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Notice: The ENERGY STAR Residential Architect/Home Plan Designer Partnership Program was discontinued effective October 1, 2018. Past partners must review all current marketing materials to identify and remove ENERGY STAR marks from electronic and printed materials by October 1, 2018.

See below for information about this expired partnership.

Designed to Earn The ENERGY STAR

The ENERGY STAR Residential Architect/Home Plan Designer Partnership was a program for residential architects and designers who wanted to label a home plan as Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR. Plans were reviewed and approved by an ENERGY STAR Home Energy Rater before being labeled.

After a thorough review of program participation and recent stakeholder feedback, the EPA has sunset the ENERGY STAR Residential Architect/Home Plan Designer Partnership Program effective October 1, 2018. The ENERGY STAR Certified Homes team made this decision based on continued low participation in the program and a careful review of all stakeholder feedback received during the comment period.

Note: The Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR recognition for commercial and multifamily properties remains in place. Learn more here: https://www.energystar.gov/buildings/service-providers/design/step-step-process/apply-designed-earn-energy-star.

What This Means for You

EPA is requiring that partners cease all use of the Residential Designed to Earn the EENERGY STAR mark and stop referring to themselves as ENERGY STAR partners in promotional materials, including websites and social media channels, no later than September 1, 2018. Concurrently, the EPA will remove references to the Residential Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR recognition program and the listing of ENERGY STAR Architect/Home Plan Designer Partners from the ENERGY STAR website.

What was the Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR for ENERGY STAR Certified Homes?

Home plans that were certified as Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR included requirements for the energy-efficient features and construction details typically found in ENERGY STAR certified homes—tight construction and duct systems, properly installed insulation, high performance windows, efficient heating and cooling equipment, and ENERGY STAR qualified lighting and appliances.

When built, Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR home plans resulted in a home that was at least 15 percent more energy efficient than a home built to the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC), and included additional energy-saving features that typically made them 20-30 percent more efficient than standard homes.

How were home plans certified as Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR?

Residential architects and designers who wanted to label a home plan as Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR had to submit it to a Home Energy Rater for review.

These raters are experienced in evaluating home plans to help you choose the most appropriate and cost-effective approaches for meeting ENERGY STAR guidelines.

Each home plan could be evaluated in one of two ways:

  • Performance Path: The home plan was modeled with specialized computer software to estimate the as-built home's energy use based on the specifications of the home plan. The results of this analysis were used to identify the most effective upgrades needed to meet ENERGY STAR requirements.
  • Prescriptive Path: The home plan was reviewed for consistency with an EPA-developed climate-specific construction specification called a Builder Option Package (BOP). Based on extensive analyses, BOP specifications were determined to result in homes that consistently meet ENERGY STAR guidelines.

The rater also verified that the home plan contains all other elements required for it to be labeled as Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR using the Plan Review Checklist.

Did qualifying a home plan as Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR mean that the home would be ENERGY STAR certified?

Homes built according to a Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR home plan did not automatically earn the ENERGY STAR certified home label. Field verification, including onsite inspections and testing by a Home Energy Rater and completion of a Thermal Bypass Checklist, were required to ensure that energy-saving measures specified in the home plan were incorporated into the as-built house. This field verification may or may not have been performed by the same Rater who reviewed the home plan.