DOE ZERH Update for California

CodeWatcher ZERH California update

Zero Energy Ready Homes follows other programs in California by increasing energy efficiency levels for qualifying projects.

As the California Building Energy Efficiency Standards and ENERGY STAR Homes have both increased their efficiency levels in California, the goal of the Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program is to continue to provide meaningful efficiency and performance benefits in qualifying projects. 

Therefore the program has drafted new requirements for DOE ZERH projects in California (Rev.07).  The draft provisions are as follows:

  • Achieve a compliance total with ≥ 15% savings beyond the Standard Design based on the 2016 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, or achieve a Delta Energy Design Rating ≥ 4, as determined by a CEC-approved software program.
  • Meet all required DOE ZERH provisions, including ENERGY STAR Homes certification, Indoor airPLUS certification, efficient hot water distribution, and the other mandatory provisions listed in Table 1 of the DOE ZERH – California program requirements.

A draft of the updated DOE ZERH requirements for California is available for review on the DOE ZERH website here.  Please email your comments or questions to by 5/25/2018.  The planned effective date for the updated DOE ZERH California specifications is for buildings permitted on or after 10/1/2018.