GHI Zero Carbon Certified

Achieving this standard means certified renewable energy credits or viable carbon offsets must offset all home or building energy use. This discludes electric vehicle usage.

The standard requires that a project achieve a baseline green building certification, including but not limited to GreenStar Homes Certification, LEED For Homes, National Green Building Standard, Enterprise Green Communities, or the DOE Zero Energy Certification under v2 is allowed. The home must also be all-electric except for using a combustion source for aesthetics, backup heat during an outage and/or a generator.

The program requires that the certification be updated yearly in that zero carbon can only be achieved yearly rather than set definitely.

How to determine if you achieved the standard 

For existing housing, gather the 12 months’ worth of utility data and separate it out of energy purchased from the grid from electric vehicle usage. Then deduct any renewable energy sent back to the grid in the same period. From there, Renewable Energy Credits (RECS) can be purchased to offset the remaining energy, or an hourly carbon analysis can be done to determine the home’s carbon use from the grid during that period. The only carbon offsets allowed in the program are those developed to improve housing infrastructure or renewables directly.

A project can use a certified energy rating approved under the GreenStar Homes Certification Standard for new construction. Use the program to determine estimated carbon use and then purchase the renewable energy credits in that amount to achieve the certification for that year.

Ready to apply for Zero Carbon Certification?

Contact us at to get started.

This program is free for GHI members or GHI project teams certifying in the same year.

Non-Member costs $100 per submission for the first home and an additional $10 per unit for townhomes, developments, or multifamily housing.

Case Study: Miner Residence GHI Zero Carbon Certified 2020 – 2022