ENERGY STAR Partnership Agreement for Single-Family Homebuilders, Multifamily Builders and Developers, and Factory Builders/Plants participating in the ENERGY STAR Residential New Construction Program

Updated January 2021

General Terms and Commitments for participation in the ENERGY STAR program (ENERGY STAR) and for the use of ENERGY STAR Marks

This AGREEMENT contains the general terms applicable to partners' use of the ENERGY STAR trademarks, service marks, and certification marks, and describes the commitments made by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the benefit of the ENERGY STAR program and its partners. Additional terms and commitments for single-family homebuilders, multifamily builders and developers, and factory builders/plants that partner with the ENERGY STAR Residential New Construction program are also included. EPA may periodically amend these Terms and Commitments and will provide notice to partners.

This AGREEMENT is voluntary and can be cancelled by either party at any time and for any reason, with no penalty. Upon cancellation of this AGREEMENT, partner will no longer have access to program benefits and must promptly cease its use of the ENERGY STAR name and marks.

By affixing an electronic signature to the Partnership Agreement, the signatory understands that he/she is committing their organization to partnership with the ENERGY STAR program, acknowledges EPA's commitments to its partners, and agrees to comply with all Terms and Commitments of this AGREEMENT.

EPA Commitments

  1. EPA will work to promote the ENERGY STAR program and broaden public recognition of the ENERGY STAR marks as the trusted, government-backed symbols for solutions that save energy, save money, and help protect the environment.
  2. EPA will provide partners with timely program updates, information, and resources via the ENERGY STAR website, webinars, e-mail, and presentations.
  3. EPA will provide partners with recognition for their participation in the program through the ENERGY STAR partner locator, special awards, and promotion through other media.
  4. EPA will respond to requests for information or clarification regarding ENERGY STAR program policies.
  5. EPA will maintain the integrity of the ENERGY STAR marks and take all possible steps to deter their misuse.
  6. EPA will protect the privacy and security of information/data collected related to an organization’s ENERGY STAR partnership.

General Terms and Commitments for All ENERGY STAR Partners

  1. Partner will use the ENERGY STAR name and marks in accordance with the most current edition of the ENERGY STAR Brand Book (i.e., Logo Use Guidelines) and ensure that its authorized representatives (including, but not limited to, advertising agencies, distributors, installers, subcontractors, sales agents, and retailers) also abide by these requirements.
  2. Partner will not construe, claim, or imply that its participation in ENERGY STAR constitutes federal government approval, acceptance, or endorsement of anything other than the organization’s participation in the ENERGY STAR program and acknowledges that partnership does not constitute the federal government’s endorsement of the partner, its buildings, homes, or services.
  3. Partner acknowledges that its activities undertaken in connection with the ENERGY STAR program are voluntary and not intended to provide services to the federal government. Partner may not submit claims for compensation to any federal agency for its ENERGY STAR activities.
  4. Partner will act in good faith to resolve conflicts that may arise in relation to its program partnership and will seek to resolve all matters to preserve maximum public confidence in ENERGY STAR.

Additional Terms and Commitments for Single-Family Homebuilders, Multifamily Builders and Developers, and Factory Builder/Plant Partners Participating in the ENERGY STAR Residential New Construction Program

