Pearl considers a wide range of home features and characteristics to be indicative of a home’s performance, including:

  • The specific assets in the home (e.g., insulation and mechanical equipment)

  • How those assets were designed, installed, and/or maintained

  • Whether the home was built and/or improved based upon above-code standards and/or labeling programs (e.g. an ENERGY STAR® Certified Home).

Pearl and Other Standards

Pearl does not compete with other scores and standards.

Pearl encourages and offers support to builders who want to meet ENERGY STAR or Zero Energy Ready Standards. If and when they do, Pearl helps those builders fully communicate that value to prospective homeowners and to the real estate industry, including but not limited to, agents for the buyers, appraisers, and lenders.

Unique among “green” certification schemas and labels, Pearl was designed from the ground up to work with new construction and existing homes — regardless of the home’s vintage.

Pearl is a proud ENERGY STAR Partner and works in collaboration with the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program, the ENERGY STAR Home Upgrade program, and the U.S. Department of Energy's Home Energy Score labeling program.

Pearl considers a wide range of benefits that accrue based on whether the home is high-performing, including but not limited to:

  • Energy efficiency

  • Indoor air quality

  • Comfort

  • Energy generation and storage

  • Carbon footprint

  • Resilience — both passive and active

  • Electrification

  • Healthy home and wellness

  • Biophilia

  • Being constructed and/or improved under a third-party certification system or program, such as ENERGY STAR

  • And more

Pearl’s existing Certification Standards do not cover every high-performing feature or communicate every benefit that a home might have. Find out more below about Pearl’s existing Certification Standards.

Contractor - Insulation Instal

High-Performing Home Standard

Pearl Certification is a practical, valuable tool for homeowners who want to understand how their homes perform — and then keep improving them. In fact, with the help of Pearl Certification, your home can be the best performer on the block.

The Foundation of a High-Performing Home

A high-performing home is a system. Each feature (also referred to as an asset) has a unique role, but they must all perform together to keep the home feeling good and running smoothly. The right features work together in the right ways to provide superior comfort, indoor air quality, and energy efficiency compared to traditionally built homes.

For example, when a home has good attic insulation, heating and cooling systems run less, last longer, and maintain a more comfortable environment.

The Pearl Scoring System

Pearl Certification assigns points to home features based on how much they contribute to the home’s performance. The more points a feature earns, the more it contributes to the home's comfort, health, and energy efficiency.

High-performing homes earn points within these categories:

Marketing - Building Shell

Building Shell

The roof, walls, windows, and foundation create the barrier between the outside and inside of your home.

Marketing - Heating & Cooling Icon

Heating & Cooling

Equipment like your furnace and air conditioner, as well as the ductwork, keep your home at the right temperature.

Marketing - Baseload Icon


Equipment such as water heaters, appliances, and electronics use a consistent amount of energy year-round, no matter what temperature it is outside.

Marketing - Home Management Icon

Home Management

Smart thermostats, information dashboards, and energy management plans help you maintain and improve home performance.

Marketing - Solar Icon

Solar, EV & Energy Storage

The solar panels, inverters, batteries, and electric vehicle chargers that provide investment-grade documentation.

Points Assignment

Impact on Home Performance
Assets that have a greater impact on home performance are worth more points. Attic insulation that exceeds the best energy code is worth more points than an ENERGY STAR®-certified dishwasher because insulation has a greater impact on the home's overall energy use.

Interaction with the Local Climate
Assets that interact more with the local climate are worth more points. For example, in Phoenix, Arizona, a high-efficiency air conditioner is worth more points than a high-efficiency furnace. In St. Paul, Minnesota, it’s the opposite.

The more efficient a feature is, the more points it earns. A heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system with a high-efficiency SEER rating will earn more points than one that is not as efficient.

Installation Quality 
A high-quality installation adds more points than a low-quality one. A low-quality installation can mean air leaks, improperly sized equipment, or other issues that hold back the home from peak performance.

