EPA ENERGY STAR certification for California homes

ENERGY STAR certified homes are designed and built better from the ground up. HERS Raters can inspect, test and certify ENERGY STAR homes through CHEERS, a recognized ENERGY STAR Partner.





ENERGY STAR homes in California

ENERGY STAR homes save energy, save money, and help protect the environment. A California ENERGY STAR certified home meets the California ENERGY STAR requirements set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These requirements include:

  • Energy modeled savings A compliance margin of 10%+ or delta EDR of 3+ points calculated by CEC-approved 2016 compliance software.
  • High-performance components – Energy efficient windows, insulation, and HVAC equipment are installed and verified in ENERGY STAR homes.
  • Designed systems – Equipment and ductwork are sized and installed correctly to maximize comfort and performance. Ventilation and filtration systems are calibrated to reduce indoor air pollutants.
  • Independent verification Detailed insulation, air barrier, HVAC equipment, duct leakage, and exhaust air inspections are performed by HERS Raters to verify the ENERGY STAR Design Review and Field checklists.


Why get certified as an ENERGY STAR verifier?

Third party verification is a central component of the ENERGY STAR program and gives homebuyers confidence that their new homes are energy efficient.

Partnering with ENERGY STAR is an opportunity for HERS Raters to expand their service offerings beyond providing Title 24 inspections or individual performance tests (e.g., blower door tests). HERS Raters can become an invaluable asset to their clients and provide guiding value throughout the ENERGY STAR process.

Why verify ENERGY STAR with CHEERS?

Several good reasons!

  • It’s FREE! ENERGY STAR documentation, project certification, and EPA reporting are all provided through CHEERS at no cost.
  • CHEERS automatically runs the project energy file (CF-1R) through CBECC-Res 2016.3.1 to verify a 10%+ compliance margin or delta EDR of 3+ points. Otherwise, the builder or energy consultant needs to verify this with a separate energy simulation. Save your builder time & money!
  • All of the ENERGY STAR Rater checklists can be easily completed through the CHEERS Registry. They are stored and available to send to your builder at any time.
  • CHEERS is the only HERS Provider also approved as an EPA WaterSense HCO, making CHEERS your one-stop-shop for EPA efficiency programs in California.

ENERGY STAR documentation and reporting


CHEERS provides a central location for California ENERGY STAR documentation. HERS Raters record their ENERGY STAR inspection and verification information within the CHEERS registry. At completion, an ENERGY STAR certification PDF package is available for download and handoff to the builder containing:

The home’s ENERGY STAR certificate & ENERGY STAR building label

Completed Rater Design Review and Rater Field checklists

Results from the CBECC-Res 2016.3.1 energy run verifying the home achieves a 10%+ compliance margin or delta EDR of 3+ points

CHEERS reports all completed ENERGY STAR homes to the EPA on a quarterly basis.

California’s top production builders verify their ENERGY STAR projects through CHEERS

How do I get started with ENERGY STAR and CHEERS?

HERS Raters are eligible to conduct ENERGY STAR field verifications after completing online ENERGY STAR training.

Contact CHEERS today to get started!


Frequently asked questions

Yes. Presently, CHEERS authorized to report ENERGY STAR homes to the EPA.

We talk to the EPA regularly and here is how we understand the latest Energy Star timeline in California:

  • The EPA team released a draft of revised California Energy Star requirements on April 18th for public comment
  • We expect these requirements to mandate any Energy Star reporting in California is done through an EPA approved HCO
  • We expect these requirements to have an implementation date of Jan 1, 2023

CHEERS has already been approved as a WaterSense HCO by the EPA. To continue reporting Energy Star homes, CHEERS will either:

  1. Get approved by the EPA as an Energy Star HCO. The EPA said we can get this done well before the 1/1/23 date.
  2. Partner with RESNET’s HCO (as CalCERTS is doing)

Either pathway, we intend to continue reporting the Energy Star the homes verified by Raters who choose to use CHEERS to the EPA.

Becoming an ENERGY STAR partner is easy. Simply fill out an ENERGY STAR Partnership Agreement. There is no cost to partner with ENERGY STAR or use ENERGY STAR promotional materials. The EPA partners with these types of builders:

  • Single-family Homebuilder – An organization or individual that builds single-family homes that are primarily constructed on-site.
  • Multifamily Builder/Developer – An organization that constructs multifamily buildings of any height or number of units.
  • Factory Builder/Plant – An organization that produces manufactured homes. Learn more.

To get started, we recommend you visit the EPA’s ENERGY STAR website, and start the process.

Simply upload a 2019 XML energy file, and that file will be automatically be checked using CBECC 2016 v3.1 . Here’s how to get started:

  1. Choose the project type you wish to upload from the drop down menu
  2. Click import and choose the XML file(s) you would like to upload
  3. Check the ENERGY STAR box
  4. Click sign & complete
  5. The upload process may take a few seconds, please be patient
  6. Sign and complete the form

For a step by step video, please check out our video.

HERS Raters complete their normal field testing and a few additional items on an ENERGY STAR checklist. Generating an ENERGY STAR certificate is easy. To get started:

  1. Sign into your CHEERS account
  2. Navigate to the project you wish to ENERGY STAR certify & click the blue ESR button
  3. Input and verify the information – the form will show a green Pass status when complete
  4. Sign the ENERGY STAR form – must be an ENERGY STAR certified Rater
  5. Download the ENERGY STAR certification package

For a detailed video on how to complete the ENERGY STAR process, please check out our YouTube.