Frequently Asked Questions about Green Certifications

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Contact: Jaclyn Toole
(202) 266-8225

As part of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic response, organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) and Home Innovation Research Labs (HI) are adopting emergency inspection procedures for their green-building programs to protect the health and safety of rating providers while meeting the needs of clients.

Which green-building programs will allow remote inspections for certifications?

EPA's ENERGY STAR programs, RESNET's Home Energy Rating System (HERS) and HI's National Green Building Standard (NGBS) Green program will allow raters, rating field inspectors (RFIs) and verifiers to conduct remote inspections using video and/or photo documentation for verification.

Will additional documentation be required?

Additional documentation may be recommended or required, including:

For HERS Ratings: A signed copy of RESNET's Interim Remote Verification Disclosure Form to the builder or developer, which will be distributed soon by RESNET.

For ENERGY STAR for Homes: Specific notation (e.g., "R" for "Remote") on the ENERGY STAR Rater Field Checklist for those items that have been verified remotely.

For NGBS Green: Identification that the inspection was conducted remotely, and the on-site videographer name and title on the NGBS Green signature pages.

How long will remote inspections be allowed?

Remote HERS scores will be permitted for 90 days beginning March 31, 2020.

ENERGY STAR Single-Family Home, Multifamily New Construction, Multifamily High Rise and Indoor airPLUS programs will permitted for a period of 90 days ending June 30, 2020.

Home Innovation’s protocol is available upon request and approval for emergency situations.

Do these protocols also include on-site testing?

RESNET is exploring allowance of testing alternatives, such as certain RESNET-defined default values for ventilation airflow rate defaults, duct leakage to outside defaults and infiltration defaults.

EPA will continue to require on-site diagnostic testing, and is working with RESNET to see how these testing alternatives may apply to ENERGY STAR programs.

HI continues to require on-site testing with the above modified remote procedures; no estimated values or measures may be used. Program administrators encourage verifiers to work with other verifiers or qualified professionals when they are unable to visit a site to perform these tests.

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