ENERGY STAR Certified Homes Version 3.1
National Program Requirements

Version 3.1 National Program Documents

The Version 3.1 program requirements are defined in the following two documents, while the third document provides supplemental information:

Rationale for Version 3.1

Version 3.1 of the ENERGY STAR Certified Homes National Program Requirements has been developed for homes in states that have adopted the 2012, or equivalent. The purpose of this new version is to ensure that the ENERGY STAR certified homes program will continue to deliver meaningful savings relative to non-certified homes in states with this more rigorous code.

Overview of Version 3.1

Version 3 of the program requirements is defined by two key components – an efficiency target and four inspection checklists - and Version 3.1 maintains this structure.

In Version 3.1, the efficiency target has been made more rigorous, designed to save on average 15% or more relative to the 2012 IECC. Key changes include lower infiltration values, better windows & doors, more efficient HVAC equipment, the air handler and ducts in conditioned space, and more efficient lighting. Note that these core efficiency features are not mandatory for every certified home. Instead, the use of these more efficient features are required in the Prescriptive Path and are used to determine the ENERGY STAR HERS index target for the Performance Path.

For example, a home that was certified using the Performance Path under these new guidelines would not be required to locate the air handler and ducts within conditioned space but, if this were not done, other upgrades would need to be selected to meet the ENERGY STAR HERS index target.

While the efficiency target has been made more rigorous in Version 3.1, the four inspection checklists required in Version 3 will remain identical in Version 3.1.

EPA believes that this more rigorous efficiency target is achievable using ‘off-the-shelf’ technologies, is cost-effective, and is already being achieved by some partners.

Implementation Timeline for Version 3.1

EPA intends to implement the Version 3.1 program requirements for homes permitted starting one year after state-level implementation of 2012 IECC or an equivalent code. However, EPA will make a final determination of the implementation timeline on a state-by-state basis. The following table indicates states for which an implementation timeline has been defined.

Implementation Timeline for ENERGY STAR Certified Homes Version 3.1 National Program Requirements

State Applicable to Homes with the Following Permit Date
MA On or After 01/01/2015
DC, IL, MD, RI On or After 04/01/2015
IA On or After 06/01/2015
DE On or After 12/01/2015

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.

Public Comments on the Version 3.1 National Program Requirements

Draft National Program Requirements

EPA has received comments PDF (597KB) from partners and other stakeholders regarding the draft Version 3.1 program requirements. The comments are listed alphabetically by organization name. In addition, the Consortium for Energy Efficiency submitted the following comments PDF (3MB) after the close of the comment period, which have been posted in the interest of thoroughness.

EPA’s Response to Public Comments PDF (302KB). This document contains a summary of comments received during the draft Version 3.1 comment period, along with EPA's response to each point raised and the resulting policy change, if any.

Massachusetts Program Requirements

EPA has received comments PDF (88KB) from partners and other stakeholders regarding the Massachusetts Version 3.1 implementation timeline, and its integration with the Version 3.1 National Program requirements. The comments are listed alphabetically by organization name.

EPA’s Response to Public Comments PDF (225KB). This document contains a summary of comments received during the comment period regarding the Massachusetts Version 3.1 implementation timeline, and its integration with the Version 3.1 National Program requirements, along with EPA’s response to each point raised and the resulting policy change, if any.