Energy Compliance-Washington State Energy Code

Home Inspector with NCW Home Inspections, LLC

How do you know? Energy Compliance-Washington State Energy Code

Chelan Home Inspections


New construction in Washington State requires builders to hit some energy efficiency marks, or as the code state credits. The number of credits you will need to achieve will be based on the size of the home.


Here are the credits required based on size for 2015 IRC-

1. Small Dwelling Unit: 1.5 credits

Dwelling units less than 1500 square feet in conditioned floor area with less than 300 square

feet of fenestration area. Additions to existing building greater than 500 square feet of heated

floor area but less than 1500 square feet.


2. Medium Dwelling Unit: 3.5 credits

All dwelling units that are not included in #1 or #3.

Exception: Dwelling units serving R-2 occupancies shall require 2.5 credits.


3. Large Dwelling Unit: 4.5 credits

Dwelling units exceeding 5000 square feet of conditioned floor area.

Exception: Dwelling units serving R-2 occupancies shall require 2.5 credits.


4. Additions less than 500 square feet: 0.5 credits


The energy code gives you several ways to achieve these credits typically made up of several approaches such as “HIGH EFFICIENCY HVAC EQUIPMENT 3b: Air-source heat pump with minimum HSPF of 9.0” this will give you 1.0 credits or “EFFICIENT WATER HEATING 5c: Electric heat pump water heater with a minimum EF of 2.0 and meeting the standards of NEEA's Northern Climate Specifications for Heat Pump Water Heaters” this earns you 1.5 credits.

(Here is a list of the credits you can achieve- )

So if you are inspecting new construction and looking to evaluate some of these components you need some information to make observations. This information comes in the form of a “Energy Compliance Certificate”. This is to be filled out by the builder or design professional. This is a required on all new homes and goes back a few code cycles.


2015 IRC-

R401.3 Certificate

A permanent certificate shall be completed and posted on or within three feet of the electrical distribution panel by the builder or registered design professional. The certificate shall be completed by the builder or registered design professional. The certificate must list the energy features of the structure.

Checklist and Certification-


One problem I am running into on new construction is that these certificates are not being completed (Example below). Thus I am not able to always know what some of the energy requirements are required. This may be particularly good to know when looking at insulation, does the house require R-38 or R-49 insulation in the attic, or R-30 vs R-38 insulation in crawlspaces?

                                   (Names erased to protect the not so innocent)

So when buying a new home or if performing a home inspection on new construction I would recommend verifying that the energy compliance certificate is present and complete.



You can only teach someone, as much as they are willing to learn."

Chris G. Varona




If you find any errors or have additional information that would expand on any code, building standards or manufacturer requirements please let me know.




NCW Home Inspections, LLC  is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Oroville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…  


Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Real Estate, Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service


Instructor- Fundamentals of Home Inspection-  Bellingham Technical College


WA Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board                                                   509-670-9572

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Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

That is scary knowing that new construction is not filling them out!

Jan 04, 2018 07:36 AM #1
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Such great advice, we always ask for it on behalf of our clients who think they are buying energy efficient homes. We need to make sure the paperwork is there to back up the claims. D 

Jan 09, 2018 04:52 PM #2
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Donald Hester

NCW Home Inspections, LLC
Home Inspection Services and Inspection Questions

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