Certification Guidelines

Stay informed on energy-efficient construction.

Homes that participate in the program must meet guidelines for energy efficiency set by the Sponsors of the Massachusetts Residential New Construction Program.  In addition to meeting the performance or prescriptive path criteria homes must include the following or report the required information to be eligible for the Program in 2013. 

  • Homes can be individually or master metered, electric and/or gas customers of the Sponsors and may be eligible for additional Program incentives based on heat type requirements. Multi-family units sharing a master meter are eligible for participation, under the low rise multi-family guidelines.
  • Single-family units are defined as a single family detached house. Two or more attached units are classified as low rise multi-family.
  • The following homes are eligible to participate in the Program:

Single–family homes; OR

Units in multi–family buildings with 3 stories or less;

Units in multi–family buildings that are located on top of commercial spaces (e.g., retail, restaurant, etc.), even if the structure is permitted as commercial.

  • AHRI equipment numbers must be reported for all heating and cooling systems in order to get equipment rebates. Program participants should ask their contractors for AHRI certification numbers on the systems they install and provide that information to their HERS Rater.  If an AHRI certificate is not available, a copy of OEM-provided catalog data indicating acceptable combination selection and performance data will be accepted.
  •  All cooling equipment must be sized according to the latest editions of ACCA Manuals J and S, ASHRAE 2001 Handbook of Fundamentals, or an equivalent computation procedure. The maximum over sizing limit for air conditioners is 15%, 25% for heat pumps.  Documentation must be provided to the HERS Rater. Cooling systems with variable speed compressors are exempt from this requirement.
  • Appliances (refrigerator and dishwasher) must be ENERGY STAR® qualified if installed by builder prior to inspection.
  • A Thermal Expansion Valve (TXV) or Electronic Expansion Valve (EXV) is required on all cooling systems.All homes must have at least one of the following Program outlined mechanical ventilation devices:
One bath fan rated for continuous use at < 1.5 sones and controlled by a 24-hour programmable timer OR
One whole house mechanical ventilation system (includes an ERV or HRV) OR
A balanced supply and exhaust system without heat recovery OR
A multi-port exhausts only system with a remote mounted fan

2013 Prescriptive Path Eligibility Requirements
  • Projects can apply for Prescriptive Path 1 or Path 2 and default to the other upon final reporting.
  • Projects must apply for either Performance or Prescriptive Low Rise and cannot switch between Paths after Incentive Request forms have been received.
  • All homes must meet the requirements of the Prescriptive Measures List

2013 Performance Path Eligibility Requirements


  • All Tier I, II, & III homes must achieve savings above the Massachusetts User Defined Reference Home (UDRH) that is in effect at the time that a project is registered as evidenced by a REM Rate file. 
  • A minimum of 80 percent of the lamps in permanently installed lighting fixtures shall be high-efficacy lamps and verified by a HERS Rater during final inspection.
  • Homes with HVAC ducted systems have a leakage rate at or below six (6) CFM to outdoors per 100 sq. ft. of conditioned floor area.  Testing is required on ALL ducted systems, including systems with all the ductwork located within conditioned space.
  • Installed heating and domestic hot water systems must generate positive energy savings. 
  • All homes participating in the 2013 performance Path will be required to have an air infiltration rate under 0.35ACHnat.
  • Mechanical ventilation is required for all homes. Homes must have the flow rate set to at least 0.01 × CFA + 7.5 × (Nbr+1) where: CFA = conditioned floor area and Nbr = number of bedrooms.  The permanent flow rate shall NOT exceed the required flow rate by more than 20 percent on any home (aligns with requirement 5.1 of the ENERGY STAR version 3 HVAC Rater Checklist). Additionally, raters are required to source fan wattage ratings from manufacturer approved product literature. Name plate ratings are unacceptable.
  • Compliance with sections 3 and 5 of the EPA's ENERGY STAR® for Homes V3 Thermal Enclosure System Rater Checklist.
  • Envelope leakage must be determined by a RESNET certified HERS Rater using a RESNET approved testing protocol.