Residential New Construction Program
Build for High Performance, Savings and Comfort
If you plan to build a new home, make energy efficiency a priority from the beginning. You’ll enjoy lower energy costs and greater comfort and have access to incentives for building to high performance standards.
Minimize energy costs and maximize comfort
Building a new home is a great opportunity to minimize energy costs, maximize comfort and do your part for a clean energy future. You can be a leader in the energy- efficient technology revolution and have a profound impact on how we use energy today and in the future.
Better for You and the Planet
Designing and building your home with the latest energy-efficient technologies does a lot more than save energy. It gives you greater comfort and convenience and healthier indoor environments that add up to enhanced value.
And don’t forget the bigger picture – the environmental benefit. Building a high-performance home gives you the satisfaction of doing your part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and live more sustainably.
Let Us Be Your Guide
The Residential New Construction program helps you, your architect and your builder, design and construct a home that is a model of energy efficiency. The program provides:
- Expert guidance from energy specialists – Home Energy Rating Systems (HERS) Raters – who help you tap into energy-efficient home certifications, high-efficiency equipment, high-performance building practices and the latest material options. See the section below for more information about HERS.
- Two roads to rebates and savings –
- Choose Track 1 HERS rating path and receive rebates for your investment in energy-efficient features – it’s your highway to savings. Your Certified HERS Rater works with your building team throughout the construction process. Based on your new home’s final HERS index you may qualify for a rebate of $2,000 to $4,500 or more! Install a geothermal heating and cooling system for an additional rebate of $500 per ton, up to 3 tons.
- Or choose Track 2 Prescriptive Path and you may be eligible for:
- A rebate of $0.50 per square foot for high performance insulation and air sealing.
- New geothermal systems may also be eligible for a rebate of $500 per ton, up to 3 tons.
Lastly, for homes not seeking the Track 1 or Track 2 incentive options, but are required to meet the current Connecticut Building Code IECC 2009 requirements, minimize overall home air leakage with a rebate for Duct and Envelope Testing of $300 per home. You work with a certified HERS rater or BPI professional who verifies that the home passes energy code requirements for duct and envelope testing.
You can consider the rebates as a kind of housewarming gift to you for reducing your new home’s carbon footprint!
Make your home standout and earn a bonus rebate
Build your home to ENERGY STAR®, LEED for Homes, DOE Challenge Home, or National Green Building Standard® requirements and you may qualify for an additional rebate. You might also want to enter your home in the CT Zero Energy Home Challenge.
Read more below about how each of these national programs might be the right fit for you and your new home (click on the boxes below).
ENERGY STAR® Homes...
You may have heard your neighbors or your builder talk about ENERGY STAR homes. ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. Products such as light bulbs, fixtures and appliances can earn the ENERGY STAR rating if they meet certain energy-efficiency standards. New homes can also earn an ENERGY STAR rating. Through our Residential New Construction program your home may also qualify for an ENERGY STAR rating and an additional incentive. To learn more, visit the ENERGY STAR website
LEED for Homes...
This voluntary rating system promotes the design and construction of high-performance green homes and multifamily buildings. LEED-certified homes are designed to maximize fresh air indoors, minimize exposure to airborne toxins and pollutants, and to save energy and water. Your project team must work with a designated LEED for Homes Green Rater (as classified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), and a project registration must be completed. Certified LEED home may qualify for an additional incentive through our Residential New Construction program. Find out more about the certification process at the U.S. Green Buildings Council’s website
DOE Challenge Home...
U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Challenge Home fosters a new level of home performance. Rigorous requirements ensure outstanding levels of energy savings, comfort, health, and durability. DOE Challenge Homes are constructed to outperform both an ENERGY STAR V3 certified home and an existing home in six major categories:
- Healthy Environment
- Enhanced Durability
- Advanced Technology
- Quality Construction
- Energy Efficiency
Certified DOE Challenge Homes may qualify for an additional incentive through our Residential New Construction program. Find out more about the certification process at the U.S. DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy website.
