For more information about the transition from Version 2 to Version 3, including the transitional Version 2.5 and Version 3 guidelines, see the Transition Timeline for California.
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 Version 3 Program Requirements for California (99KB) (Revision 03).
The Version 3 Program Requirements for California require the completion and enforcement of four inspection checklists:
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 (869KB) (Revision 06).
EPA has developed guidebooks on the checklists to explain the rationale behind each item.
‘Sampling’ allows builders who have demonstrated an ability to consistently meet the ENERGY STAR guidelines to minimize production interruptions and verification costs. For more information, see the California Home Energy Rating System Program Regulations.
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.
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 guidelines. Learn More
Summary of Public Comment Period for Draft Version 3 California Guidelines (40KB) This document contains a summary of comments received during the California comment period, along with EPA's response to each point raised and the resulting policy change, if any.