The US Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home Program recognizes that many of our builder and rater partners are faced with major changes to their business operations. As a result, the Zero Energy Ready Home program has developed several policies and temporary allowances related to COVID-19.
To support our partners and the overall growth of the Zero Energy Ready Home market, the ZERH program is aligning with both RESNET and the ENERGY STAR Certified Home program to extend the Temporary Allowance for Remote Visual Verifications to 9/30/2020.
The DOE Zero Energy Ready Home team will consider case‐by‐case hardship relief requests related to the use RESNET’s COVID‐19 Pandemic Exception for Onsite Airtightness Tests. In some cases, the DOE ZERH program will allow the use of defaults for testing, per the RESNET temporary policy, such as blower door and duct blaster tests, when a hardship is demonstrated by the builder and/or rater. These hardships must be related to limits due to COVID‐19 challenges.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Zero Energy Ready Home team has reached out to our
most active builder partners to identify lessons learned coping with the economic and health challenges
confronting the housing industry. This document summarizes challenges and actions taken.
DOE Zero Energy Ready Home Program will recognize RESNET’s 4/1/2020 policy language on Allowing Remote Rating Inspections, and accepting this same remote inspection protocol for verification of features required for DOE ZERH certification. RESNET’s “Temporary RESNET Protocols for Remote Field Inspections During the COVID Pandemic” are now posted online. Note that this remote inspection option needs to be approved by the Rater’s Accredited Provider in order to be implemented.