ICC 700 National Green Building Standard (NGBS)®...
The National Green Building Standard is the leading green rating system for new and remodeled single- and multifamily buildings as well as residential subdivisions in the United States. The NGBS is the first and only such residential green rating system to have earned the approval of the American National Standards Institute.
Green building, also known as high-performance building or sustainable construction, incorporates environmental considerations and resource efficiency into every step of the home building and land development process with the goal to minimize the home's environmental impact. Choosing green means making intentional decisions in your homes construction about:
- Water conservation
- Resource conservation
- Indoor environmental quality
- Site design
Certified NGBS homes may qualify for an additional incentive through our Residential New Construction program. Find out more about the certification process at the National Association of Home Builders website.
CT Zero Energy Home Challenge...
If you participate in the Residential New Construction program, consider entering the CT Zero Energy Challenge
. The challenge is a design-build competition that awards cash prizes to winners and demonstrates how to build super-high-efficiency homes. Participating homes demonstrate that it’s possible to build near zero energy homes today, while representing the technologies and techniques it takes to get there. A zero net energy home is designed to exceed minimum code standards and may also produce some of its own energy, using no more energy than it produces on-site. All homes entered in the CT Zero Energy Challenge must participate in the Residential New Construction program. Learn more about the CT Zero Energy Challenge
Steps to Take Smart Energy Action
It is easier than you may think to build an energy efficient home – and we will be with you every step of the way. Getting started is the easiest. Just give us a call. In just a few more steps you will have a rebate check in hand. Easy!
Who is Eligible? Residential customers building a new home or gut rehab that will receive electric or gas service from UI, Eversource, CNG, or SCG may qualify for this program. Single-family and multi-family projects are eligible. Because new construction rebates require an insulation and thermal bypass inspection, applications MUST be submitted before your home is insulated in order to be eligible.
Click on the boxes below to read about each step.
Step 1 - Give us a call...
While you are still in the planning stage, contact the Program Administrator shown below to connect with the program. Your builder or your Home Energy Rating System (HERS) rater can make the call for you if you prefer.
Contact a HERS rater during the planning stages. The rater will review your plans and provide you with a pre-construction HERS Index score. Working with your architect or builder, they will identify energy-efficient improvements needed.
Click here for a list of participating Connecticut HERS raters.
Step 2 - Review your plans and program resources...
Our energy experts review your plans with you and your team, explain the program and discuss the benefits of working with a HERS rater and how maximizing the use of energy-efficient technologies makes sense for your home, your goals and your lifestyle. We also explain the benefits – including rebates* – and the steps to earn additional certifications. (See the section below for more information about HERS.)
We connect you with incentives provided by the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund for homes that receive HERS Index scores that show they are at least 25 percent more efficient than a typical home. Single-family home incentives range up to $4,500, depending on HERS Index scores.
If you choose not to utilize a HERS rater we will also explain what you need to do to qualify for high-performance insulation and air sealing incentives for the following technologies and equipment:
Spray foam, blown-in cellulose or fiberglass, rigid foam board plus batt insulation, structural insulated panels (SIP’s)insulated concrete forms (ICFs) and hybrid options.*
In either case we will work with you to identify additional financial incentives and rebates available through other state or federal programs - including any federal tax credits. Plus, we can help you to connect to the green building community.
At this point, you should also review the Requirements and Submission Checklist with your HERS rater.
* See the rebate application for all terms and conditions that may apply.
Step 3 - Decide if you want to earn a home certification...
The program offers multiple whole-home certifications, including ENERGY STAR®, LEED for Homes, DOE Challenge Home, or National Green Building Standard® requirements and you may qualify for an additional rebate. You might also want to enter your home in the CT Zero Energy Home Challenge. (See the section above for information about each of these programs.
Step 4 - Submit an application...
