For more information about the transition from Version 2 to Version 3, including the transitional Version 2.5 guidelines, see the Transition Timeline.
There are two paths to certify a home to earn the ENERGY STAR. The Prescriptive Path is based on a predefined package of improvements, while the Performance Path is based on a customized package of upgrades. The National Program Requirements define the core energy efficiency specifications for both the Prescriptive and Performance Paths. See the National Program Requirements (218KB) (Revision 07).
Both the Performance and Prescriptive Paths require completion 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 Inspection Checklists (824KB) (Revision 07).
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 guidelines but do not represent the official policy of the ENERGY STAR Certified Homes Program. Where questions arise, please contact email@example.com.
EPA requires that ENERGY STAR certified homes be labeled and that homeowners to receive an ENERGY STAR certificate for their homes. Using RESNET-approved energy rating software, Providers can print labels and generate certificates that contain specific information about homes. Once a home has been certified to meet ENERGY STAR requirements, Providers will send ENERGY STAR certified home labels and certificates to builders. The labels should be affixed to the circuit breaker box of the home, and the certificates should be distributed to homeowners.
'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 Chapter 6 of the Mortgage Industry National Home Energy Rating Standards .
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.
County–level ENERGY STAR Reference Design documents and regional specifications have been developed for states with advanced codes or unique climate considerations. See Regional Specifications.
EPA has developed eligibility and verification guidance for the following specific housing sectors:
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