Consult national homebuilder publications for annual reports on top builders in your region, including housing starts, predominant builder size, type, and geographic distribution. Additional research is often needed to determine regional availability of key energy efficiency technologies (e.g., high-efficiency equipment, windows).
HERS raters are essential third parties who verify homes to be ENERGY STAR. Some programs need to establish a strong rater network while working with builders to construct ENERGY STAR certified homes. Consult the ENERGY STAR Web site's Partner Locator for a list of raters in your area or in nearby states.
Work with the rating industry to benchmark current construction practices. Evaluate the availability of key energy-efficient technologies and construction practices and their costs, and determine the rigor of the prevailing energy code and how effectively it is enforced.
Based on research of your area and program objectives, design your program. This design will include technical requirements, incentives, partner support (e.g., marketing and technical resources, training), program delivery, and evaluation.
Submit a signed Partnership Agreement and Commitment Form to ENERGY STAR. Once you become a partner, you can create marketing materials with the ENERGY STAR logo and also recruit and train builders and raters.