Zero Energy Ready Homes - Multifamily Version

Inflation Reduction Act

Reduced energy costs

ZERHs can save you money on your energy bills because they produce their own energy. This can be a significant savings, especially in areas with high energy costs.

Increased comfort

ZERHs are designed to be comfortable and energy-efficient, so you can enjoy a more comfortable living environment while also reducing your energy consumption.

Improved indoor air quality

ZERHs have improved indoor air quality because they are built with tight construction and energy-efficient appliances. This can help to reduce allergies and asthma symptoms, and create a healthier living environment for your family.

Reduced environmental impact

ZERHs have a reduced environmental impact because they produce less greenhouse gases and other pollutants. This can help to protect the environment and create a more sustainable future.

Are You Zero Energy Ready?

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Zero Energy Ready Home is a program conducted by DOE to recognize homes that achieve exceptional levels of energy savings, comfort, health, and durability.

The Multifamily Edition

The DOE Zero Energy Ready Home program is a requirement for doubling the §45L Tax Credits found in the Inflation Reduction Act. This is a look at how you can take your multifamily project to the next level with DOE Zero Energy Ready Home Certification to capture those incentives.

What is the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home Program?

Going above and beyond the ENERGY STAR program, the Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) Program represents a new level of performance in building energy efficiency, comfort, health, and durability. Simply speaking, ZERH builds stricter requirements on top of the ENERGY STAR Certified Homes and Multifamily New Construction programs, by adding EPA Indoor airPLUS certification and demonstrating PV-Readiness as qualifications. 

Why should you be interested in DOE ZERH?

There are several incentives for multifamily builders and developers that require a project to be DOE ZERH certified:

  • Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) 45L Tax Credit includes a $1,000 per unit incentive for multifamily projects with ENERGY STAR Multifamily New Construction (MFNC) + DOE Zero Energy Ready certification.

    • $5,000 per unit incentive for multifamily projects with ENERGY STAR MFNC + DOE Zero Energy Ready + Prevailing Wage.

What is required for DOE Zero Energy Ready Home Certification?

DOE ZERH Requirements


The reference ‘Target Home’ for DOE ZERH has higher specifications when it comes to HVAC equipment, insulation, air infiltration, windows, and water heater. 

The specifications in the table below are not necessarily a prescriptive list, but rather, what your design will be compared to in terms of its Energy Rating Index (or HERS score). In other words, you can trade off one component (e.g. cooling efficiency) for another (e.g. U-value, insulation levels, etc).

Example for Mixed Climates (Climate Zones 3 & 4 except Marine)

Component DOE ZERH Target Home
Heating & Cooling   15 SEER / 9 HSPF
ASHRAE 62.2 Mechanical Ventilation   2.8 cfm/W
Insulation   2015 IECC
Infiltration   2.5 ACH50
Windows (U value & SHGC)   U-value: 0.30
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient: 0.25
Water Heater (electric system in an attached dwelling)   Energy Factor = 1.5
Appliances (dishwasher, refrigerator, ceiling fans, lamps/bulbs)   ENERGY STAR Certified
Ask About Different Zones

Indoor airPLUS

Indoor airPLUS is a voluntary partnership and labeling program that helps new home builders improve the quality of indoor air by requiring construction practices and product specifications that minimize exposure to airborne pollutants and contaminants. 

The program builds on an ENERGY STAR certification and has its own set of requirements summarized in a verification checklist. Apollo Energies is able to provide the verification and certification services needed to get Zero Energy Ready and Indoor airPLUS certified.

PV-Solar Ready

The “zero energy ready” part of the program’s name comes in part from the requirement for projects to lay the foundation – with necessary framing, electrical components, and roof area – for installing PV solar panels at a later time. For multifamily buildings, the checklist applies to electrical loads related to common spaces (not residential units). The PV-Ready Checklist also needs to be completed as part of the DOE ZERH certification.

Let us help you!

Are you curious to know what it would take for your multifamily new construction to meet the DOE ZERH requirements? We can help by assessing your existing plans and listing the upgrades needed. Schedule a meeting today to get started.