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ENERGY STAR Certified Homes
National Program Requirements for the Northwest

Welcome

Are you building, rating, or working on ENERGY STAR certified homes in the Northwest? Then welcome! This page provides information about the historical and current ENERGY STAR program requirements for certifying homes in the Northwest.

Historically, a set of regional program requirements were used to certify homes in the Northwest (comprised of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington). Homes permitted prior to January 1, 2016 are allowed to continue using these regional program requirements. However, Northwest homes permitted on or after January 1, 2016 are required instead to be certified using the national program requirements. The version of the national program requirements applicable to each state depends upon the stringency of its code and is listed below:

Implementation Timeline for ENERGY STAR Certified Homes
National Program Requirements for the Northwest

State Version of National Program Requirements Applicable to Homes with the Following Permit Date*
ID Version 3 On or After 01/01/2016
MT Version 3.1 On or After 01/01/2016
OR Version 3.1 On or After 01/01/2016
WA Version 3.1 On or After 01/01/2016

*As an alternative, multifamily dwelling units in ID, MT, OR, and WA are permitted to continue using the Northwest ENERGY STAR Homes Program Requirements for Multifamily Dwellings.  Gas or heat pump heated multifamily dwelling units are permitted to use the NW BOP1 MF PDF (215KB) prescriptive path and zonal electrically heated multifamily dwelling units are permitted to use the NW BOP2 MF PDF (212KB) prescriptive path. Multifamily dwelling units that are certified using the prescriptive path are permitted to use the Multifamily Sampling Protocol PDF (157KB) during verification.

Preparing for Success

Partners who were certifying homes under the regional program requirements will be well-prepared to certify homes under the national program requirements. However, there are several key changes that partners should be aware of to make the transition as successful as possible:

Builders

Raters

  • Ensure that you are a RESNET-certified Home Energy Rater or Rating Field Inspector working under a RESNET-certified Provider.
  • For homes using the national program requirements, be aware that you are required to conduct the duct leakage testing, instead of the HVAC contractor. In addition, duct leakage is required to be measured at a pressure of 25 Pa, rather than the 50 Pa historically used in the Northwest.
  • Use a RESNET-accredited software program to assess compliance with the program requirements, such as the national version of REM/Rate or EnergyGauge, USA. For a complete list of RESNET-accredited software programs, visit: http://www.resnet.us/professional/programs/energy_rating_software Exit ENERGY STAR .
  • Check with local utilities for incentive opportunities. For an ENERGY STAR home to qualify for incentives, it must be entered in the
    Axis database Exit ENERGY STAR. For a single family ENERGY STAR home to qualify for incentives, in addition to entering the home in the
    Axis database Exit ENERGY STAR, the Rater must generate a Northwest Compliance Report as described in the archived Northwest Program Requirements for Single Family Homes PDF (566KB) consistent with the Northwest REM/Rate Modeling Guidelines PDF (277KB). For multifamily ENERGY STAR homes to qualify for incentives, in addition to entering the units in the Axis database Exit ENERGY STAR, the Rater must also ensure that the units and building meet the applicable Northwest Multi Family BOP (NW BOP1 MF PDF (215KB) for gas or heat pump heated homes or NW BOP2 MF PDF (212KB) for zonal electrically heated homes).

HVAC Contractors

  • Homes with a split air conditioner, unitary air conditioner, air-source heat pump, or water-source (i.e., geothermal) heat pump up to 65 kBtuh with a forced-air distribution system (i.e., ducts) or a furnace up to 225 kBtuh with ducts are required to use a credentialed HVAC contractor. All other permutations of equipment (e.g., boilers, mini-split / multi-split systems) and distribution systems are exempt.
  • For homes requiring a credentialed HVAC contractor, the contractor must be credentialed through a national HVAC Quality Installation and Oversight Organization (H-QUITO). There are currently two national H-QUITO’s - ACCA Exit ENERGY STAR and Advanced Energy Exit ENERGY STAR. For more information on how to become a credentialed contractor, visit: www.energystar.gov/newhomeshvac.

Do you have questions about the transition or the program requirements? Consult the FAQ document PDF (455KB) or the Northwest Directory PDF (171KB). These resources should point you in the right direction for many questions. If not, contact the ENERGY STAR program at energystarhomes@energystar.gov.

Archives

The following documents are included here for reference and are applicable to homes that were permitted prior to January 1, 2016. They are not applicable to homes permitted on or after January 1, 2016.

  • Northwest Program Requirements for Single-Family Homes PDF (566KB): These regional program requirements were used to certify single-family homes in the Northwest that were permitted prior to January 1, 2016.
  • PTCS Heating and Cooling Commissioning Forms PDF (1.5MB): These forms were used as an alternative means to document the commissioning of air conditioners, air-source heat pumps, and ground-source heat pumps for homes in the Northwest that were permitted prior to January 1, 2016.
  • Performance Testing Forms PDF (388KB): This sticker was used as a supplemental means to indicate the performance testing results for homes certified in the Northwest that were permitted prior to January 1, 2016.