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WaterSense labeled homes allow families to enjoy comfort and convenience while using less water and energy and saving money on utility bills. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released Version 2 of the WaterSense Labeled Homes Program. The updated program, which includes both a revised specification and certification system, continues to promote water efficiency in homes; however, it has made the WaterSense home certification process easier and more flexible for home builders.
The WaterSense label is an important part of a whole-house solution to save water, energy, and money while ensuring customer satisfaction. Compared to a typical new home, on average, EPA estimates a WaterSense labeled home can save families more than 50,000 gallons of water and $700 in water and electricity costs annually.
Under Version 2 of the program, WaterSense labeled homes must be at least 30 percent more water-efficient than a home with characteristics typical of new construction, determined through compliance with a Home Certification Organization’s (HCO’s) WaterSense Approved Certification Method (WACM). The update allows builders the flexibility to choose an HCO and include a variety of water-saving features in their WaterSense labeled homes. Builders who have constructed homes to meet other green certification programs will find the WaterSense certification process a simple addition.
The updated WaterSense labeled homes specification requires builders to install WaterSense labeled toilets, showerheads, and bathroom faucets and confirm that the home is free from visible water leaks. The certification requires a single verification that can be done in a one-time visit by a WaterSense home verifier. Builders must join the program as WaterSense partners to begin the WaterSense labeled home certification process.
As part of the revised program, WaterSense has approved the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) and Home Innovation Research Labs (HI) as HCOs that will oversee certification of homes to the WaterSense specification under Version 2. HCOs will train and authorize WaterSense home verifiers to assist in the certification of homes to the specification. WaterSense expects to recognize additional HCOs in the future.
For more information about the WaterSense Labeled Homes Program, Version 2, visit www.epa.gov/watersense/homes-specification.