Homeowners can ensure that their home improvement projects comply with local energy efficiency standards and requirements by following ENERGY STAR best practices for new homes. To become ENERGY STAR certified, new homes must meet the strict energy efficiency standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The ENERGY STAR best practices page for new homes is designed for utility companies and other sponsors of energy efficiency programs, and covers the design, marketing and implementation of the ENERGY STAR program for new homes, as well as the design of the program. Prefabricated homes (formerly known as mobile homes) are built according to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Code and are built on a permanent chassis so that they can be moved.
Homeowners can improve the energy efficiency of these homes by caulking and weatherstripping, sealing the air and choosing energy-saving lighting and appliances. Local municipalities issue permits according to city ordinances. Because there are no federal or state regulations, building codes vary from city to city. The only way to know if your city requires a permit for remodeling work is to visit their website or call.The Department of Energy offers a comprehensive whole-house approach to improve energy efficiency and comfort in the home while helping to protect the environment.
The Home Performance with ENERGY STAR sponsor guide (PDF) (51 pp., 910,000, About the PDF), designed for utility companies and other sponsors of energy efficiency programs, discusses Home Performance with ENERGY STAR, the elements and requirements of the ENERGY STAR program, and the implementation and design of the program. The recommendations show how to improve the energy efficiency of the home to achieve a higher score and save money.To help improve the energy efficiency of homes in their jurisdictions, local governments can encourage homeowners to conduct comprehensive home assessments and implement recommended measures. EEMS are often used to buy a new home that is already energy efficient, such as an ENERGY STAR rated home. Local governments can promote energy efficiency in new homes by offering incentives to local homebuilders who incorporate energy efficiency into their building practices by specifying new ENERGY STAR rated homes.The Department of Energy provides a rating of your home's current efficiency, as well as a list of improvements and potential savings.
The energy rating of a home involves the analysis of a home's construction plans and on-site inspections to produce a rating or score based on a standard point scale (usually from 0 to 100). These “home energy upgrades” can be a cost-effective way to provide significant energy savings to homeowners, as well as to improve the health, comfort and safety of homes.Very often, those conventions and restrictions have something to say about the appearance of houses and lots in the community and about the improvements that homeowners can and cannot make. To support programs, local governments can also develop funding options to help reduce the cost of making energy efficiency improvements to new or existing homes.