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DOE ZERO ENERGY READY HOMES

Introduction to the Department of Energy's, Zero Energy Ready Program Guidelines (**)

What are DOE ZERO ENERGY READY HOMES ?​

  • Are homes that meet all the criteria found in the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home National Program Requirements (*)

  • Are verified by a qualified third party

  • Are at least 40-50% more energy efficient than a typical new home which correspond to a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index Score in the low to mid-50s depending on the size and region

  • Are high performance homes that with a small renewable energy system can offset most or all annual energy consumptions

  • Are among the top performance homes in the nation recognized with the DOE Zero Energy Ready Logo

  • Have a home energy certificate with the energy savings and the HERS Index Score issued

How to Qualify for the DOE ZERO ENERGY RATING​
  • In general, homes must meet the criteria in the DOE ZERO ENERGY READY Program Requirements with either the performance or prescriptive path with the exception of CA where regional program requirements have been developed. (*)

Qualification Path Differences
  • Homes that stay below a certain conditioned floor space area (CFA) in comparison to a Benchmark home can use the prescriptive path, otherwise the performance path must be chosen.

  • Under the prescriptive path all requirements and specifications must be met and no software modelling is needed.

  • Under the performance path flexibility is allowed to have a custom combination of measures but a RESNET accredited home energy rating software program is used to make sure it meets the performance level of the DOE Net Zero Energy HERS target energy home. (*)

Mandatory General Areas of Improvement

The program guidelines list several main areas of improvements which all homes must meet in:

  • Energy Star for Homes Baseline

  • Envelope Insulation and Fenestration

  • HVAC Duct System

  • Water Efficiency

  • Lighting and Appliances

  • Indoor Air Quality

  • Renewable Ready

(*) For further details please see the program guildelines at the Department of Energy web site.

(**) Disclaimer: The information provided is based upon the DOE NET ZERO ENERGY READY specifications and shall give a general overview of the program requirements and as a general guide to the best of our knowledge and interpretation. The specifications may change from time to time and will be different for different climate zones and different parts of the country. For further details please see the program guidelines at the Department of Energy web site.