Do’s, Don’ts and Suggestions
There are many rules involved in certifying homes to ENERGY STAR and other above code levels. The following is a listing of the requirements and prohibitions of the current Version 3 program. Most are rules directly from ENERGY STAR and the EPA. Some are program requirements via the NH utility that sponsors the funding and administration of the statewide program. There are also several suggestions that Horizon RES NH LLC has included.
This document cannot cover all the particular issues of ENERGY STAR for homes compliance or non compliance issues on all homes. Additional unforeseen non compliance issues may arise at the project. Horizon RES NH is committed to advising the ENERGY STAR builder about non – compliance issues as soon as they are recognized, however final testing and inspection failures cannot always be foreseen.
The following items are:
- The home builder or the home-buyer must fill out the appropriate utility specific enrollment form before certification efforts can proceed.
- The home builder or the home-buyer must become an ENERGY STAR builder partner before certification efforts can proceed.
- There are 4 checklists that list many requirements of the ENERGY STAR program. Most, but not all, requirements are applicable to every home. Builder partner must satisfy all applicable requirements of all 4 checklists.
- Any home that has ductwork for heating and / or cooling is required to have the HVAC contractor checklist filled out and signed by an ACCA or Advanced Energy credentialed professional. The HVAC contractor must be credentialed by the time of the mid construction inspection. Get this requirement straightened away early in the build process.
- All candidate homes, including stick built, SIPS and ICF style wall systems, require a mid construction visit and a final site visit. Mid construction visit needs to be scheduled when all walls are insulated, most windows and exterior doors are installed. Final construction visit needs to be scheduled when house is near move in condition, ventilation running, mechanicals complete, all checklists and other required documents are completed.
- Any space that has space heating or cooling purposely delivered to it must be insulated and air sealed to at least local code requirements. Don’t deliver space heating to the basement unless the basement walls are insulated. Same for “bonus rooms to be finished”. Does not apply to garages.
- All wall insulation must be inspected prior to sheet rock finish being applied. Flash and batt wall insulation installs require 2 visits. All insulation must be installed to Grade 1 standards of RESNET guidelines.
- All kitchens and showered and / or tub bathrooms must be ventilated according to ASHRAE 62.2 – 2010 spot ventilation guidelines. See ASHRAE 62.2 – 2010 graphic.
- Whole house ventilation, in compliance w/ ASHRAE 62.2 – 2010, must be present, w/ adequate flow field verified. See ASHRAE 62.2 – 2010 graphic.
- There are other requirements.
- There are 4 checklists that list many requirements of the ENERGY STAR program. Not all requirements are applicable to every home. The ENERGY STAR builder partner should be familiar w/ all applicable requirements.
The following items are:
- Leaky duct systems. This is the most common reason for failure. ENERGY STAR criteria for tight ductwork, plenums and air handlers is stringent. The duct system must test at less than 8% total leakage and 4% or less for leakage to outside. All joints need to be sealed, mastic is suggested. Furnace / Air handler cabinets should be tested and rated as low leakage.
- Building cavities used for supply duct systems. Homes in 2012 IECC territory are not allowed to use building cavities for either supply or return paths.