energy star : home

Take your home to the next level.


The Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program and certificate are your key to a healthier, more comfortable home that is at least 20% more efficient. Enjoy greater comfort and add real value to your investment.

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR is a national program tied to the ENERGY STAR label with which most homeowners are familiar – the one that helps them choose appliances that use less energy and cost less to run. Since 2002, more than 200,000 homeowners nationwide have improved their homes’ efficiency with comprehensive “whole-house” solutions to enhance comfort indoor air quality, while reducing energy bills.

As a result, their homes are warmer in the winter, cooler in the summer, healthier places to breathe, more valuable, and more affordable to operate all year.

Get started with LEAP’s simple 4-step process for the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program:

 Step 1: Evaluate

An evaluation of your home’s issues is an important part of Home Performance with ENERGY STAR. This in-home visit includes looking for poor insulation, duct issues, air leakage, equipment and appliance condition, window integrity, and moisture & indoor air quality concerns. We’ll also help you understand the health, comfort and cost implications of your home’s condition. You’ll receive a list of potential upgrades so a local Home Performance with ENERGY STAR contractor can prepare an estimate for you.

Step 2: Choose a Contractor

LEAP’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR contractors have been pre-qualified for our residential programs and have signed a contract for services which stipulates the insurances they are required to carry, customer service expectations, and references. To be eligible for the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR certificate and financing opportunities through LEAP, you must work with a contractor in our network.

Rebates, low- or no-interest loans, and tax credits may be available depending on your area and the work to be done. We can help find options that best fit your needs and budget. Visit our re$ources page.

Step 3: Transform
A Home Performance with ENERGY STAR contractor performs the work you select. LEAP vets and works with only trusted, licensed contractors who consistently meet the highest installation standards. We then provide quality assurance checks to ensure that all work meets your specifications and satisfaction.

Step 4: Test Out
HPwES requires a “test-out” to verify and document the efficacy of your home energy improvements. The building analyst who performed your audit or “test-in” should ideally perform your test-out.

An independent expert reviews the completed work to ensure its quality and then issues the U.S. Department of Energy’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Certificate. There is a $55 registration fee for the Certificate.

The Whole House Approach

HPwES addresses the common misconception that simply upgrading heating and cooling equipment will solve comfort problems and high energy bills. Your home functions like a system (much like our bodies do) and to get the performance out of it you deserve, LEAP recommends a credible, professional consultation with a LEAP participating contractor–a specially trained and pre-qualified contractor who will talk with you about air and duct sealing, insulation, moisture, and indoor air quality – as well as heating and cooling equipment – so that you have all the information you need to make cost effective decisions to improve your home.

Participating Contractors

LEAP’s participating contractors are trained in building science – they know what energy efficiency improvements will benefit homeowners and are equipped with specialized diagnostic tools to determine how homes perform and where there are opportunities to solve problems related to comfort or high bills. LEAP pre-qualifies local contractors to participate in our programs, and our technical experts will, at your request, perform independent Quality Assurance inspections on the work they install. If peace of mind and real savings are important to you, don’t trust your energy upgrade to the yellow pages, a Google search, or even Angie’s List, work with the best contractors and experience the many benefits of the program.

You can see our list of central Virginia contractors.

Earning a HPwES Certificate

To earn a HPwES certificate, your home will ultimately undergo improvements that make it 20%+ more energy efficient than it was. Your first step is to have LEAP (or one of our HPwES service providers) perform an in-home assessment, where one of LEAP’s Energy Coaches will  quantify where your home is currently in terms of its energy use. They will also discuss other issues such as durability and indoor air quality. This in-home assessment is a critical step and it’s what can save you the most money in the long run, because it will help you rule in and out improvements you do or don’t need, and it will help you prioritize the timing of improvements to get the most for your money. Upgrades to your home can be made according to your own timeline and budget, and enrolling in HPwES carries no specified obligation to act on what you learn during your in home evaluation. However, by enrolling in HPwES you’ll also learn about cash rebates, tax credits, manufacturer discounts, and special low interest financing available to you. Learn more at Certify.