ENERGY STAR® is a national program from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. ENERGY STAR offers a comprehensive approach to reducing energy use and costs for new and existing homes, apartments, and commercial buildings while creating healthier, more comfortable spaces for their occupants. Viridiant can help you understand the requirements of the different ENERGY STAR programs, identify the one that best fits, and ensure that your next project qualifies for ENERGY STAR.

ENERGY STAR has several programs for new and existing single-family, multifamily, and commercial buildings:

  • ENERGY STAR for Homes: For new construction or gut rehab single family homes and duplexes. Townhomes may also use this program.
  • ENERGY STAR Multifamily New Construction: For new construction multifamily buildings of all heights. Townhomes may also use this program.
  • ENERGY STAR certification: An annual certification for existing multifamily and commercial buildings that have been in operation for at least a year. 

It can sometimes be confusing to determine which ENERGY STAR pathway is the best fit for your project. Keep reading for more information or contact with questions. 


Certification under this program is earned through successfully meeting a target HERS index (determined through an energy model) and completing the items on 5 checklists. Builders must become an ENERGY STAR Partner. A HERS rater completes an energy model, the required site visits, and testing of the home. The HVAC contractor must be ENERGY STAR credentialed. More information can be found on the ENERGY STAR web site

Once you register your project with us, you’ll be assigned a Technical Advisor (TA) who will walk through the process with you, create an initial energy model of the house, and will conduct site inspections and testing as construction progresses. The TA will collect the completed checklists and submit the certification package to Viridiant once the house is complete. 

Homes in Dominion’s service territory are eligible to take advantage of their incentive program for ENERGY STAR homes. Single family detached houses can earn $950 and attached homes can earn $650. Contact us for more details. 

ENERGY STAR Certification (for Existing Buildings)

For existing buildings that have been occupied for at least a year, ENERGY STAR offers an annual certification based on the actual utility consumption of the structure. Viridiant can assist with the utility data collection and entry into Portfolio Manager and then work with your architect or engineer to complete the application for certification. 

ENERGY STAR Multifamily New Construction (MFNC)

The MFNC program has 3 pathways for performance – ERI, ASHRAE, and Prescriptive. There are 5 mandatory checklist that also need to be completed. 

  • ERI (Energy Rating Index): For teams that have previously worked with ENERGY STAR for homes, this path will be the most similar.  This path relies on HERS ratings, or energy models, of the dwelling units. Because only the dwelling units are modeled, prescriptive measures are followed for the common spaces.
  • ASHRAE: This path utilizes a whole building (ASHRAE 90.1) energy model. Because of the complexity of these models, the cost is higher than for the ERI path. As a benefit, since the model looks at the entire building, there is more flexibility with tradeoffs. Projects using this path will be verified by Viridiant, but must submit for certification through an outside oversight organization, which will add cost. 
  • Prescriptive: No energy models are required for this path. Instead, a prescriptive list of requirements must be met. This eliminates the ability for tradeoffs and is therefore the most restrictive. Like the ASHRAE path, the project will be verified by Viridiant, but an outside oversight organization will review and certify the project. 

Click here to register your MFNC project.

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