ENERGY STAR Partnership Agreement for Energy Rating Companies (e.g., Home Energy Raters, HERS Raters, Providers) participating in the ENERGY STAR Residential New Construction Program

Updated May 2022

General Terms and Commitments for participation in the ENERGY STAR program (ENERGY STAR) and for the use of the 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 Energy Rating Companies 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 canceled by either party at any time and for any reason (including suspension or termination of professional certification/accreditation by a Home Certification Organization (HCO) or Multifamily Review Organization (MRO)) with no penalty. Upon cancellation of this AGREEMENT, the partner will no longer have access to program benefits and must promptly cease use of the ENERGY STAR name and marks.

By affixing an electronic signature to the Partnership Agreement, the signatory understands that they are committing their organization to a 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, email, 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 Energy Rating Companies participating in the ENERGY STAR Residential New Construction Program

  1. To be eligible for partnership, Energy Rating Companies must:
    1. Be certified/accredited through an EPA-recognized Home Certification Organization (HCO) or approved by an EPA-recognized Multifamily Review Organization (MRO) and remain in good standing;
    2. Maintain at least one individual on staff that has met EPA's training requirements;
    3. Maintain at least one organizational contact that is receiving required programmatic email communications from EPA;and
    4. Verify and have reported to EPA at least one ENERGY STAR certified home or apartment within the first 24 months of signing the ENERGY STAR Partnership Agreement and every 24-month period thereafter.
  2. Energy Rating Companies that do not continue to meet these requirements shall have their ENERGY STAR partnership status de-activated and are not permitted to certify homes or apartments as ENERGY STAR, will no longer have access to program benefits, and must promptly cease use of the ENERGY STAR name and marks.
  3. If de-activated, an organization's ENERGY STAR partnership can be re-activated by: 
    1. Regaining good standing with a Home Certification Organization (HCO) or Multifamily Review Organization (MRO);
    2. Having one or more additional homes/apartments certified to earn the ENERGY STAR label and reported to EPA;
    3. Having at least one individual on staff that has met EPA's training requirements;
    4. Having at least one organizational contact that is receiving required programmatic communications from EPA; and
    5. Reviewing the most recent program requirements and Terms and Commitments of this AGREEMENT.
  4. Partner understands that all homes and multifamily buildings that are certified as ENERGY STAR must be independently inspected, tested, and verified to meet all ENERGY STAR Residential New Construction program requirements by an individual that has successfully completed an EPA-recognized training course, which can be found at https://www.energystar.gov/newhomestraining.
  5. Partner must ensure all homes/apartments that its organization certifies as ENERGY STAR are:
    1. Modeled in accredited Home Energy Rating software (for single-family homes or multifamily apartments using ERI-based verification);
    2. Verified to meet all applicable ENERGY STAR Residential New Construction program requirements;
    3. Submitted to their Home Certification Organization (HCO) or Multifamily Review Organization (MRO), as appropriate;
    4. Reported to EPA through an approved process; and 
    5. Issued a completed ENERGY STAR certification label (PDF, 372 KB) to be affixed to the circuit breaker box (or other suitable location) and an ENERGY STAR certificate (PDF, 813 KB). Both the certification label and the certificate are provided to the partner by their Home Certification Organization (HCO) or Multifamily Review Organization (MRO).
  6. Partner must maintain ENERGY STAR certification documentation for no less than three years from the date of certification of the home/apartment, including energy modeling files, ENERGY STAR design reports and inspection checklists, and quality assurance records.
  7. Partner will not imply that the ENERGY STAR label indicates that the home, apartment, or building is structurally sound or safe, constructed in accordance with applicable laws, regulations or codes, free of mold or mildew, free of volatile organic compounds or allergens, or free of soil gases, including radon.
  8. 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 Residential New Construction program requirements.
  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 the homes, apartments, or multifamily buildings that it has verified to meet as ENERGY STAR program requirements. 
    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, energy modeling files and/or reports, ENERGY STAR design reports and inspection checklists, supporting documentation such as photos, quality assurance records, and promotional materials.
    2. If requested by EPA, to facilitate investigation, partner will arrange on-site visit(s) to a certified home, apartment, or building by its Home Certification Organization's or Multifamily Review Organization's quality assurance staff (or their designees) and submit findings to EPA.
    3. If, following an investigation, EPA determines that a home or building's certification shall be withdrawn, partner will update their records accordingly.
  10. Partner understands that EPA periodically updates the ENERGY STAR Residential 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 via the ENERGY STAR website and/or EPA’s electronic communications before the effective date of any revised requirements.
  11. If the 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).