Since the EPA rolled out its ENERGY STAR Program for homes in 1995, 1.2 million new home received this designation. The designation is given to homes achieving established energy savings and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2012, the standards for this designation will be 15% more stringent than those homes built pursuant to the 2009 guidelines. The focus of the program is on stricter criteria for home sealing, insulation, window design, heating, cooling and ventilation systems, and improved water moisture packages to protect roofs, walls and foundations. The Energy Star labeling will also be enhanced by an emphasis on the use of certified lighting and appliance. The ENERGY STAR labeling is granted after a third party verification program that is certified by the Home Energy Rater. The 2012 program for ENERGY STAR qualified homes (Version 3.0) is available for all qualifying homes that obtain their building permits after January 1, 2012.

Additional information regarding the Energy Star home program can be reviewed at The Next Generation of ENERGY STAR Qualified New Homes.