Residential New Construction Program Overview
If you’re planning to build a new home, you have 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.
Benefits of an Energy Efficient New Home
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.
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.
Benefits of the Residential New Construction Program
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.
- 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 $1,500 to $7,000 or more
You can consider the rebates as a kind of housewarming gift to you for reducing your new home’s carbon footprint!
Call 877-WISE-USE (877-947-3873) for more information.
Residential New Construction and All Electric Home Program ➞
It’s 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 Eversource, UI, CNG or SCG may qualify for this program. Single-family and multifamily 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.
1) Give us a call
While you are still in the planning stage, contact the Program Administrator shown below to connect with the proper 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.
A list of participating Connecticut HERS raters.
2) Review your plans and program resources
Once you have hired a HERS Rater, they will review your plans with you and your team, explain the program and discuss how to maximize the use of energy-efficient technologies that make sense for your home, your goals and your lifestyle. Your HERS Rater will also explain the benefits – including rebates*—and the steps to earn additional certifications. (See the section below for more information about HERS.)
Homes that receive a HERS Index score within the required threshold*, can receive incentives through the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund. Homes that meet the requirements of the program typically show they are at least 25 percent more efficient than a typical home. Single-family home incentives range up to $7,000, depending on HERS Index scores.
Your HERS Rater or the utility Program Administrator will also 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 as well as the EV Ready and PV Ready program checklist with your HERS rater.
* See the project application for all terms and conditions that may apply.
3) Decide if you want to earn a home certification
The program offers multiple whole-home certifications, including ENERGY STAR®, LEED for Homes, DOE Zero Energy Ready 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 Bonus Rebate section information about each of these programs.)
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.
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.
6) Receive your rebate
When your home is completed and you have the final HERS Index score, your HERS Rater will submit the completed application and testing documentation to the Utility Program Administrator. This is a good time to also review the Requirements and Submission Checklist again with your HERS rater Refer.
Once the program administrator reviews and approves, a rebate check will be sent to you—the (new!) homeowner.
Call 877-WISE-USE (877-947-3873) for more information.
Residential customers building a new home or gut rehab that will receive electric or gas service from Eversource, UI, 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.
Getting the process started is easy. While you are still in the planning stage, just contact your utility program administrator:
If you are a Connecticut resident and are not served by one of the utilities listed above, please visit your municipal utility's website to see what energy efficiency programs are available to you.
Call 877-WISE-USE (877-947-3873) for more information.
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. The HERS index is the industry standard used to measure the energy efficiency of a newly constructed home. It’s also the nationally recognized system for inspecting, calculating and estimating a home’s energy performance.
The HERS index is determined by the Home Energy Rater, who assesses the energy efficiency of a home, assigning it a relative performance score. The lower the score, the more efficient the home or dwelling unit. A typical resale home scores around 130 on the HERS index (on average), while a standard home, built to energy code, scores around 100. Every point below 100 on the HERS index, translates to roughly 1% energy savings compared to a code built home.
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 or learn about our Zero Energy Challenge program.
HERS ratings are determined by trained Home Energy Raters who are certified by RESNET, 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.
Build your home to ENERGY STAR®, LEED for Homes, DOE Zero Energy Ready 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 Challenge or consider building your home to meet the All Electric Home standards.
Read about how each of these national programs might be the right fit for you and your new home.
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 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 homes 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 Zero Energy Ready Home
U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Zero Energy Ready Home fosters a new level of home performance. Rigorous requirements ensure outstanding levels of energy savings, comfort, health, and durability. DOE Zero Energy Ready Home 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 Zero Energy Ready Home 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 Home Innovation Research Labs website.
This building standard relies on a combination of energy efficiency with solar and internal heat gains to dramatically reduce space heating demands and allow for simplified methods of providing needed heat. It places specific emphasis on airtightness, high performance windows, and rigorous insulation throughout the entire envelope. Additional benefits include:
- Indoor air quality
- Shelter in place
Learn more at The Passive House Network and Phius.
“Gut-rehabbed” or fully rehabilitated homes are eligible for program participation.
- For purposes of this program, gut-rehabbed buildings must expose all exterior walls and have a plan in place to re-insulate or for the existing insulation to meet RESNET Grade 1 standards.
- Additionally, the remainder of the thermal envelope (ceilings, floors, etc.) must be reinsulated or inspected to meet RESNET Grade 1 standards.
- Gut-rehabbed buildings must also replace all existing windows or verify that existing windows meet the current ENERGY STAR window standard.
Homes outside of these guidelines may be eligible to receive incentives through other utility programs.
Did you know you might be able to take advantage of federal income tax incentives for Solar Energy Systems? Congress first passed the incentives in 2005 as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and has amended them several times since then.
Current incentives* expire December 31, 2021. Find out more at ENERGY STAR®.
You should contact a tax professional with questions specific to your situation.
*All other ENERGY STAR federal tax credits expired at the end of 2016.
All-electric homes use high-performance air-source, ground-source, or air-to-water heat pump technology for heating, cooling, and water heating. They feature super-insulated building envelopes to minimize heat loss, leaks, and drafts that can cause occupant discomfort and raise energy bills.
High-performance, all-electric homes have no on-site fossil fuels and are designed to provide increased comfort and better air quality, reduce energy and maintenance costs, and better sustain home value over time.
Passive House standards can be used to achieve this goal.
All-Electric homes provide builders and future homeowners with the ability to create their own renewable energy future. A high performance thermal envelope, coupled with efficient electric technologies for space conditioning and domestic hot water, can provide for better air quality, less carbon emissions, and greater efficiency, when compared to conventional fossil-fuel heated homes.
Two paths are available: the Prescriptive Path and the Hybrid Prescriptive/Performance Path which can be achieved using Passive House certification.
Income Eligible Verification Form