Friday, May 8, 2009

Revised Guidelines for ENERGY STAR Qualified Homes in Florida

Revised Guidelines for ENERGY STAR Qualified Homes in Florida

Effective June 1, 2009

On March 1, 2009, Florida adopted a 2009 Supplement to the 2007 Florida Building Code, which increased the energy efficiency of the 2007 code baseline by 15%. As a result, the energy performance of code-built homes in Florida will approach that of homes earning the ENERGY STAR. To address this concern, EPA must take steps to increase the ENERGY STAR guidelines for homes built in Florida. EPA, in consultation with the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), has developed the following policy:

All homes permitted in Florida beginning on June 1 must achieve a HERS Index of 77 or better to earn the ENERGY STAR. Homes permitted prior to June 1 can continue to be qualified using the existing guidelines. EPA is also developing a commensurate regional Builder Option Package (BOP) for Florida that will take effect upon completion.

This is consistent with existing EPA policy that in states with energy codes more rigorous than the national code, homes that earn the ENERGY STAR must be at least 15 percent more energy efficient than homes built to the state code. Therefore, in states with rigorous codes, EPA has increased the requirements for earning the ENERGY STAR beyond the national program requirements.

Note that EPA is currently formulating a policy for the early adoption of the 2011 guidelines in states with more rigorous code. Once adopted, these new guidelines will supersede the HERS 77 requirement for Florida homes to earn the ENERGY STAR. The new guidelines will also reflect the state’s enhanced code requirements.

If you have questions about the ENERGY STAR guidelines, please email

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