Performance Standards: DOE Zero Energy Ready Home National Program

A DOE Zero Energy Ready Home is a high performance home which is so energy efficient, that a renewable energy system can offset all or most of its annual energy consumption. For complete program information, see the Zero Energy Ready Home information on Energy.Gov exit disclaimer.

Homes may qualify for DOE Zero Energy Ready Home using either the Prescriptive Path or Performance Path. See the Program Requirements Document for information

Window Performance Information

All fenestration shall meet or exceed ENERGY STAR requirements.*

*Windows shall meet the applicable ENERGY STAR Window Product Criteria based on the following schedule:

ENERGY STAR Window Product Criteria

For projects permitted on or before 8/31/2015, windows shall meet ENERGY STAR Windows Eligibility Criteria Version 5.0

For projects permitted after 8/31/2015, windows shall meet ENERGY STAR Windows Eligibility Criteria Version 6.0; except for
Climate Zones 5 through 8 and Zone 4 Marine, which must follow ENERGY STAR Windows

Eligibility Criteria Version 6.0 for projects permitted after 8/31/2016

See www.energystar.gov/products/building_products/residential_windows_doors_and_skylights exit disclaimer for current ENERGY STAR Windows Eligibility Criteria. For homes achieving PHIUS+ certification where triple glazed window assemblies with thermal breaks/spacers between the panes are used, such windows are deemed to meet this requirement even in the absence of an ENERGY STAR certification.

*Fenestration shall meet the applicable ENERGY STAR Windows Eligibility Criteria for U and SHGC, with the following exceptions:

ENERGY STAR Window Product Criteria for U and SHGC

Fenestration utilized as part of a passive solar design shall be exempt from the U-factor and SHGC requirements, and
An area-weighted average of fenestration products shall be permitted to satisfy the U-factor requirements;

An area-weighted average of fenestration products ≥ 50% glazed shall be permitted to satisfy the SHGC requirements;

15 square feet of glazed fenestration per dwelling unit shall be exempt from the U-factor and SHGC requirements, and shall be excluded from area-weighted averages calculated using a) and b), above;

One side-hinged opaque door assembly up to 24 square feet in area shall be exempt from the U-factor requirements and shall be excluded from area-weighted averages calculated using a) and b), above;

Fenestration utilized as part of a passive solar design shall be exempt from the U-factor and SHGC requirements, and shall be excluded from area-weighted averages calculated using a) and b), above. Exempt windows shall be facing within 45 degrees of true South and directly coupled to thermal storage mass that has a heat capacity > 20 btu / ft3x°F and provided in a ratio of at least 3 sq. ft. per sq. ft. of South facing fenestration. Generally, thermal mass materials will be at east 2 in. thick.

Download the Program Requirements Document (v5) exit disclaimer for all the necessary information for meeting the performance requirements.

For more information about the DOE’s Zero Energy Ready Home, see information from the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

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provides unbiased information and education to the public on the energy efficiency, technical, and human considerations that influence window selection and use. The EWC collaborates with allied organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies that promote energy efficiency in residential windows. We do not sell, service, install, or recommend products, or endorse manufacturers. Descriptions and specifications of the products in the Window Selection Tool are provided by the manufacturer. The EWC is not liable for any manufacturing defects or inaccurate product descriptions and specifications and does not guarantee the performance of NFRC-certified windows, doors, and skylights.

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