Green Home Rating Systems; Energy Star, National Green Building Standard & LEED.

Real Estate Broker/Owner with DMK Real Estate Ct RE Broker 0789963

Green Home Rating Systems; Energy Star, National Green Building Standard & LEED.



Green Build Rating Systems



With the new year there seems to be a pick up of new construction and you begin to see more and more energy efficient sustainable homes being built. There are a number of rating systems and organization for 'Green' homes but here in Fairfield County, Connecticut the three you see most are:


•·         Energy Star for Homes.

•·         National Green Building Standard (NGBS)

•·         LEED for Homes


Each one of these systems is voluntary and is used to give an architect, builder and homeowner a rating system for evaluation their investment, to help design and set priorities of the project. All three rating systems need to be initiated before the project starts, active during the project and final rating at completion of project.


Energy Star for Homes.

These homes focus on energy efficiency and cost and meet strict guidelines set by the US Environmental Protection Agency(EPA). These homes are at least 15% more energy efficient than homes built to 2004 International Residential Code (in 2011 requirement will be 20%) and tend to be 20-20 % more efficient than standard homes. It is based on a 100 point index with lower the number the better the score, minimum qualifying score is 85. While the program is free, you will need to hire a HER's rater to evaluate the home and the builder will need to become an Energy Star Partner.


National Green Building Standard (NGBS)

The NGBS is the first residential green building rating system to undergo the full consensus process and receive the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approval in 2009. The National Association of Home Builders and their local state chapters offer a certification process to determine the level of green the project has achieved. There are up to 1000 points to earn with four levels of certification; Bronze, Silver, Gold and Emerald. The cost for this program certification is for members $200 and non-members $500, many of your local builders and architects are members of the NAHB local state chapters. The other cost is hiring the independent third party Green Verifier, trained to the NGBS. These costs can vary since each Green Verifier is not employed by the HAHB.


LEED for Homes.

This program is overseen by the United States Green Build Council(USGBC), a consensus nonprofit organization providing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).  USGBC is an international organization that provides different rating systems for Residential Homes, Multifamily homes, apartments and all types of Commercial construction.

LEED for homes requires the project to hire a third party rater called the LEED Home Provider. They will do all the paperwork for the project and help plan the project. They in turn have a LEED Rater who will come out and evaluate your project during construction. Total points available is 136 for a project with four certification levels; Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.  Costs incurred registration members $150, non-members $225; certification fees members $225, non-members $300. Plus the cost of the Home Provider an independent party approved by the USGBC, there are currently 3 Providers for Connecticut.


To learn more on Home Green Rating Systems go to Linda Reeder, AIA, new book "Guide to Green Building Rating Systems" now available. This book helps explain the difference further in rating systems both in residential and commercial applications.


 Comparison Chart for Green Build Home Rating Systems, 2010.


Green Build Home Rating Chart



David Popoff is a Connecticut license real estate agent in lower Fairfield County and is a designated “Green” Realtor at William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty in Darien, Ct.

cell 203-228-0646



Posted by

David Popoff
Connecticut Licensed Real Estate Broker
Realtor® Green
Seller Representative Specialist
Accredited Buyer Representative


DMK Real Estate, Darien, CT.
Cell (203) 228-0646




DMK Realty, 06820 





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Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Consumers need to double check when there are Energy Star claims. Check the labels on the windows to see if they are actually designed for the location where they are installed.

Jan 10, 2013 09:10 AM #1
David Popoff
DMK Real Estate - Darien, CT
Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct

Good Point Roy, you always need to double check and read the instructions.

Jan 10, 2013 09:47 PM #2
Robert Jeffords
Northstar Property Solutions, LLC - Buffalo, NY

Thanks for the post Dave!  I intend to take on my first rehab this year and would really like to be able to use green materials and get program certifications.  I understand that this adds cost to the project, but I think there are more and more buyers that are trying to be greener these days.  Not to mention, I'm green myself and want to extend that to my projects.  The big question is, aside from material costs, what is a ballpark additional cost to include those third party evaluators?  I want to be as green as possible, but I obviously have to balance green with profits.

Jan 26, 2013 02:05 AM #3
David Popoff
DMK Real Estate - Darien, CT
Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct


You should start calling around and talk to your local HERS raters and see what they charge. They are full of useful information and can help you find experienced green contractors and sub contractors

To find HERS raters in your area.


Last Year I talked a very experienced and local HERS rater  Peter Harding, from Home Energy Technologies in CT. He said average costs last year went something like this for raters in Fairfield County, CT:

  • HERS rater and certification $950 (includes energy star)
  • National Green Building standard Certification $950 + $1250.
  • LEED Provider by separate 3rd party $5,500 to $7,500. 


The gov’t website for Energy Star Homes has some good info.


We more than doubled the size of our home from 1400 sq ft to 3000 sq ft. Every HVAC person told me that we would need a larger boiler for heating an additional $8,000. We kept the original boiler 15 yrs old and with the increased space use 15% less heating than before the addition/renovation. A very well insulated and air tight home costs a little more to build but you save on other items like the size of your HVAC system so building green can cost you nothing extra or maybe 1 to 4 % more to build but payback is quick.

Here is my AR blog on my home ~ Numbers Do Not Lie, Green Building = Saved $$$.

To learn more on Green Home building rating systems ~ Green Home Rating Systems; Energy Star, National Green Building Standard & LEED.


If you want build green then I recommend learn about Green.

Community Colleges Offering Green Course ~ Connecticut & Other States.

You are on the right path, this is the wave of the future.


Jan 26, 2013 06:30 AM #4
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David Popoff

Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct
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