Efficient Homes

Certified Homes/Next Step Site-Built Homes

Building higher performing and more comfortable homes

NEEA and its utility partners accelerate market adoption of energy-efficient homes by partnering with the EPA to offer builders the tools they need to verify and certify energy-efficient homes, and by providing regional marketing, recruitment and training support in the Northwest.

Northwest ENERGY STAR Homes offers information, tools and resources on the energy-efficient features and increased comfort of homes that are at least 15 percent more efficient than existing state building codes. NEEA is now leveraging its work through Northwest ENERGY STAR Homes and relationships with strong market partners and utility support, to explore the next phase in new construction through the Next Step Home pilot.

This pilot will be used to identify the most cost-effective methods for achieving the greatest amount of energy savings, while paving a pathway for future code adoption.


  • Next Step Home Baseline Estimation Study
    This report estimates the baseline for the Next Step Home (NSH) Initiative. The report includes documentation of the current market size for newly constructed homes (energy efficient or not), forecasted market growth, and barriers to energy efficient construction and purchases among homebuilders and homebuyers. Findings suggest that approximately 0% of single-family home construction in all states in the Northwest (Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington) currently meet the Next Step Home requirements without assistance from NEEA or utility partners. Furthermore, for the 20-year baseline, NEEA should utilize varying state-level market share estimates derived from the builders phone survey (Idaho 20%, Montana 15%, Oregon 20%, and Washington 12%). These estimates are generally consistent with similar estimates provided during in-depth interviews with efficient home program managers, when the potential impacts of increasingly stringent building codes are not taken into consideration.
    PDF, 1.98 MB
  • Northwest ENERGY STAR Homes Retrospective Report
    This is a retrospective report of Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance's Northwest Energy Star Homes initiative since it launched in 2004. The report assesses the initiative’s impact on the Northwest market following nearly a decade of ongoing market interventions. These interventions served to increase consumer awareness of the ENERGY STAR homes label; engage utility partners to develop a building and verifier network and train these professionals on energy efficiency best building practices. It also led to the adoption of more stringent codes in the Northwest. Update 07/16/2015: This report has been modified to include an addendum memo providing a review of the Alliance Cost Effectiveness (ACE) Model established in Jan 2015.
    PDF, 2.60 MB
  • Heat Pump Water Heaters for Demand Response and Energy Storage
    Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) initiated an in-the-field demonstration of residential Heat Pump Water Heaters (HWPH), evaluating the technology’s capability to provide demand response and energy storage to the electric grid. The project was conducted in an effort to provide the US Department of Energy with data to inform and support new electric water heater efficiency standards set to take effect in April of 2015. This report outlines challenges and lessons learned from the project that may assist future HPWH control programs, but overall the project demonstrated that HPWHs can participate in demand management programs designed to either reduce peak demand or provide energy storage services to the grid, or both. For more details on the findings and recommendations, please read the full report.
    PDF, 1.43 MB

Article Spotlight

Efficient Homes Comes to Billings

Thirteen super-energy efficient homes throughout the Northwest are incorporating the latest technologies and best building practices that increase comfort and reduce energy costs. Each home is a real-life demonstration of some of the most efficient homes available to today’s buyers and at any size, style or budget.

Watch how

NEEA Team Lead

Neil Grigsby

Initiative Manager