Third-Party Certification

EPA Announces ENERGY STAR® NextGen™ Certification for New Homes and Apartments

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched the ENERGY STAR® NextGen™ Certified Homes and Apartments certification program. This new standard is a voluntary certification offered to the nation’s residential new construction sector. ENERGY STAR NextGen will increase national energy and emissions savings by accelerating the building industry’s adoption of advanced, energy-efficient technologies, and was developed with funding from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act.

“President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act is addressing climate challenges head-on and accelerating the adoption of clean, affordable technologies,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “By collaborating with developers and home builders nationwide, ENERGY STAR NextGen is set to act as a catalyst for the construction of new, energy-efficient homes and apartment buildings. Strategic partnerships like this are not just cutting costs for American families and greenhouse gas emissions — they’re paving the way for a clean energy future for current and future generations.”

The ENERGY STAR NextGen certification will honor homes and apartments with increased energy efficiency; reduced on-site emissions through heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, electric cooking appliances; and residential electric vehicle charging. Homes earning the ENERGY STAR NextGen certification will be 20% more efficient, as compared to typical homes built to code, and help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40%–80%.

According to the EPA, Across the country, several early adopters have already begun to build to the ENERGY STAR NextGen specification:

  • Beazer Homes (Maryland)
  • GreenSmith Builders (Minnesota)
  • New Tradition Homes (Washington)
  • Quantum Equities, LLC (Washington)
  • Thrive Home Builders (Colorado)

Additionally, several utilities have announced early incentives for builders to adopt the specification:

  • EmPOWER Maryland, including Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE), Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco), and Potomac Edison (PE) (Maryland)
  • Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1 (Washington)
  • Utah Clean Energy (Utah)
  • Xcel Energy (Minnesota)
  • Xcel Energy (Colorado)

Energy used in commercial and residential buildings accounts for one-third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. An EPA study last fall estimated that these same buildings have the potential to cut their emissions by up to 63% by 2030 and up to 70% by 2035. By encouraging efficient, electric technologies, the new ENERGY STAR NextGen certification can play an important role in achieving this goal.

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