MFHR Review Organizations (MROs)

Multifamily High Rise Review Organizations (MROs) are EPA-recognized organizations that provide the required review and approval of project submissions for the ENERGY STAR Multifamily High Rise Program.

EPA is transitioning to a new market-based verification process for multifamily high rise projects to earn the ENERGY STAR label. Under the new process, project teams will work directly with an EPA-recognized organization for the review and approval of their submissions. If your organization may be interested in serving as a MFHR Review Organization (MRO), view the Application PDF (590KB).

EPA held a webinar spring 2017 to review the proposal, draft application, and proposed transition timeline for the transition to a market-based review for multifamily high rise projects to earn the ENERGY STAR label. Visit the Training Resources page to learn more.

The Application was posted on August 1, 2017 and no organizations have been recognized by EPA at this time. All project applications received on or after August 1st are subject to the MRO transition process. Until an MRO is recognized, EPA will continue to review project submissions.

Applications now being accepted! Apply today!

Application Information for Review Organizations

Roles and Responsibilities

Organizations seeking recognition must submit an application satisfactorily demonstrating the ability to fulfill all required roles and responsibilities, including:

  • Establish submitter qualifications;
  • Perform documentation review;
  • Develop and maintain project reviewer qualifications;
  • Develop and implement a quality assurance process for the review process;
  • Develop a process for and perform on-site quality assurance of ENERGY STAR Multifamily High Rise projects;
  • Develop and implement a dispute resolution process;
  • Develop and implement a process to deliver communications to submitters and developers;
  • Maintain project files and records; and
  • Participate in pilot program meetings and communications with ENERGY STAR Multifamily High Rise staff.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Demonstration of ability to operate impartially. MROs must demonstrate that they are organized and operated to preserve the objectivity of their activities, maintaining a system or process to safeguard impartiality. Organizations seeking recognition must demonstrate to EPA that they:
    • Maintain policies to ensure that potential conflict of interest issues are identified and avoided;
    • Maintain an open participation policy related to submitter qualifications;
    • Maintain impartiality in the project approval process;
    • Maintain impartiality and confidentiality in the internal oversight of reviewers; and
    • Establish an impartial dispute resolution process.

    Further, organizations that are recognized as MROs may not be directly involved in submitting Multifamily High Rise projects to earn the ENERGY STAR. This includes performing the testing, inspecting, modeling, or consulting for projects pursuing ENERGY STAR Multifamily High Rise certification.

  2. Scope of Operations. In other residential sectors where EPA has established comparable oversight organization constructs to the MRO, maintaining a national scope of operations is required (except in unique geographic or code-based circumstances). However, during the pilot phase of the MRO approach, EPA will consider applications for recognition from organizations that operate at a local, state, regional, or national level. Note: that EPA may revisit this policy as the pilot progresses and more information is available.

    Note: that there is no plan to cap the number of organizations that may be recognized, and EPA plans to allow for applications to be submitted on a rolling basis.

Termination

If, after recognition, EPA determines that a MFHR Review Organization is not adequately meeting its required roles or responsibilities or is not acting in good faith to maintain consumer and industry confidence in the ENERGY STAR program, EPA will provide the MRO with written notification and allow a period of 30 days to resolve identified issues and provide EPA with a written response summarizing the changes made. If the organization fails to meet this requirement, EPA will suspend or rescind recognition.

Application Information

View the Application PDF (590KB) and apply to be considered as a MFHR Review Organization.

Completed applications for recognition should be submitted to EPA at MFHR@energystar.gov.

Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. EPA will confirm receipt of applications received within 5 business days and notify the applicant regarding EPA’s determination on the application within 20 business days. EPA will also inform organizations whose applications are not approved of the specific deficiencies identified. Applicants that are not recognized are invited to contact EPA to further discuss their applications and to re-apply based on feedback.

Transition Information for ENERGY STAR Partners

Goals of Market-Based Process

As the ENERGY STAR Multifamily High Rise program continues to grow, EPA looks for opportunities to manage the program more efficiently, while providing valuable support and resources to our partners. EPA is transitioning to a new market-based review process for Multifamily High Rise projects to earn the ENERGY STAR label. Under the new process, rather than submitting ENERGY STAR project documentation to EPA, project teams will work directly with an EPA recognized organization for the review and approval of their submissions.

This new process will allow EPA to focus its resources on providing partner support and program improvement, rather than performing project reviews. This process also parallels the review systems that are currently successfully employed in other ENERGY STAR new construction programs (e.g., single family, low rise multifamily, and manufactured homes).

Transition Timeline

All project applications submitted prior to August 1, 2017 will continue following the current EPA review process. Once at least one MRO is recognized, these projects may choose to complete their project review with EPA or transition their review to an MRO.

EPA will move forward with the transition to the market-based review process once at least one organization has applied and been recognized as a MFHR Review Organization.

All project applications submitted on or after August 1, 2017 will be subject to the transition timeline below.

Once an MRO is recognized:

  1. All NEW project applications will be submitted to the new review organization(s).
  2. For projects with Project Applications that have already been submitted to EPA, for the next submittal, the project may choose to submit their documentation to EPA or to an MRO. Any subsequent reviews will need to be completed by an MRO.

Note: EPA does anticipate that the recognized organizations will charge a fee for review services.

Please contact MFHR@energystar.gov with any questions.