Better is Better | What is an ENERGY STAR Certified Home?
Updated: Jun 11, 2020
BENEFITS FOR HOMEOWNERS
Peace of Mind: Tried-and-true best building practices followed by independent inspections and testing from certified professionals mean that you can be confident that things were done right.
Enduring Quality: Value-adding energy efficiency features and a combination of materials and equipment deliver better performance and an overall superior level of quality.
Wall-to-Wall Comfort: You’ll see, feel, and hear the difference of a heating and cooling system that has been engineered and installed to efficiently deliver comfort. Enjoy consistent temperatures across every room and a constant supply of fresh, filtered air reducing indoor pollutants, dust, pollen, and other allergens.
Proven Value: Better energy efficiency and performance means lower utility and maintenance costs. ENERGY STAR certified homes are at least 10% more energy efficient than homes built to code and achieve a 20% improvement on average, and even more when compared to most resale homes on the market today.
To earn the ENERGY STAR, a home must meet strict guidelines for energy efficiency developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), based on extensive experience with the nation's homebuilding industry including builders, Home Energy Raters, and building scientists. ENERGY STAR certified homes are at least 10% more energy efficient than homes built to code and achieve a 20% improvement on average. Homes achieve this level of performance through a complete package of building science measures including:
A Complete Thermal Enclosure System — Comprehensive air sealing, properly installed insulation, and high-performance windows work together to enhance comfort, improve durability, reduce maintenance costs, and lower monthly utility bills.
A Complete Heating and Cooling System — High-efficiency systems that are engineered and installed to deliver more comfort, better moisture control, improved indoor air quality, and quieter operation.
A Complete Water Management System — A comprehensive package of best building practices and materials protects roofs, walls and foundations from water damage, provides added protection, and reduces the risk of indoor air quality problems.
Energy-Efficient Lighting and Appliances — ENERGY STAR qualified lighting, appliances, and fans are commonly installed throughout ENERGY STAR certified homes, helping to reduce monthly utility bills, while providing high-quality performance.
To ensure that a home meets ENERGY STAR guidelines, third−party verification by a certified Home Energy Rater (or equivalent) is required. The rater works closely with the builder throughout the construction process to help determine the needed energy−saving equipment and construction techniques and conduct required on−site diagnostic testing and inspections to document that the home is eligible to earn the ENERGY STAR label.
Since the inception of the ENERGY STAR Certified Homes Program in 1995, the program's requirements have continued to evolve in response to increased rigor in mandated code requirements and more efficient standard builder practices to ensure that homes that earn the label continue to represent a meaningful improvement over non-labeled homes. As codes and standard practices continued to increase across the country, EPA released a third-generation of guidelines ("ENERGY STAR Version 3") in 2010 that largely became mandatory for homes permitted after January 1, 2012.
By implementing an ENERGY STAR Certified Homes program, utility sponsors can leverage a powerful brand advantage, along with fully-developed technical specifications and associated training and technical support available from EPA at no cost. Specific benefits to utilities of using this program platform include:
More detailed verification of efficiency measures: The inspection checklists allow for a high level of verification that provide sponsors with greater assurance that efficiency measures are being properly installed and that ENERGY STAR certified homes meet performance and quality expectations.
The Thermal Enclosure checklist helps ensure that there are no thermal defects.
The HVAC Quality Installation checklists helps ensure that HVAC systems are installed using industry best practices and perform at rated efficiencies.
The Water Management builder checklist helps ensure roofs, walls, and foundations are fully protected from water intrusion.
Greater savings per home: ENERGY STAR certified homes are approximately 20% more efficient than homes built to the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Further, the size adjustment factor ensures that larger homes include additional energy efficiency measures to account for their added size.
Learn more at: https://www.energystar.gov/