ENERGY STAR Certification

The energy performance behind every ENERGY STAR label is independently verified, whether on a product, a home, a building, or a manufacturing plant. By safeguarding the integrity of ENERGY STAR, EPA can support the thriving private market that has been built around its performance-based definitions of leadership in energy efficiency. Learn more about how EPA works to ensure that consumers and businesses can trust the ENERGY STAR label.

How Products Earn the ENERGY STAR

ENERGY STAR label on a water heater box

To earn the ENERGY STAR label for products, manufacturers are required to sign a formal agreement with EPA and products must be third-party certified against strict performance requirements. Third-party certification ensures products are properly tested and reviewed prior to being labeled. It also eliminates the competitive advantage associated with possible cheating and preserves the label’s value in the marketplace.

EPA currently oversees third-party certification and manages certified product lists for tens of thousands of product models, including oversight of more than twenty certification bodies and more than 500 recognized labs. EPA also oversees post-market testing of a subset of all products each year to ensure product performance, as well as periodic audits of product labeling on shelves at major retailers to monitor use of the mark. Learn more about measures related to ENERGY STAR products.

How Residential New Construction Earns the ENERGY STAR

Couple in front of house holding ENERGY STAR label

To earn the ENERGY STAR, a new home or apartment must undergo a rigorous process of third-party inspections and testing to verify that all applicable program requirements are met. For site-built homes and apartments, this verification is performed by an independent home energy rating company, and under the oversight of an EPA-recognized Home Certification Organization (HCO) or a Multifamily Review Organization (MRO), depending on the verification method used. For homes built in a factory environment, a Plant Certifier, operating under the oversight of an EPA-recognized Quality Assurance Provider (QAP) ensures that a manufacturing plant has systems in place to consistently build ENERGY STAR certified homes and performs ongoing quality control testing. To be recognized as a Home Certification Organization, Multifamily Review Organization, or recognized Quality Assurance Provider, an organization must submit an application to EPA demonstrating that it meets the program’s eligibility criteria and can successfully perform the required roles and responsibilities outlined in the application. Learn more about ENERGY STAR Residential New Construction Program requirements.

How Commercial Buildings Earn the ENERGY STAR

ENERGY STAR decal on a building's front entrance

To earn the ENERGY STAR, eligible commercial buildings must earn an 1–100 ENERGY STAR score of 75 or higher—indicating that they operate more efficiently than at least 75% of similar buildings nationwide. Before applying, a building's application must be verified by a Professional Engineer or Registered Architect. This licensed professional must verify that all energy use is accounted for accurately, that the building characteristics have been properly reported, and that the building operates in accordance with industry standards for indoor environmental quality.

EPA conducts regular audits to ensure adherence with program guidelines. Learn more about building certification.

How Industrial Plants Earn the ENERGY STAR

ENERGY STAR banner hanging in a manufacturing plant

To earn the ENERGY STAR, eligible industrial plants must earn an 1–100 ENERGY STAR score of 75 or higher—indicating that they operate more efficiently than at least 75% of similar facilities nationwide. To earn the ENERGY STAR, eligible industrial plants must have a Professional Engineer certify that the information used to calculate the plant‘s energy performance score is accurate.

In addition, the plant must satisfy an EPA environmental compliance criteria screen. Learn more about plant certification.

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