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About Home Performance with ENERGY STAR

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR offers whole-house solutions to high energy bills and homes with comfort problems. The program is managed by a local sponsor that recruits home improvement contractors who are qualified to perform comprehensive home assessments. The assessment includes the heating and cooling systems, windows, insulation, flow of air into and out of the house, as well as a safety check of gas appliances. Based on this assessment, participating contractors offer solutions to fix comfort problems and address high energy bills.

Unlike typical energy audit programs, the goal of Home Performance with ENERGY STAR is to turn recommendations into improved homes. Participating contractors complete the needed renovations or work closely with other participating contractors who can. Another important element of Home Performance with ENERGY STAR is that, upon project completion, the contractor assesses the home's performance again to document that specified improvements were properly installed to achieve the promised energy savings. Finally, all participating contractors are subject to quality assurance reviews by the third-party sponsor to ensure that projects meet program standards and homeowners are assured of high-quality work.

Key Components of Home Performance with ENERGY STAR

Whole-house energy assessment

Contractors, trained in building science principles, perform a visual and diagnostic energy assessment of all the home's thermal and mechanical systems including attics, exterior walls, infiltration, windows, basement, heating, cooling and hot water systems. An evaluation of appliances, lighting, and the potential to use solar or other renewable energy technologies is also encouraged. The homeowner receives a comprehensive list of recommended improvements and a cost estimate to complete the recommended work.

A network of qualified contractors to improve home performance

Participating contractors follow industry best practices to install the recommended improvements selected by the homeowner. Recommended improvements typically include additional insulation, air sealing, efficient heating or cooling equipment, duct sealing and repair, replacement windows, and lighting and appliance upgrades.

Verification inspection

Participating contractors perform diagnostic tests at the completion of work to verify that renovations have improved home performance and that safety standards are met. Diagnostic testing includes measuring air infiltration and duct leakage; and evaluating combustion safety. The homeowner receives a report summarizing the improvements completed, test results, and estimated energy savings.

Independent review of contractors work

Program sponsors monitor the quality of work performed by all participating contractors under a quality assurance plan. This plan will explain:

  • Reporting process that requires participating contractors to report jobs that are promoted to homeowners and performed under the HPwES logo.
  • Job report review process that ensures program compliance and provides for follow-up with the contractor when necessary.
  • Customer feedback mechanism which allows customers to provide feedback directly to the Program Sponsor.
  • On-site inspection protocols including a sampling rate set at a minimum of 5% (1 in every 20 jobs) for all participating contractors.
  • Conflict resolution mechanism for responding to and resolving customer complaints.
  • Record keeping and tracking of results from on-site inspections, customer surveys, and corrective actions. Records must be available for review upon request from the National HPwES Program.

For more information about Home Performance with ENERGY STAR, email HomePerformance@EnergyStar.gov

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