ENERGY STAR Partnership Agreement for Home Builders

Updated October 6, 2017

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 Home Builders, Multifamily High Rise Developers, and Factory Builders that partner with the ENERGY STAR Certified Homes and ENERGY STAR Multifamily High Rise programs 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 in all applications.

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.

General Terms and Commitments for All ENERGY STAR Partners

  1. Partner will use the ENERGY STAR name and marks in accordance with 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. This agreement is voluntary and can be terminated by either party at any time and for any reason, with no penalty.
  4. Partner acknowledges that its activities undertaken in connection with ENERGY STAR 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.
  5. 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 Home Builder, Multifamily High Rise Developer, and Factory Builder Partners

  1. For all single family and low rise multifamily homes, partner must ensure that a completed ENERGY STAR certification label is affixed to the circuit breaker box (or other suitable location) of all homes that are verified to meet the ENERGY STAR program requirements.
    1. For site-built homes, partner must also provide an ENERGY STAR certificate (PDF, 611 KB) to each homeowner who purchases a certified new home.
  2. For site-built single family and low rise multifamily homes, in addition to the energy-efficiency features that are independently verified by a certified Home Energy (HERS) Rater, partner must ensure that all of its ENERGY STAR certified homes are built in accordance with the protections specified in EPA's Water Management Scope of Work (PDF, 121 KB) .
  3. 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 Quality Assurance Provider (QAP).
  4. When partner (and/or its authorized representative) specifies in a sales contract that a home or building to be constructed will (or has been constructed to) earn the ENERGY STAR certification/label, the home or building must meet all applicable ENERGY STAR program requirements. 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 and low rise multifamily 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 high rise buildings, 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. 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 program requirements.
  5. To maintain an active partnership with ENERGY STAR, partner must meet at least one of the activity requirements specified in Section 5.1 or 5.2 below. If one of these requirements is not fulfilled, partner will be deemed 'inactive,' will no longer have access to program benefits, and must promptly cease its use of the ENERGY STAR name and marks in all applications.
    1. Have at least one home built (or installed, for factory-built homes), certified to earn the ENERGY STAR label, and reported to EPA by an accredited Home Energy Rating Provider partner (or an EPA-recognized QAP, for factory-built homes) in the preceding 12-month period.
      1. For single and low rise multifamily home builders constructing five (5) homes or fewer annually, this requirement is extended an additional 12 months to a total of 24 months.
    2. Have (or have had within the last 12 months) at least one ENERGY STAR Multifamily High Rise project in the design, construction, or benchmarking phase.
  6. Partner is responsible for monitoring the ENERGY STAR website and EPA's communications about the program and incorporate any required program changes into its activities.
    1. To maintain an active partnership with ENERGY STAR, partner must maintain at least one active organizational contact that is receiving programmatic communications from EPA. A partner that does not continue to meet this requirement will be deemed 'inactive,' will no longer have access to program benefits, and must promptly cease its use of the ENERGY STAR name and marks in all applications.
  7. An organization’s partnership can be re-activated by:
    1. Having at least one home certified to earn the ENERGY STAR label and reported to EPA; or having at least one Multifamily High Rise project in-process for ENERGY STAR certification;
    2. Having at least one active contact with the program that is receiving communications from EPA; and
    3. Reviewing the most recent program requirements and Terms and Commitments of this AGREEMENT.
  8. Partner will not state or imply that the ENERGY STAR label indicates that a home 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).
  9. 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 program requirements.
  10. 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 or multifamily units.
    1. Upon request, and to facilitate investigation of consumer inquiries or complaints about their ENERGY STAR certified home, apartment, or condo, partner must provide EPA with all relevant documentation regarding any home/unit(s) or building(s) and that were certified as ENERGY STAR (or potentially represented to homebuyers or renters as such). This documentation may include, but is not limited to, Home Energy Rating (HERS) reports and modeling files, ENERGY STAR inspection checklists and other verification documents, sales contracts, and promotional materials.
    2. If EPA determines that a home or building has been improperly certified or promoted as ENERGY STAR, partner (and/or its authorized representatives) will take necessary actions to resolve the deficiencies documented by EPA in a timely manner.
    3. If partner is unable to document that a home or building has been properly built and certified to meet program requirements, the ENERGY STAR certification label must be removed from the home or building, as well as any other promotional materials that imply that the home or building is certified.
  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) .
  12. Partner understands that EPA periodically updates ENERGY STAR program requirements and the Terms and Commitments of the ENERGY STAR Partnership AGREEMENT and will provide adequate notice to partners before the effective date of the revised requirements.