifications.

Training Requirements and Resources

Version 3 includes new and more rigorous requirements for builders, Raters, and HVAC contractors. EPA requires that they each complete training on Version 3 to promote successful adoption and has created a number of resources to assist them in understanding the Program Requirements. Learn More.