Scoring System Review Process

Standards Evaluation

Pearl’s scoring system serves as the foundation for how many points Pearl awards to a high-performing asset (e.g., dishwasher, insulation, ENERGY STAR windows, etc.), and the number of points determines what level of certification is achieved. Therefore, maintaining a current, up-to-date scoring system is paramount to communicating to homeowners which assets perform best and which assets could use improvement.

With technology (e.g., smart home devices, appliances, etc.) and building codes (e.g., International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS), etc.) continually evolving, Pearl is committed to reviewing and revising its scoring system at least every three years.

Capturing these technological and building code changes in the Pearl Scoring System is crucial to maintaining Pearl’s status as the gold standard in high-performing home certifications. As an authority in the residential sector, Pearl sets its own high standards that we adjust to reflect changes in climate, technology, building science, and other aspects of society.

Homeowners should note that when Pearl revises its scoring system, the certification level of some homes may change. Just as a 2020 heat pump decreases in efficiency with age, so must the asset’s point allocation diminish with time. Homeowners are encouraged to add new assets to their Green Door home profiles as they are secured. Then when it comes time to refinance or sell, you’re prepared to request an accurate home certification.

Certification Levels

The total number of points awarded to a home determines which level of Pearl Certification it achieves. Homes can earn Pearl Certification no matter when it was built if the right improvements are made. As investments are made, the home can achieve a higher level of certification.

Asset 2022

Pearl Asset

A home that doesn’t reach Pearl Silver can qualify for Pearl Asset Certification. This provides useful information about one or more high-performing features in the home and enables the owner to communicate the value of these features to future buyers.

Silver 2022

Pearl Silver

A Pearl Silver home typically has a building shell or a heating and cooling system that is much higher quality than those found in an average home.

Gold 2022

Pearl Gold

A Pearl Gold home has both a building shell and a heating and cooling system that is much higher quality than those found in an average home.

Platinum 2022

Pearl Platinum

A Pearl Platinum home’s energy-efficient systems are far better than those found in an average home. Pearl Platinum homes typically have high-performing features in all four categories.

Want to learn more about Pearl’s High-Performing Home Certification schema? Contact us at [email protected].

Solar Badge W

Solar Badge

While efficiency reduces energy use, a solar system produces energy. Issued by a Pearl Network Contractor or a Pearl Partner Agent, a Pearl Solar Certification validates the increased value that this feature brings to a home.

Want to learn more about Pearl’s Solar Badge? Contact us at [email protected].

View a sample solar certification
Electrified Home Badge W

Electrified Home Badge

Homeowners and policymakers are increasingly interested in home electrification. Benefits of electrification include decarbonization and promoting healthy, safe, and resilient homes.

Pearl has developed an Electrified Home recognition (badge) to define and recognize an electrified home that is readily understood by homeowners, appraisers, and the real estate community.

Earn the badge

Pearl has worked to understand and align with multiple stakeholders in developing the approach and specification to earn the Electrified Home Badge. To help homeowners that want to attain the badge, Pearl will encourage electrification efforts that are promoted by ENERGY STAR (such as the ENERGY STAR Home Upgrade program), as well as help homeowners understand and take advantage of the rebates offered under the Inflation Reduction Act.

Required items (interior and exterior) for Pearl Electrified Home recognition include:

  • Proper electric service to the home

  • Proper wiring and electrical panel for required loads

  • No fixed, fossil-fuel appliances and equipment
    • Space heating and cooling (note: Pearl will allow dual-fuel heat pumps in certain climates that also meet certain performance standards)

    • Water heating (domestic hot water and pools)

    • Clothes drying

    • Cooking

    • Fireplaces

“Over 60% of homes in the United States use fossil fuels to directly power at least one appliance or piece of equipment. Reaching a net-zero-carbon energy system will require switching homes away from fossil fuels to electricity powered by clean energy.”

Ready to Upgrade: Barriers and Strategies for Residential Electrification
Electrification Diagram

“Consumer interest in all-electric homes is mushrooming. According to a recent survey of homeowners across the U.S. … nearly 55% of respondents indicated that they are interested in purchasing an all-electric home.”

The Great American Electrification

Want to learn more about Pearl’s Electrified Home Badge? Contact us at [email protected].