What is an ENERGY STAR® home?
A new home that has earned the ENERGY STAR® label has undergone a process of software modeling, inspections, testing, and verification to meet strict requirements set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), delivering higher energy efficiency, better comfort, and better durability, than a home built to the minimum energy code. A HERS rater will work with an ENERGY STAR® certified builder partner and credentialed mechanical contractor (for ducted heating and cooling systems) to facilitate that all ENERGY STAR® requirements are met. ….“Better is Better”….
Benefits of an ENERGY STAR® home:
Getting started in the NH ENERGY STAR® Certified Homes Program:
To get started in the NH ENERGY STAR® Homes program, builders need to provide a signed application/enrollment form and a complete set of plans of the home you’re planning to build. Notify Horizon of any changes from the plans that are being proposed.
NOTE: ENERGY STAR certification process is a “document heavy” process. Please review the list of documentation requirements, prior to enrolling in the ENERGY STAR for homes program.
Certifying a home to ENERGY STAR is always a 3 Part Process.
Horizon RES will conduct a Plans Review. Based on the home’s plans, the Home Energy Rater uses RESNET accredited energy efficiency modeling software to perform an energy analysis of the home’s design. This analysis yields a projected, pre-construction HERS Index, fuel summary, design load projection, etc. Upon completion of the plan review, the rater will work with the ENERGY STAR® builder partner to identify the energy efficiency improvements needed to ensure the house will meet ENERGY STAR® performance guidelines.
The rater then conducts at least 2 onsite inspections:
The 1st inspection is regarded as the Mid Construction Inspection and must be conducted after wall insulation is complete, prior to installation of any sheetrock / drywall. The rater will document any thermal bypass deficiencies and provide a means to mitigate these, to the builder. The rater may have to return to the site to verify compliance. All installed insulation at this stage must be installed to a grade 1 condition.
The 2nd inspection, regarded as the Final Inspection, is conducted at the “move in” stage just prior to homeowner occupancy. An envelope leakage test, often known as a blower door test, (to test the leakiness of the house) and if applicable, a duct leakage test is conducted. Results of these tests, along with inputs derived from the plan review and inspections, are input into the software model and used to generate the confirmed HERS Index score for the home. Only when a passing HERS index and the required paperwork and documentation from the HERS rater, the ENERGY STAR® builder partner and credentialed HVAC contractor (when applicable) are in place, can a home receive the ENERGY STAR® certification label, and potential financial incentives that the utility might provide.
At Horizon RES NH LLC, all HERS activities including modeling, inspecting and testing will be conducted by a RESNET certified Home Energy Rater, working under the providership umbrella of Horizon RES NH LLC.