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Participating in the ENERGY STAR Certified Homes Program

ENERGY STAR is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency recognized by more than 90% of American households. ENERGY STAR certified homes are designed and constructed to be significantly more energy efficient than those built to code while lowering homeowner utility bills and providing superior comfort, quality, and durability.

ENERGY STAR provides marketing, technical, and programmatic support to both partners and other organizations, including:

There are opportunities for a number of different types of organizations to support the ENERGY STAR Certified Homes Program and the construction of energy-efficient new homes. Learn more about how different types of organizations can participate with ENERGY STAR, including their eligibility to partner with the program.

Other Participants

Architects & Designers

Architects & DesignersResidential architects and designers can help their builder clients design home plans that meet the rigorous energy efficiency requirements of the ENERGY STAR Certified Homes program. By designing energy efficiency into the front-end of a project, a team can ensure that critical building science details and efficiency features are included that offer direct resident benefits, including energy-savings, comfort, and durability.

Home Appraisers

Home AppraisersAppraisers play a critical role in ensuring that the energy efficiency features of certified homes are properly reflected in the valuation process. Appraisers can browse the ENERGY STAR website or review resources like the ENERGY STAR fact sheets to learn more about the features and benefits of certified homes.

The Appraisal Institute, a global membership association of professional appraisers, also provides support for the appraisal of energy efficient new homes. Their website Exit ENERGY STAR hosts information on valuing green buildings, including information on their certificate program called the Valuation of Sustainable Buildings Professional Development Program as well as a Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum PDF (303KB) Exit ENERGY STAR that can be completed by builders, Raters, or appraisers to identify and describe a home’s green and energy efficiency features.

Home Builder Associations

Home Builder AssociationsHome Builders Associations (HBAs) play a critical role in ensuring that their members are aware of the benefits for builders to participate in the ENERGY STAR program. HBAs can leverage the resources on the ENERGY STAR website to hold training events to educate home builders about energy efficiency and the Certified Homes Program. HBAs can also recognize local ENERGY STAR builders and promote builders who have won national ENERGY STAR awards. In areas without an established home energy rating market, HBAs can play a key role in recruiting Raters and other key program participants like HVAC contractors.


LendersA March 2013 report by the Institute of Market Transformation titled “Home Energy Efficiency and Mortgage RisksPDF (3.0MB) Exit ENERGY STAR found that the risk of default was on average 32 percent lower in ENERGY STAR certified homes than in homes that did not earn the ENERGY STAR label. Lenders can partner with a new U.S. Department of Energy program and expand their business by issuing Energy-Efficient Mortgages (EEMs). Lenders can also expand their businesses by forming strategic relationships with real estate professionals and appraisers and using the Partner Locator to identify ENERGY STAR builder, Rater, and utility partners in the markets where they operate.

Real Estate Professionals

Real Estate AgentsConsumers increasingly demand energy-efficiency and rank energy costs as one of the most important considerations when purchasing a new home. Real estate agents can help their clients understand the value of energy efficient new homes by educating themselves about the features and benefits of ENERGY STAR certified homes and forming relationships with ENERGY STAR builder and Rater partners.

While many industry professionals claim to understand energy efficiency, there is little consistency in their definitions. The Certified Homes Program provides an industry vetted set of technical specifications, terminology, and metrics that industry professionals can rely on. You can help promote ENERGY STAR by contacting your local REALTOR® Association and advocating for the addition of certified homes into your local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Visit the Green MLS Tool Kit Exit ENERGY STAR for more information.