For New Homes is a program of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established to reduce the use of energy in the construction industry. In order for a home to receive the ENERGY STAR certification, a home must meet the strict criteria required by the EPA. Each home is inspected and tested by an independent home energy during construction and after completion to verify that the ENERGY STAR certification requirements have been met. The final inspection includes a blower door test and a ductwork test, both used to determine how much air leaks in and out of the home’s walls and attic and through the duct work of the heating, ventilation, and cooling system.
The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) is a scoring system developed by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) that is a good measure of the energy efficiency of a home. A home built to the specifications of a HERS Reference Home scores a HERS Index of 100 (based on IECC). The lower a home's HERS Score, the more energy efficient it is compared to the HERS Reference Home. Each 1-point decrease in the HERS Score corresponds to a 1% reduction in energy consumption compared to the HERS Reference Home. Thus, a home with a HERS Score of 80 is 20% more energy efficient than the HERS Reference Home.