EPA Energy Star Inspections Reaches 25% Market Share

Molly Hooven

September 20, 2011**

EPA’s Market Share for Energy Star Qualified Homes Reaches 25 Percent ****

WASHINGTON –** The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that 25 percent of all single-family homes built nationally in 2010 earned EPA’s Energy Star, up from 21 percent in 2009. In partnership with its stakeholders, EPA continues to help American home buyers invest in high performing homes that save money on their utility bills and help protect the environment. Since 1995 approximately 1.2 million new homes have earned EPA’s Energy Star, representing savings of nearly $350 million on utility bills while avoiding greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from more than 450,000 vehicles.

“New homes that earn EPA’s Energy Star seal of approval rise above the competition by offering a better quality and value while allowing homeowners to do their part to keep our communities clean,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation, Gina McCarthy. “With Energy Star’s energy-efficient homes, homeowners will cut down on electric bills and emissions to keep our air cleaner and our communities healthier. Reaching this impressive market share milestone for Energy Star qualified homes is an accomplishment for American home buyers and builders and a step in the right direction to better protecting the environment through sustainable living."

In 2010, more than 108,000 single-family homes earned the Energy Star across the nation and sixteen states had a market share of 25 percent or higher Energy Star qualified homes. These states include Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, and Vermont.

Homes earn the Energy Star by meeting strict energy-efficiency requirements set by EPA, including:
· Effective insulation systems
· High-performance windows
· Quality construction to reduce leaks and drafts
· Efficient heating and cooling equipment
· Energy Star qualified lighting and appliances

Energy Star was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy-efficiency. Energy Star offers businesses and consumers energy-efficient solutions to decrease energy consumption, save money, and help protect the environment. More than 20,000 organizations are Energy Star partners, committed to improving energy-efficiency in homes, products, and businesses.

More information on Energy Star’s qualified home market share: http://www.energystar.gov/homesmarketindex

More information on the Energy Star program: http://www.energystar.gov

You do realize that this refers to HERS ratings for brand new construction … right?

That’s a lot of new homes being inspected.

I’d love to see InterNACHI members performing those inspections.

Are you recommending that InterNACHI members become RESNET certified so that they will be qualified to perform them?

I’d say hold off. The energy audit industry is being affected by 4 things, and none of them have to do with energy (they have to do with money).

  1. Inspectors aren’t seeing the ROI on offering full-blown HERS ratings.
  2. Consumers are resisting paying for them, especially in this economy.
  3. Even with a Democratic administration, our national debt has put us in a de-regulatory mode… well into the foreseeable future.
  4. The utility companies are cutting back on subsidizing them.

This is why the Home Energy Score “HERS light” has a better chance of sustainability (no play on words intended ;-)), especially if supported by InterNACHI.

We’ll have to see how it all plays out, but I predict I’ll be pointing to this post next year.

I think we will all be pointing at it, Nick. Some of us, however, will be laughing as we do.:wink:

You see, builders pay for the HERS rating and use it as a marketing tool. Utility companies do not and have never subsidized them.

I don’t think you have done your homework on this one.


The article claimd these houses were certified as Energy Star. A HERS Rating is a part of the Energy Star protocol. When Energy Star V3 goes into full effect in Jan 2012 what these Energy Star numbers become alot lower. RESNET is now pushing a HERS Rating without Energy Star.

I’m a licensed GC. I just received a 5 star plus HERS rating for a home I am building in Boulder County. The rater was Lightly Treading, Inc. of Denver. It is one of the higher scores that our local building department has seen. Even still… I can assure you, I have no hope of using this high rating as a marketing tool in such a fashion where I would have any hope of offsetting the cost of having it performed.

There is a line in 4.3 of the recently released 2012 Commercial Standards of Practice for Inspecting Commercial Properties that seems applicable here:

I can’t see a scenario where a HERS rating’s cost doesn’t exceed the value of the information it provides.

A less robust option would be a more efficient use of capital, IMHO… and much more popular.