The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency introduced the ENERGY STAR® program to promote energy efficiency in products, materials, buildings and more. Builders can work with a RESNET-certified Home Energy Rater to make a home ENERGY STAR qualified. Such a home will use a minimum of 20% less energy than the same home built with standard construction methods.
What makes a home ENERGY STAR® Qualified?
ENERGY STAR has been at the forefront of advances in residential energy efficiency, pioneering advances in techniques and best practices. Every ENERGY STAR home has the following features:
- Complete Thermal Enclosure System—a continuous air barrier to prevent air infiltration, and properly installed insulation for maximum effectiveness.
- Complete Heating and Cooling System—accredited heating and air contractors design, install and commission systems to rigorous standards, assuring best performance.
- Complete Water Management System—water is the home’s biggest enemy. These measures greatly improve durability and reduce maintenance costs.
- Energy-Efficient Lighting and Appliances—efficient appliances save money, month after month, year after year.
- Third-Party Verification—compliance with ENERGY STAR program standards is assured by independent, RESNET-certified Home Energy Raters.
An ENERGY STAR Qualified Home gives the homebuyer assurance that the energy performance of the home will exceed that required by code, as it has been tested and verified by an independent, third-party energy professional.
Each qualified home is given a HERS Index, a numerical score that indicates the relative energy performance of the home. The HERS Index is a national standard, and is being more widely used on MLS’s (Multiple Listing Service) across the country as an indicator to homebuyers, realtors, appraisers and lenders of a home’s energy performance.
ENERGY STAR homes provide:
- Lower utility bills, plus some protection from future volatility in fuel prices.
- Lower total cost of home ownership (mortgage plus utilities).
- A more comfortable home, easier to heat and cool, with no hot or cold spots.
- A more durable home with less maintenance, because of better materials and methods.
- A safer, healthier indoor air environment.
- Increased resale value.
- Reduced pollution and environmental impact, as less energy used means less greenhouse gases and other pollutants emitted.
As ENERGY STAR inspectors we inspect, test, verify and document as for a standard HERS rating, although the testing is more extensive. There is also design technical assistance at the beginning of the project, so the builder/client is adequately informed about the various requirements to meet (framing, air sealing, duct sealing, insulation, HVAC, water management, ventilation, windows, etc.). If all requirements are met, we issue ENERGY STAR certificates.
The RESNET-approved software we use for HERS ratings also enables us to document ENERGY STAR compliance. Pricing is somewhat more than a standard HERS rating, as there is more extensive testing and verification. Pricing for individual homes is based on square footage. For production builders doing multiple builds of the same plan, or for multi-family applications, the price per unit drops significantly. Contact us for specific price quotes.
What is ENERGY STAR®?
ENERGY STAR is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency. The mark identifies new homes, buildings, and more than 70 types of products that are energy efficient and offer the features, quality and performance that today’s consumers expect.
A home that earns the ENERGY STAR is at least 30% more efficient than a standard new home. By purchasing an ENERGY STAR Qualified Home, you can have all the features you desire in your new home, plus better performance and lower utility bills–all while helping prevent greenhouse gas emissions.
ENERGY STAR was introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1992 as a voluntary partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased energy efficiency. Today, ENERGY STAR offers consumers and businesses energy efficient solutions to save energy, save money, and help protect the environment for future generations.
More than 16,000 organizations are ENERGY STAR Partners—committed to improving energy efficiency at home and at work. As of December 2013, families and businesses have realized estimated utility bill savings of more than $295 billion, and prevented more than 2.1 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the last two decades.