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DOE Challenge Home (USA)

Home Performance

The DOE Challenge Home sets a new high level of home performance, with rigorous requirements that ensure outstanding levels of energy savings, comfort, health, and durability. DOE Challenge Homes are verified by a qualified third-party and are at least 40%-50% more energy efficient than a typical new home. This generally corresponds to a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index Score in the low- to mid-50s, depending on the size of the home and region in which it is built.

The DOE Challenge Home is a way to recognize builders for their leadership in increasing energy efficiency, improving indoor air quality, and making homes zero net-energy ready.

The program builds upon the comprehensive building science requirements of ENERGY STAR® for Homes Version 3, along with proven Building America innovations and best practices. Other special attribute programs are incorporated to help builders reach unparalleled levels of performance with homes designed to last hundreds of years.

DOE Challenge Home Builders are encouraged to:

  • 100% Commitment Commit to constructing 100% of your homes to the U.S. DOE's Challenge Home Requirements.
  • PH PHIUS+ Take the next step on the continuous path to Zero Net-Energy Ready Home by meeting the additional requirements.
  • Indoor airPlus Commit to comprehensive healthy indoor air quality with EPA Indoor airPLUS.
  • WaterSense Minimize water use by participating in the EPA WaterSense for New Single-Family Homes program.
  • Fortified for Safer Living Embrace disaster resistance by following the Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) FORTIFIED for Safer Living or FORTIFIED Home provisions for regionally specific natural hazards.
  • Quality Management Program Implement comprehensive quality management practices. Ask buyers to sign a waiver allowing DOE Challenge Home access to one year of utility bill data.