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This is the second post in our Home Certification 101 series. In our first post, we went over the what and why of certification for your energy-efficient or high-performing home. Over the rest of the series, we’ll go into more detail about the specific certifications we mentioned, starting with Pearl Certification. Keep up with new posts in the series by signing up below for our newsletter.

If there were such a thing as a home improvement genie, what would you wish for? Would you want new countertops or a luxurious master bath? Here at Pearl, we’d advise you to request a high-performing home — because that will give you the greatest benefits in a single wish!

A high-performing home gives you and your family what matters most. This home feels comfortable in every season, while helping you reduce energy use and costs. It supports your family’s health by contributing to good indoor air quality, and your safety through smart home technology. “It really is the home of your dreams,” says Casey Murphy, Senior Vice President of Business Incubation at Pearl Certification. “Achieving a high-performing home is how you reach your end goals for your home and enhance your family’s well-being.”

High-performance features can also raise the value of your home when you refinance or sell — if that performance is documented and marketed right, Murphy points out. In the case of Pearl Certification, multiple appraisal studies have shown that when marketed right, these homes can earn a five-percent premium on their resale value. That’s no small bump!

What Is Home Certification?

Home certification is an easy way to say, “This home is better to live in than other homes.” Earning certification means that a home has been evaluated and meets a set of specific criteria, whether for a single attribute like energy efficiency or for performance across multiple home features.

Related Post: Home Certification 101: What Is Home Certification and What Can it Do for My Home?

Pearl Certification: Your Guide for the Entire Homeownership Journey

There are many different home certifications for energy efficiency or whole home performance. Typically, certifications function as a one-and-done: “Congrats, you’ve earned this!” or “Congrats, you bought a house that meets certain criteria!”

“There’s value to that, but Pearl Certification functions differently,” Murphy says.

“We guide homeowners all the way from ‘I want to buy this home’ to ‘I want to sell this home,’ and everything in between. No other home certification does this. We are a living certification.”

Casey Murphy Senior Vice President of Business Incubation, Pearl Certification

How to Certify Your Home

Here’s how it works.

The process starts with you choosing your home performance goals in Pearl’s free Green Door app. Then, you’ll create a profile of your home including its existing performance features, like HVAC, solar, insulation, and appliances. The app features instructions and example images to help you through the process, or you can connect with a customer service team member for more guidance.

If you’re looking for opportunities to upgrade those features to high-performance versions, Green Door can guide you in choosing and prioritizing the most impactful future upgrades based on your goals via the in-app, customized Home Investment Plan. Find rebates to meet your budget and source qualified, Pearl Network Contractors to complete the work — all right in the app. When you work with a Pearl Contractor, they’ll make sure to enter important information about your new asset in Green Door and can even set up maintenance reminders in the app. As you log your improvements and Pearl verifies them, you’ll earn Pearl Points to help you move from Asset-level certification up through Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

“This is a journey, and we’re on it with you,” Murphy says. “We help homeowners make a series of decisions. This isn’t about a one-time decision to upgrade this or that piece of equipment or to buy an energy-efficient house.”

When it comes time to refinance or sell, your Pearl Certification acts as a translator and a bullhorn to help real estate agents, appraisers, and potential buyers understand your high-performing home’s value.

“Any Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fans out there? Pearl is the Babel fish for home performance.”

Casey Murphy Senior Vice President of Business Incubation, Pearl Certification

What Does Pearl Certification Look for in a Home?

In a high-performing home, the right features are working together in the right ways to provide superior comfort, indoor air quality, and energy efficiency compared to traditionally built homes.

Pearl Certification assigns points to home features in five categories based on how much they contribute to your home’s total performance:

“These categories are all related to energy, but we don’t focus solely on energy savings,” Murphy emphasizes. “The features we look at correlate with energy savings and home value, comfort, and health. Our point system represents the interconnection between these benefits to help people make bigger-picture decisions.”

Here’s an example of “interconnection”: Proper air sealing fills the gaps around wiring, pipes, windows, doors, etc., to reduce drafts and increase your comfort. By keeping your conditioned indoor air from escaping, it helps save energy. It also reduces entry points for pollen and dust, helping to improve indoor air quality.

The total points your home earns determines which level of Pearl Certification (Asset, Silver, Gold, or Platinum) it achieves. Pearl also offers a Solar Badge and an Electrified Home Badge if your home qualifies.

It’s important to remember that any existing home can achieve Pearl Certification if it’s high performing, whether it was built in 1920 or 2020. You can purchase a newly constructed home that has already earned a Pearl Certification or upgrade your existing home. The point is, you’re making smart investments in home features that will actually improve your quality of life, save you money, and increase your home’s value.

What You Get with Pearl Certification

As you make home upgrades on your journey to high performance, you will feel the benefits along the way. With tailored guidance and access to elite Pearl Contractors, you can also have confidence that you are making the right decisions for your home.

Once your home’s assets have been evaluated and verified by an expert Pearl team member, Pearl will issue your certification package. It includes your certificate, of course, plus properly documented details of each of your home assets, an appraiser letter, and the completed Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum. We use this document to translate your home’s performance details into value that appraisers, real estate agents, potential buyers, and lenders can see and understand. It’s an important element that helps Pearl Certified homes earn a five-percent premium on their resale values on average.

Learn What Your Home Needs to Improve Its Performance

Home improvement genies may not be real, but Pearl Certification can help you achieve your dream home. Sign up for our newsletter below to learn about emerging trends and new opportunities to save energy and money.

If you’re ready to take the first step, register for our free, award-winning app, Green Door (register online or find it on Apple or Google Play Stores). Once you’re inside, we’ll help you start learning about specific improvements to optimize your home’s performance — and reach your goals.


Pearl Certification is transforming the housing market. We’re making a visible difference nationwide for homeowners and the businesses that serve them.