ENERGY STAR for Homes Version 2 Guidelines

Should I use the Version 2 guidelines?

  • Homes permitted before April 1, 2011 can continue to be qualified under Version 2 until December 31, 2011.
  • Low–income projects financed through low-income housing agencies can continue to be qualified under Version 2 until January 1, 2013 as long as the application for funding for those homes was received by the low-income housing agency before April 1, 2011 and the housing project includes at least one unit reserved for low-income tenants.
  • Any of the above homes may be qualified under Version 2.5, at the builder's discretion.

For more information about the transition from Version 2 to Version 3, including the transitional Version 2.5 guidelines, see the Transition Timeline.

Is my home eligible to earn the ENERGY STAR?

To earn the ENERGY STAR under the ENERGY STAR for Homes Version 2 Guidelines, homes must be one of the following:

  • Single–family homes; OR
  • Units in multi–family buildings with 3 stories or less; OR
  • Units in four– or five–story multi–family buildings where: 1) The structure is permitted as residential by the local building department; and 2) each residential unit has its own heating, cooling, and hot water systems, separate from other units. The phrase, "permitted as residential structures," is intended to represent units that either fall within the scope of the residential building energy code or are permitted as having a residential use–group, even under conditions where the commercial building energy code applies; OR
  • Units in multi–family buildings that are located on top of commercial spaces (e.g., retail, restaurant, etc.), even if the structure is permitted as commercial, as long as: 1) the entire structure is five stories or less; and 2) each residential unit has its own heating, cooling, and hot water systems, separate from other units.

How to Qualify a Home

Select the core energy efficiency measures

There are two paths to qualify a home to earn the ENERGY STAR. Both paths require verification:

Complete the Thermal Bypass Inspection Checklist

Both the Performance and Prescriptive Paths require the Thermal Bypass Checklist. The Thermal Bypass Checklist is a comprehensive visual inspection of building details where thermal bypass, or the movement of heat around or through insulation, frequently occurs due to missing air barriers or gaps between the air barriers and the insulation.

Sampling Protocol

’Sampling’ allows builders who have demonstrated an ability to consistently meet the ENERGY STAR guidelines to minimize production interruptions and verification costs. For more information, see Chapter 6 of the Mortgage Industry National Home Energy Rating Standards.

Policy Changes and Clarifications

EPA periodically makes minor policy changes or clarifications, typically in response to a unique situation within a particular climate zone. See Recent Policy Changes and Clarifications

Regional Specifications

County-level BOPS and regional specifications have been developed for California, Hawaii, Guam, and Florida. See Regional Specifications.

Sector–Specific Policies

EPA has developed separate verification guidance for Attached homes, Multi–Family homes, Manufactured homes and homes built with Structurally Insulated Panels (SIPS). Learn More