You, your building team and your HERS rater will review your construction plans. Based on what you intend to build the HERS rater will prepare a pre-construction HERS Index. Once you have this index our energy experts can help you complete the program application, which will include your pre-construction HERS Index score and estimated incentive.
Download the application now. Be sure to read all of the instructions, rules and terms and conditions very carefully to avoid processing delays. New construction rebates require an insulation and thermal bypass inspection, so applications MUST be submitted before the home is insulated to be eligible. The ideal time to submit your application is before construction starts.
Step 5 - Build your home...
Your HERS rater will conduct insulation and thermal bypass inspections at various stages of construction. On-site tests typically include a blower door test to measure air tightness and a duct test to measure air flow through the ducts. The test results, along with information from the plan review, help determine your home’s final HERS Index score. Inspections must be conducted prior to drywall installation and after construction is complete.
Step 6- Receive your rebate...
When your home is completed and you have the final HERS Index score, we send you a rebate check.
About Home Energy Ratings and the HERS Index....(click here)
The Connecticut building code requires that all new homes meet a minimum level of energy efficiency. Most new home buyers expect more than this minimum and most new home builders claim their homes are energy efficient. But without an objective, third-party measurement of energy efficiency there is no way for you to make informed comparisons between homes and between builders’ claims.
A Home Energy Rating (HER) solves this problem by assigning a numerical rating, called the HERS Index, to a home. This nationally recognized system measures and compares the home’s expected energy consumption to a common standard based on the 2006 building code.
The score is similar to an MPG (miles-per-gallon) rating but for your home - and the lower the number the better. A home built exactly to the 2006 standard has a HERS Index of 100. An energy efficient home that is expected to only use 70% of the energy of the standard home has a HERS index of 70. Each one-point change on the HERS Index scale represents a 1% change in energy efficiency.
The scale to the right shows the range of HERS indexes you might encounter when you buy a home. Older, less efficient homes have HERS Indexes over 100. The US Department of Energy estimates that a typical resale home has a HERS index of about 130. Some drafty, poorly insulated homes may have indexes as high as 200! Newer or energy-retrofitted homes have indexes under 100.
All new Connecticut homes should have a HERS Index below 100 since the State adopted higher energy efficiency standards in 2011. A home built to the current building code standard should have a HERS Index close to 85. However many new homes are built to be much more energy efficient and achieve HERS Indexes below 60.
A few new homes achieve HERS Indexes close to zero. These homes produce as much energy as they use by combining high-performance insulation and mechanical systems with renewable energy systems. If you are interested in constructing a Zero Energy Home, contact your utility Program Administrator and visit www.CTZeroEnergyChallenge.com for more incentive information.
HERS ratings are determined by trained Home Energy Raters who are certified by RESNET (www.resnet.us), a national, non-profit organization that oversees the standards for Rater certification, quality assurance and the calculation of home energy ratings.
Certified HERS Raters use energy modeling software to determine the home’s HERS Index. The energy models use information collected by the Rater from on-site inspections of the home during construction, from testing the air-sealing of the building and its duct systems, from building plans and from independent reports of the efficiency of the installed heating, cooling, water heating, ventilation and on-site generation systems.
To learn more about HERs visit the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET). Use their interactive HERs Index model to see the impact on savings, carbon footprint and comfort from making your home more energy efficient.
About the Program
The Residential New Construction Program is sponsored by the Energy Efficiency Fund, an Energize Connecticut partner, and Connecticut’s regulated natural gas and electric utilities.
ENERGY STAR HOME
An ENERGY STAR®
Qualified home can be a single-family or multi-family residential home. It achieves the greatest level of energy-efficiency through the use of reliable, advanced building techniques and high-quality materials. These include high performance windows and insulation, energy-efficient appliances, lighting, heating, ventilation, and cooling systems, and tighter overall sealing and weatherproofing.
Homes that consume almost no energy. Homes that produce energy on-site. Homes with cleaner air. The CT Zero Energy Challenge is a design and build competition that showcases how advanced designs and integrated systems are changing the way we think about residential construction.