ENERGY STAR®, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
program, helps us all save money and protect our environment
through energy efficient products and practices. For more
information, visit www.energystar.gov.
independent Inspection and Testing
Helps Make Sure a Home is Energy Efficient
All new homes look great from the outside. But to make sure that your next new
home is truly energy efficient, it's important to look "behind the walls." How can
home buyers really be sure? Look for homes that have earned the ENERGY STAR —
these homes have been inspected and tested by an independent Home Energy
Rater. These professionals advise builders how to select the most appropriate
energy-efficient features for a home; Raters inspect and test the home during and
after construction to verify that the home meets EPA's strict guidelines for energy
Peace-of-Mind for Making a Smart Purchase. Before buying a used car, consumers often
take the car to a trusted mechanic not affiliated with the seller to have an expert verify its
performance. This helps ensure they are making a smart purchase. Homebuyers can have
similar peace-of-mind by looking for the ENERGY STAR label—typically located on a
home's circuit breaker box. This label assures homebuyers
that the home has been verified by an independent Home
Energy Rater to be truly energy efficient. In addition to
lowering monthly utility bills, the energy efficiency features
typically found in ENERGY STAR qualified homes can also
contribute to improved home durability and homeowner

• Climate-Specific Recommendations. An energy-efficient home
built in Florida would not necessarily be energy efficient if it
were built in Michigan. For a home to be energy efficient, it
must be designed for regional weather characteristics. Home
Energy Raters are trained in climate-effective energy saving
techniques, and their knowledge and field experience helps
ENERGY STAR builder partners construct high-quality,
energy-efficient homes.
Look for the ENERGY STAR
on the breaker box of your
next home.
• Additional Inspections for Quality. Homes that earn the ENERGY STAR typically undergo
more inspections and testing than code-built homes. The ENERGY STAR verification
process helps identify and correct mistakes before they are hidden behind the walls and
holds builders constructing ENERGY STAR qualified homes to a higher standard. As a
result, independent inspection and testing can help improve the quality and energy
efficiency of a home.

Home Energy Raters are trained to evaluate construction techniques,
take key measurements, and perform inspections and testing
procedures to verify a home's efficient performance. Here's how the
process works:
Selection of Energy-Efficient Features. Raters help builders choose
energy-efficient features for their ENERGY STAR qualified homes in
two ways;
o With a traditional Home Energy Rating, a Rater simulates a
home's energy use with specialized computer software. The
results of this analysis allow the Rater to identify the most
effective upgrades to meet ENERGY STAR performance
o With a Builder Option Package, a Rater does not calculate the
home's energy use. Instead, the builder and Rater use a set
of climate-specific construction specifications developed by EPA called a Builder Option
Package (BOP). Based on extensive analyses, the BOP specifications have been
determined to result in homes that consistently meet ENERGY STAR guidelines.
Completion of Field Verification, Regardless of how the energy efficiency features are
selected, Home Energy Raters must also conduct on-site inspections and testing of a home.
This field verification ensures that energy-saving measures are consistent with ENERGY STAR
guidelines. The process usually includes a blower door test (to test the leakiness of the
house), a duct blaster test (to test the leakiness of the duct system), and completion of a
thermal bypass checklist (a visual inspection of common construction areas where air can
flow through or around insulation).
The standards for Home Energy Ratings, inspection protocols, and testing guidelines are
maintained by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET). For more information, visit
the RESNET Web site at www.resnet.us.
ENERGY STAR is a voluntary partnership between the government and more than 9,000
organizations, including more than 3,500 of the nation's home builders. Together with home
buyers and their families, we are working to achieve a common goal —protecting the
environment for future generations by changing to more energy-efficient practices and
products today.
ENERGY STAR is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency. It identifies new
homes, buildings, and more than 50 types of products that are energy efficient and offer the
features, quality, and performance that today's consumers expect. Products that can earn the
ENERGY STAR include windows, heating and cooling equipment, lighting, and appliances. To
learn more about ENERGY STAR, visit www.energystar.gov.
Home Energy Rater performs
a blower door test.