Energy Efficiency and Weatherization Standards and Rating Systems

Energy Star
Energy Star is a voluntary Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)/Department of Energy (DOE) program that certifies products and new homes based on third-party verification of the products and the home’s ability to meet specific energy saving and efficiency performance requirements set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). National program requirements define the core energy efficiency specifications. The program requires completion of four inspection checklists that address thermal enclosure, HVAC system installation and contractors, and the home’s water management system. [url, pdf; Energy Star]

Department of Energy (DOE) Building America Program
This partnership with the home building industry identifies and brings innovations and resources to the housing market, as well as providing building science information through its Solution Center to promote high-performance homes. [url; DOE]

EarthCraft Residential Programs
Used primarily in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, EarthCraft programs set design standards for energy, water, and resource-efficient buildings. [url; Earthcraft, Southface Energy]

The residential programs offers four certifications:

  • EarthCraft House
    The EarthCraft House certification addresses the specific climate conditions of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic to create and maintain energy and resource-efficient homes. The program is intended for single-family detached homes, townhomes, and duplexes.
  • EarthCraft Multifamily
    The first multifamily-specific green building program in the nation, EarthCraft Multifamily provides certifications for low- and mid-rise multifamily projects, including new construction and renovation. The standards cover both the unit level and entire structure and address a range of sustainability considerations, including environmental performance, indoor air quality, building durability, comfort, and affordability.
  • EarthCraft Renovation
    The EarthCraft Renovation certification provides standards for homeowners to improve building performance, durability, operational efficiency, and indoor air quality.
  • EarthCraft Communities
    The EarthCraft Communities certification is designed for sustainably planned and constructed communities.

Green Building Standards
The EPA compiled this collection of green building codes, standards, and ratings, along with a tool that compares what’s covered in each code. [url; EPA, 2017]

Building Codes Assistance Project
The Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP) provides extensive resources related to residential (and commercial) energy and building codes useful to policymakers, housing, health, and energy efficiency professionals, and the public. Resources include a listing of state energy codes, concerns about existing codes, code enforcement, policy tool kits, guidance on building codes to meet local needs, and much more. [url, B-CapEnergy]

Model Green and Advanced Codes
This guide provides information and examples of model green codes, as well as “advance” or “stretch” codes that pushing to create energy efficient, healthy, and more environmentally friendly buildings. It serves as a helpful resource for policy makers, housing and health professionals and advocates, and the private sector to learn more about how and where codes are going in the future to address climate change and resilience. [url; BCAP]

Building Performance Institute (BPI) Technical Standards
The Building Performance Institute, Inc. (BPI) publishes standards related to the energy efficiency and performance of residential buildings. The standards are defined for the building performance, how to assess performance, and for individuals testing or monitoring building performance. Although the standards primarily focus on energy conservation measures and criteria, they also address the building as a whole. [url; BPI, 2016]

Building Performance Institute (BPI) and Home Performance Coalition Data Standards
These provide standards on how to collect, track, and manage data in the home performance and weatherization industry. They focus on BPI data standards projects: BPI-2100 Data TransferBPI-2200 Data Collection; and BPI-2101 Home Performance Certification. [url; BPI]