The US Department of Energy allows homes with exceptional energy efficiency and quality construction practices to be labelled “ENERGY STAR”. This prestigious designation has high visibility and consumer recognition.
These tests are performed by certified independent third party inspectors, and include the mandated Infiltration Test (blower door) and Leak Free Duct Certification at no extra cost.
What is ENERGY STAR?
ENERGY STAR for the residential sector
ENERGY STAR certified homes and apartments are at least 10% more energy efficient than those built to code. They actually achieve a 20% improvement on average while providing homeowners and residents with better quality, performance, and comfort.
More than three thousand builders, developers, and manufactured housing plants are ENERGY STAR partners, including all of the nation’s twenty largest home builders.
Over 2.2 million ENERGY STAR certified homes have been built to date, including more than 120,000 in 2020 alone.
ENERGY STAR, jobs, and the economy
ENERGY STAR supports the transition to a clean energy economy by fostering jobs and economic development, greater competitiveness, and a healthy environment.
according to the U.S. Energy and Employment Report, over 800,000 Americans are employed in manufacturing or installing ENERGY STAR certified appliances, including heating and cooling equipment — roughly 35% of an estimated 2.4 million U.S. energy efficiency jobs in 2019.
Moreover, by increasing energy efficiency, ENERGY STAR is supporting U.S. energy security and helping improve the reliability of the electricity grid.
ENERGY STAR and the environment
ENERGY STAR is an important tool in fighting climate change, improving air quality, and protecting public health.
By reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants, ENERGY STAR also provides states and local governments with more flexibility and reduced costs towards meeting their climate, air quality, and public health goals.
In 2019 alone, ENERGY STAR and its partners helped Americans save nearly 500 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity and avoid $39 billion in energy costs.
These savings resulted in associated emission reductions of nearly 390 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, roughly equivalent to 5% of U.S. total greenhouse gas emissions.
Independent Inspections & Tests
The ENERGY STAR label
The label that comes with every ENERGY STAR certified home may look small. It measures just three by five inches. But what it stands for is really big. It means that a home has undergone a better process of independent inspections and testing to ensure it meets strict requirements set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Learn more about independent inspections and testing by clicking the button below to view the ENERGY STAR fact sheet (PDF, 1.91MB).
How New Homes Earn the ENERGY STAR
A home that meets EPA’s strict energy efficiency requirements achieves this level of performance through a complete package of building science-based energy efficiency systems and measures that are third–party verified by a Home Energy Rater.
Many steps are taken by the builder and Rater during design and construction to ensure all ENERGY STAR requirements are met and verified.
Rater Certifies the Home and Issues an ENERGY STAR Label
After the Energy Rating Company (ERC) completes a site inspection and determines that all ENERGY STAR requirements have been met, their team will provide the builder/developer with the ENERGY STAR label, which is typically placed on the circuit breaker box of a home or apartment.
This label is proof that the home is ENERGY STAR certified, and includes the home address, builder/developer name, ERC name, and date verified.
The blue ENERGY STAR label makes it simple for homebuyers and renters to choose truly comfortable and energy efficient new homes and apartments.
Benefits for Homeowners & Renters
- 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 and apartments 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.