SEF Obtains ENERGY STAR Certification for Net Zero Energy Building

On March 8, 2021, Sustainable Energy Fund obtained the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® certification for its Net Zero Energy Building for 2020. Based out of Schnecksville, PA, the Net Zero Energy Building is the first of its kind in the Lehigh Valley and was constructed by Sustainable Energy Fund as a way to both live their mission more fully and show Lehigh Valley residents that sustainable building is possible at market rate.

“We’re honored to earn the ENERGY STAR for superior energy performance at the Net Zero Energy Building and appreciate the efforts of everyone who has been involved in its efficient operation,” said John Costlow, President/CEO of Sustainable Energy Fund. “We are proud to serve as a leader in sustainable and efficient building and as an example in our community that projects like this can be done at market rate.”

Sustainable Energy Fund’s completed Net Zero Energy Building

ENERGY STAR certified buildings and plants are verified to perform in the top 25 percent of buildings nationwide, based on weather-normalized source energy use that takes into account occupancy, hours of operation, and other key metrics. Sustainable Energy Fund’s building earned a score of 97, meaning SEF’s Net Zero Energy Building is more efficient than 97 percent of other buildings of its property use type. This efficiency was accomplished through a super-tight building envelope, improved insulation, high-efficiency HVAC systems­, and LED lighting throughout. The HVAC system features an Energy Recovery Ventilation system capable of maintaining fresh air into the workspace while maintaining energy efficiency and occupants’ health and comfort. Complementing this efficiency is a 150 kW solar array supplying the bulding’s energy needs, eliminating the carbon footprint and fulfilling SEF’s dedications towards a more sustainable/regenerative future.

“Improving the energy efficiency of our nation’s buildings is critical to protecting our environment, “ said Jean Lupinacci, Chief of the ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial Branch. “From the boiler room to the board room, organizations are leading the way by making their buildings more efficient and earning EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification.”

To learn more about Sustainable Energy Fund’s Net Zero Energy Building, visit For more information about ENERGY STAR for Buildings and Plants, visit