The international ENERGY STAR program was developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1992. The program was designed to encourage energy-efficient practices that help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By identifying and promoting energy-saving products, the initiative helps protect the environment and lowers energy bills at the same time.
The ENERGY STAR® for New Homes (ESNH) initiative promotes energy efficiency guidelines that enable new homes to be approximately 20 percent more energy efficient than those built to the provincial or national building code.2 The increased efficiency of these homes translates into reduced energy costs for homeowners.
An ENERGY STAR qualified home is a home that has been built by a licensed ENERGY STAR for New Homes builder who incorporates energy-efficient features into the home so that it can meet the specifications in the ESNH Standard.
The “ENERGY STAR® for New Homes Standard” specifies the technical requirements for a house to be an ENERGY STAR qualified home. It covers topics such as eligibility requirements, pertinent references, and terms and definitions used in the program. It also specifies the minimum requirements common to all ENERGY STAR qualified new homes, outlines the compliance options, and details the prescriptive packages, also known as the Builder Option Packages (BOPs).