The IHP Certificate of Completion

Learn how you can earn a Silver or Gold Certificate of Completion and about how it'll help you sell your home.

Upgrading your home means a lot more if you can receive recognition for doing so. When it comes to saving money, Illinois Home Performance (IHP) wants to empower homeowners to not only lower their energy bills, but to also earn back some of their investment when they sell their home. After all, the comfort, safety, durability, and efficiency benefits of an Illinois Home Performance home energy upgrade don't stop when you leave – they extend to subsequent homeowners.

The Certificate of Completion recognizes homes that have successfully completed an IHP upgrade. There are two levels: Silver and Gold. Both types document the major improvements that were made during the upgrade and list basic project information such as home address, program partners, and contractors (see below for examples).

Earning the Silver Certificate

The image at right is a sample IHP Silver Certificate of Completion. Click to download a printable sample.

To earn a Silver Certificate of Completion, the following criteria must be met:


  • Upgrade includes the following two components, at a minimum:
    • Building infiltration rate: 4 ACH50 –OR– 30% reduction below baseline.* Must follow BPI Building Airflow Standard requirements -AND-
    • Attic insulation: R-value increased to the level specified in the current state or local code, whichever is higher.

Earning the Gold Certificate


The image at right is a sample IHP Gold Certificate of Completion. Click to download a printable sample.

To earn a Gold Certificate of Completion, the following criteria must be met:

  • Home is located in an area covered by an IHP Program Provider
  • Work with an IHP Participating Contractor
  • Follow the IHP process
  • Upgrade must achieve the following performance metric:
    • Building infiltration rate: 4 ACH50 –OR– 30% reduction below baseline.* Must follow BPI Building Airflow Standard requirements.
  • Upgrade achieves at least four of the following five metrics:
    • Ducts: When partially or fully outside the conditioned space, leakage rate is sum of supply and return leakage to outside divided by fan flow ≤ 10%  –OR– Ducts are fully inside the home’s pressure boundary
    • Wall insulation: R≥13 in all perimeter walls
    • Attic insulation: R-value as specified in the current state or local code, whichever is higher
    • Basement/crawlspace insulation: If unconditioned, floor insulation R≥30 –OR– If conditioned, wall insulation R≥10 continuous or R≥13 cavity; in either instance, must be installed with proper air sealing and venting so as to avoid moisture problems
    • Heating and cooling equipment: ENERGY STAR qualified, subject to manufacturer installation specifications

If multiple IHP home improvement projects have been undertaken at a single residence, the air leakage rate baseline is determined by first IHP home energy assessment.

Receiving your Certificate

Upon completion of your upgrade, your IHP Participating Contractor will submit documentation of your project to your local Program Provider. The Provider will review the work and submit the materials to MEEA, who will mail you your Certificate.

For a printable version of all the nitty-gritty certification details, click here.

What if My Home is Already Efficient?

If your home is relatively new or has recently undergone an energy upgrade, it may be difficult for you to meet the requirements for a Certificate of Completion. If this is the case, IHP may not be the best program for you; however, there are still opportunities to demonstrate your home's efficiency like an IHP Certificate would. Click here to learn more.

When You Are Ready to Sell Your Home

The IHP Certificate of Completion is designed to help you showcase your home energy upgrade. The easiest way to do this is to talk to your real estate professional about your upgrade and ask them to attach a digital copy of your Certificate to your home's listing on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Then, be sure to talk to potential buyers about the effort you invested and benefits you have experienced from your upgrade.

Do Certificates really make a difference when selling a home?

The IHP Certificate of Completion will help you convey the value of the efficient features you have invested in to potential buyers. It can also help you start a conversation about the value of increased comfort and lower energy costs. Although Illinois Home Performance has not yet been able to evaluate the effect of Certificates on the Illinois real estate marketplace, there is strong evidence that similar certificates in other regions are helping homeowners sell their homes faster and/or for a premium. Some studies that have reported this trend include:

Displaying your Certificate on Illinois's Largest MLS

The IHP Certificate of Completion is now recognized by Illinois’ largest multiple listing service (MLS), Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED), which services much of Northern Illinois, including the Chicago metro area. Read more about MRED here.

 In order to take advantage of the benefits, follow these steps as you prepare to sell your house:

  • Give your real estate agent an electronic copy of your Certificate
  • The real estate agent will then save your Certificate in the MLS system to verify that your home features certified energy efficiency improvements
  • They will also make sure the "Illinois Home Performance with ENERGY STAR" check box is checked on your home’s listing page

Displaying your Certificate on another MLS

For those who live outside of the Chicago metro area, you can still feature your Certificate. Just submit an electronic copy of your Certificate as a picture on your local MLS and promote the benefits of your Certificate in the comments section of your house's listing.

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