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.
Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR:
A New Opportunity for Architects and Home Plan Designers to Partner with
More arid more home buyers say that energy efficiency is an important concern
when they select their new home. In fact, a recent survey1 found that more than
85 percent of Americans planning to build or buy a home within the next 2 years
would choose one home over another based on energy efficiency. Today's buyers
know that choosing a home designed with energy efficiency in mind helps ensure
that they will be more comfortable, have lower utility bills, and protect the
But how can consumers figure out which home plans are truly energy efficient?
You can make it simple for them! ENERGY STAR—the national symbol for energy
efficiency—helps consumers identify efficient products, homes, and buildings.
With the new Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR, architects and designers can
show consumers that their home plans meet the rigorous energy efficiency
guidelines set by the U.S. EPA's ENERGY STAR program.

This home plan meets strict
energy efficiency guidelines sol
by U.S. EPA Field verification
is required tor the home to earn
lfte ENERGY STAR label
Why label your home plans as Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR?
By partnering with ENERGY STAR, architectural design professionals can gain the following
Market Differentiation and Recognition. Labeling your home plans as Designed to Earn can
distinguish you as a leader in energy-efficient design and environmental stewardship. Partnering
with ENERGY STAR and using the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency can give
prospective clients added confidence that their new home will be truly energy efficient when it is
Increased Revenue. Consumer demand for green homes is growing, and energy efficiency is a
great place for you to start getting involved. The best way to show that your home plans are energy
efficient is with the blue ENERGY STAR, which is increasingly recognized by consumers as the
national symbol for energy efficiency.
Program Flexibility. A variety of "tried-and-true" energy-efficient features and equipment are
available to ensure that your home plans meet Designed to Earn guidelines. These improvements
can be easily integrated into your designs, layouts, and option packages.
Enhanced Customer Satisfaction. The energy-efficient features specified in Designed to Earn
home plans can translate into increased comfort and satisfaction for homeowners, which can lead
to more referrals from customers who have bought and built from your plans.
Environmental Protection. By creating Designed to Earn home plans, you are responding to the
American Institute of Architects' national call to help prevent greenhouse gas emissions through
sustainable design.
How are home plans qualified as Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR?
Home plans that are qualified as Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR include requirements for
the energy-efficient features and construction details typically found in ENERGY STAR qualified
homes—tight construction and duct systems, properly installed insulation, high performance
windows, efficient heating and cooling equipment, and ENERGY STAR qualified lighting and
1 Energy Pulse 2006: Where America Stands on Electric Utilities, Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and
Conservation. The Shelton Group, 2007.

appliances. When built, Designed to Earn home plans will result in a home that is at least
15 percent more energy efficient than a home built to the 2004 International Residential Code
(IRC), and include additional energy-saving features that typically make them 20-30 percent more
efficient than standard homes.
Architects and designers who want to label a home plan as Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR
must submit it to a Home Energy Rater2 for review. These Raters are experienced in evaluating
home plans to help you choose the most appropriate and cost-effective approaches for meeting
ENERGY STAR guidelines.
Each home plan can be evaluated in one of two ways:
•	Using the performance path, the home plan is modeled with specialized computer software to
estimate the as-built home's energy use based on the specifications of the home plan. The
results of this analysis help you identify the most effective upgrades needed to meet ENERGY
STAR requirements
•	Using the prescriptive path, the home plan is reviewed for consistency with an EPA-
developed climate-specific construction specification called a Builder Option Package (BOP).
Based on extensive analyses, BOP specifications have been determined to result in homes that
consistently meet ENERGY STAR guidelines.
The Rater will also verify that your home plan contains all other elements required for it to be
labeled as Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR (specified below). This review will be performed
using a specially designed checklist available from EPA. The completed checklist, as well as the
HERS Rating or BOP checklist, should be attached to the final home plan. Once all of these
requirements are met, the Rater will issue the Designed to Earn logo for the designated home plan.
Required elements for a home plan to qualify as Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR
Attached Documents:
•	Projected HERS Rating or ENERGY STAR BOP checklist
•	ENERGY STAR Thermal Bypass Checklist with all N/A items checked
•	Any required specifications not already included on the plan
Information on Plan (Floor Plan, Specifications, or Details):
•	Note stating that field verification by a Home Energy Rater is required to earn the
ENERGY STAR qualified home label
•	Wall sections delineating complete thermal boundary of home
•	Tight construction details and/or specifications
•	Proper insulation installation details and/or specifications
•	Thermal Bypass Checklist air barrier installation details and/or specifications
•	Tight duct details and written specifications, or layout for ductwork in conditioned space
•	Window and door specifications
•	Water heater specifications
•	Heating and cooling equipment specifications
•	Location of ENERGY STAR qualified lighting fixtures, fans, or appliances
•	Information in Spanish is recommended, but not required, where appropriate
For readability, the term "Home Energy Rater" or "Rater" is used throughout this document. However,
Builder Option Package (or BOP) Inspectors are also eligible to review and verify home plans under the
Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR program.

Does qualifying a home plan as Designed to Earn mean that the home will be
ENERGY STAR qualified?
A home built according to a Designed to Earn home plan does not automatically earn
the ENERGY STAR qualified home label (image right). Field verification, including
onsite inspections and testing by a Home Energy Rater and completion of a Thermal
Bypass Checklist, is required to ensure that energy-saving measures specified in the
home plan are incorporated into the as-built house. This field verification may or may
not be performed by the same Rater who reviews the home plan.
Ready to partner with ENERGY STAR?
Follow these steps to start working with and benefiting from ENERGY STAR:
Step 1: Select a Home Energy Rater to review your home plans. Use the ENERGY STAR
Web site to find a Rater in your area.
Step 2: Submit a Partnership Agreement. Review the eligibility criteria, commitments, and
requirements for partnering with ENERGY STAR; and then complete the simple online Partnership
Agreement on the ENERGY STAR Web site.
Step 3: Incorporate ENERGY STAR requirements into your home plans. Ensure that your
home plans include all required energy-efficient features and construction details, are verified by
your Rater, and then are labeled with the Designed to Earn logo.
Step 4: Market your home plans as Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR. EPA offers a
variety of marketing resources to facilitate your marketing efforts, including ENERGY STAR logos,
consumer brochures, fact sheets, and an online marketing toolkit.
Learn more about EPA's Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR at: