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


WASHINGTON—Today, May 7, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officially announced the launch of ENERGY STAR® NextGen™ Certified Homes and Apartments, a voluntary, leading-edge certification program for the nation’s residential new construction sector. Developed with funding from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, ENERGY STAR NextGen will increase national energy and emissions savings by accelerating the building industry’s adoption of advanced, energy-efficient technologies.

“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.”

Building on the 30-year legacy of the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program, the ENERGY STAR NextGen certification will recognize 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. Compared to typical code-level construction, homes earning the ENERGY STAR NextGen certification will be 20% more efficient and help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40%–80%.

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.