ENERGY STAR Certified Homes Version 3 Program Requirements

Marketing Tools
and Resources

  • Consumer Video

    Consumer Video

    Play the full or 90 second version of the consumer video on your website and in model homes. Co-brand the video by adding your logo. Learn more.

  • Consumer Brochure

    Consumer Brochure

    Order free copies of the consumer brochure or download and co-brand the trifold version. Learn more.

  • ENERGY STAR Marks

    ENERGY STAR Marks

    Promote your partnership by using the familiar ENERGY STAR marks. Learn more.

  • Roll-up Banners

    Roll-up Banners

    Add your company logo to three stand-alone banners that promote ENERGY STAR certified new homes. Learn more.

Should I use the Version 3 Program Requirements?

To earn the ENERGY STAR, a home must be certified under Version 3 of the program requirements, unless it is located in California, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, or Washington. A home in these locations must be certified using Regional Specifications.

How to Certify a Home

Select the core energy efficiency measures

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 PDF (218KB) (Revision 07).

Complete inspection checklists

Both the Performance and Prescriptive Paths require 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 Inspection Checklists PDF (858KB) (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 Program Requirements but do not represent the official policy of the ENERGY STAR Certified Homes Program. Where questions arise, please contact energystarhomes@energystar.gov.

Issue ENERGY STAR Label and Certificate

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. Certificates can be generated with or without the HERS Index.

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 Chapter 6 of the Mortgage Industry National Home Energy Rating Standards 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.

Sector–Specific Policies

EPA has developed eligibility and verification guidance for the following specific housing sectors:

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

Version 3 Development Archives

  • Estimated Cost and Savings PDF (737KB). This document includes estimates of representative incremental costs and savings for the ENERGY STAR Version 3 Program Requirements.
  • EPA has archived documents related to the development of the Version 3 Program Requirements, including the draft specifications, public comments, and EPA responses. View the Archives.