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 following program requirements. The version of the program requirements applicable to each state depends upon the stringency of its code and is listed below:
|State||Version of Program Requirements||Applicable to Homes with the Following Permit Date*|
|ID||National Version 3||On or After 01/01/2016|
|MT||National Version 3.1||On or After 01/01/2016|
|OR||National Version 3.1
OR and WA Version 3.2 (PDF, 209KB)
|01/01/2016 to 03/31/2019
On or After 04/01/2019
|WA||National Version 3.1
OR and WA Version 3.2 (PDF, 209KB)
|01/01/2016 to 06/30/2018
On or After 07/01/2018
*As an alternative, multifamily dwelling units in ID, MT, OR and WA permitted before 01/01/2017 are allowed 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.
Version 3.2 Program Requirements for Oregon and Washington
Version 3.2 Program Requirements for Washington have been developed in response to its 2015 state energy code. These program requirements were then extended to Oregon in response to Oregon’s 2017 state energy code. The purpose of these new Program Requirements for Oregon and Washington are to ensure that the ENERGY STAR certified homes program will continue to deliver meaningful savings relative to non-certified homes. There are two key components to the ENERGY STAR Certified Homes Program – an efficiency target and mandatory inspection checklists. In Version 3.2, the efficiency target has been made more stringent than in Version 3.1 of the National Program Requirements. However, the mandatory inspection checklists remain unchanged.
These Version 3.2 Program Requirements are applicable to all homes permitted in Washington on or after 07/01/2018, and in Oregon on or after 04/01/2019.
- Version 3.2 ENERGY STAR Program Requirements for Oregon and Washington (PDF, 209KB) — This document defines the core energy efficiency specifications to earn the ENERGY STAR.
- Version 3.2 ENERGY STAR Energy Rating Index Target Procedure for Oregon and Washington (PDF, 161KB) — This document defines how to configure the ENERGY STAR Reference Design Home and calculate the associated Energy Rating Index value.
EPA received comments (PDF, 107KB) from partners and other stakeholders regarding the draft Washington v3.2 program requirements. The comments are listed alphabetically by organization name. The draft Version 3.2 Program Requirements for Oregon were available for comment from 03/28/2018 through 04/11/2018. During this period EPA did not receive any comments.
EPA's Response to Stakeholder and Partner Comments (PDF, 225KB) This document contains a summary of comments received, along with EPA's response to each point raised and the resulting policy change, if any.
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:
- Learn more about the benefits of building ENERGY STAR Certified Homes, available sales and marketing resources, and how to become a partner.
- 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.
- Check with local utilities for incentive opportunities. For an ENERGY STAR home to qualify for incentives, it must be entered in the
Axis database. For a single family ENERGY STAR home to qualify for incentives, in addition to entering the home in the
Axis database, 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, they must be permitted before 01/01/2017 and, in addition to entering the units in the Axis database, the Rater must also ensure that the units and building are certified using 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).
- 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 and Advanced Energy. See more information on how to become a credentialed contractor.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.