What is a DOE Zero Energy Ready Home?

A new home that has earned the ENERGY STAR® label is eligible for additional certifications. Utilizing the software modeling, site visit inspections and diagnostic testing of the ENERGY STAR® HERS rating, a national certification for homes nearing “Net Zero Energy Ready” status as its goal is available. It’s called the Dept. of Energy “Zero Energy Ready Home” certification. The Department of Energy has devised a schedule of verified measures to help builders build homes that go beyond energy efficiency and indoor air quality requirements to present homes with built – in sustained value, no or ultra-low utility bills, energy and water savings, and increased comfort—not to mention a safe and healthy home for generations to come.

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 DOE Zero Energy Ready Home requirements are met. DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes are at least 40%-50% more energy efficient than a typical new home. This generally corresponds to a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index Score in the low- to mid-50s, depending on the size of the home and region in which it is built.

Some requirements of the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home certification include:

  • ENERGY STAR® Version 3 certification
  • Compliance with substantial requirements of the Indoor airPlus Checklist
  • ENERGY STAR® appliances and lighting
  • High performance windows and IECC 2012 insulation levels installed
  • All heating / cooling ducts in conditioned space
  • An efficient Domestic Hot Water distribution system
  • Renewable ready construction features built in for solar PV and solar thermal

Click the link below for a broader look at the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home program.

DOE Zero Energy Ready Home - General description

Benefits of a DOE Zero Energy Ready Home:

ENERGY STAR® certified new homes with the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home qualification have additional energy efficiency and air quality benefits over a typical ENERGY STAR® home. DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes are designed and built to reach unparalleled levels of performance and to last hundreds of years.

Initiating and processing a DOE Zero Energy Ready Home certification:

As mentioned above and on the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home website, a home must be ENERGY STAR® certified before a home can receive the Zero Energy Ready Home qualification. Follow the same NH utility home application/enrollment process for ENERGY STAR® homes, and let Horizon RES know that you’d like to get the Zero Energy Ready Home designation as well. Your builder must become a DOE Zero Energy Ready Home partner, separate from being an ENERGY STAR builder partner. The certification for DOE Zero Energy Ready Home is not covered by the NH utilities, the homeowner or builder will have to pay the additional fees for the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home certification directly to Horizon RES NH LLC.  Builders: click the link below to become a DOE Zero Energy Ready Home partner.

The 1st inspection for ENERGY STAR® certification is also utilized to inspect for installation of the majority of DOE Zero Energy Ready Home program required construction specifications, as outlined in the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home National Program Requirements checklist. (See link below)  The rater will document any non-compliance deficiencies and provide a means to mitigate these, to the builder. The rater may have to return to the site to verify compliance.

The 2nd inspection, regarded as the Final Inspection, is conducted at the “move in” stage just prior to homeowner occupancy. Several additional checklist items will be inspected for verification and compliance during this visit. Only when a home that certifies to ENERGY STAR® Version 3 and the completed Indoor airPlus Verification Checklist is provided to the HERS rater, can the Indoor airPlus certification be provided.

Click the link below for a broader look at the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home program.

Guidelines For Participating in the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home

DOE Zero Energy Ready Home Partner Central

Builder sign Up For DOE Zero Energy Ready Home

At Horizon RES NH LLC, all HERS activities including Zero Energy Ready Home certifications will be conducted by a RESNET certified Home Energy Rater, working under the providership umbrella of Horizon RES NH LLC.