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ENERGY STAR New Homes Certification

 While California Energy Code requirements are becoming more stringent with each triennial cycle, not every region of the United States is as environmentally progressive or energy-conscious in their legislation. Nevertheless, the importance of conserving energy and protecting the environment through lowered carbon emissions cannot be understated. Sometimes this can seem complicated, but some programs take a top-down approach by directly addressing energy efficiency and thus saving costs, lowering carbon emissions, and keeping occupants comfortable. One such program with this goal in mind is the ENERGY STAR Residential New Construction Program.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has created a program which seeks to improve energy efficiency in any new single family or multifamily home lower than five stories by offering a comprehensive yet simple program with requirements that are tailored to the location of your project. Whether your new development is built in Utah, Mississippi, or even Alaska, the ENERGY STAR Residential New Construction Program is available for developers of any state who are willing to go above and beyond to not only save energy but make their new property more durable, affordable, and marketable.

The primary goal of ENERGY STAR certified homes and apartments is to increase the efficiency of their energy expenditures by at least 10% over state requirements and provide a 20% improvement on average across the country. This is achieved by examining the HVAC, lighting, plumbing, and building envelope during design through a whole-building energy analysis and determining how to best optimize these features to not only meet program requirements but potentially save on hard costs as well. Afterwards, when design is finished and construction has commenced, third-party verifications are performed onsite by a qualified home energy rater to confirm that the building’s sealing, indoor moisture management, and systems onsite are installed to the required specifications.

Once a building has been ENERGY STAR certified, the building owner must utilize the ENERGY STAR Benchmarking Portfolio Manager to document and submit their utility data to the EPA on a yearly basis. If your project is located in California and is over 50,000 square feet in gross floor area, this is a code requirement (Assembly Bill 802) that has seen increased enforcement over the years. If you know your project will meet these requirements by default, pursuing ENERGY STAR Certification for your building may effectively be a foregone conclusion.

VCA Green’s team of highly knowledgeable energy experts can assist in the ENERGY STAR Certification and continuous renewal processes by studying your building’s design, verifying and guiding proper construction, and handling data management from your building’s ongoing expenses. As this program is nationwide, VCA Green is able to meet the needs of any homeowner seeking to certify their home anywhere in the United States. There are different versions of the program depending on the location and permit date of your project, but our specialized pool of knowledge and flexible project management skills allow us to easily identify and satisfy the requirements of your project. If you wish to show that your new project is serving the environment while also saving a considerable amount of money on space conditioning needs, VCA Green can help you achieve this through the ENERGY STAR Residential New Construction Program.

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