  1. Partner understands that all homes and multifamily buildings that are certified as ENERGY STAR must be independently inspected, tested, and verified by an eligible ENERGY STAR Residential Verification Organization to meet all ENERGY STAR Residential New Construction Program requirements. Organizations that are eligible to perform these activities depend on the type of construction, including Energy Rating Companies (e.g., Home Energy Raters and Providers) for single-family homes and multifamily apartments, and EPA-recognized Quality Assurance Providers (QAPs) for factory-built homes.
    1. For single family homes and multifamily buildings, in addition to the energy-efficiency features that are independently verified by an Energy Rating Company, partner must ensure that all of its ENERGY STAR certified homes/multifamily buildings are constructed in accordance with the protections specified in EPA's National Water Management System Requirements for Single Family or Multifamily, as appropriate to the construction type.
    2. For factory-built homes, partner must ensure that the energy-efficiency features installed in the plant, as well as on-site, are inspected in accordance with the quality assurance requirements of an EPA-recognized QAP.
  2. Partner must ensure that a completed ENERGY STAR certification label (provided to the partner by their Home Certification Organization, Multifamily Review Organization, or Quality Assurance Provider) is affixed to the circuit breaker box (or other suitable location) of all homes/apartments that are verified to meet the ENERGY STAR program requirements. For site-built single-family homes and multifamily apartments, partner must also provide the homebuyer an ENERGY STAR certificate (PDF, 813 KB) (provided to the partner by their Home Certification Organization or Multifamily Review Organization).
  3. When a partner (and/or its authorized representative) specifies in a sales contract that a home, apartment, or building will earn the ENERGY STAR certification/label, it must meet all applicable ENERGY STAR New Construction Program requirements. Further, partner must ensure that the appropriate reference is used when referring to the ENERGY STAR program and certification in sales contracts. 
    1. For single-family homes, partner shall only refer to the home as an "ENERGY STAR certified home," (terms such as ‘ENERGY STAR rated’ and ‘ENERGY STAR compliant' shall not be used).
    2. For multifamily buildings of any height, partner shall refer to the units within as "ENERGY STAR certified apartments,” “ENERGY STAR certified condos,” “ENERGY STAR certified homes,” or “ENERGY STAR certified units,” (terms such as ‘ENERGY STAR rated’ and ‘ENERGY STAR compliant' shall not be used). 
      1. Further, partner shall only refer to a building as an “ENERGY STAR certified building” if it consists entirely of residential units and associated residential common space (i.e., no commercial space) and all of the residential units/common space have been verified to meet ENERGY STAR program requirements.
  4. Partner will not state or imply that the ENERGY STAR label indicates that a home, apartment, or building is structurally sound or safe, constructed in accordance with applicable laws, regulations or codes, or free of mold, mildew, volatile organic compounds, allergens, or soil gases (including radon).
  5. Partner understands that EPA does not provide warranties and is not liable for construction defects or deficiencies resulting from the proper or improper application of the ENERGY STAR New Construction Program requirements.
  6. To maintain active partnership with the ENERGY STAR program, partner must have at least one organizational contact that is receiving required programmatic communications from EPA; and meet the relevant activity requirement specified below by having at least one home built (or installed, for factory-built homes), certified to earn the ENERGY STAR label, and reported to EPA within a specified period of time:
    1. Single-family and factory builders constructing more than five (5) homes annually must have at least one ENERGY STAR certified home reported in the preceding 12 months.
    2. Single-family and factory builders constructing five (5) homes or fewer annually must have at least one ENERGY STAR certified home reported in the preceding 24 months.
    3. Multifamily builders and developers must have at least one ENERGY STAR certified apartment reported in the preceding 24 months.
  7. Inactive partners will no longer have access to program benefits and must promptly cease all use of the ENERGY STAR name and marks.
  8. If de-activated, an organization’s ENERGY STAR partnership can be re-activated by: 
    1. Having one or more homes/apartments newly certified to earn the ENERGY STAR label and reported to EPA;
    2. Having at least one organizational contact that is receiving required programmatic communications from EPA; and
    3. Reviewing the most recent program requirements and Terms and Commitments of this AGREEMENT.
  9. To preserve maximum public confidence in ENERGY STAR, partner will act promptly and in good faith to resolve conflicts that arise in relation to its program partnership or the performance of its ENERGY STAR certified homes, apartments, or multifamily buildings. 
    1. Upon request, partner must provide EPA, or its designated agents, with relevant documentation regarding any home, apartment, or building that was certified as ENERGY STAR (or potentially represented to homebuyers or renters as such). This documentation may include, but is not limited to, identification of the Energy Rating Company or Quality Assurance Provider that performed the certification, construction specifications, design and installation documentation from the HVAC installer, as well as sales contracts and any relevant promotional materials.
    2. If, following an investigation, EPA determines that a home or building’s certification shall be withdrawn, partner will promptly remove the ENERGY STAR certification label from the home or building and cease distribution of promotional or other materials that imply that the home or building is ENERGY STAR certified.
  10. Partner understands that EPA periodically updates the ENERGY STAR New Construction program requirements and the Terms and Commitments of the ENERGY STAR Partnership Agreement. Partner is responsible for monitoring the ENERGY STAR website and EPA's communications, and incorporating any required program changes into its activities. EPA will provide adequate notice to partners before the effective date of any revised requirements.
  11. If partner fails to comply with any of the Terms and Commitments of this AGREEMENT, or uses the ENERGY STAR marks improperly, EPA will take action in accordance with the procedures described in the document, Policies for Responding to Misuse of the Energy Star Brand (PDF, 212 KB).