Processing an RNC Program home in Ekotrope

1. Starting a Program application

After initiating an Ekotrope project (natively in Ekotrope; or via REM/Rate XML) take the following steps to begin an RNC Program application.

These steps take the place of starting an application in the old system. Expectations around timeliness of registering projects remain in place: all applications should be started no more than 2 weeks after rough inspections.

Project Info > Site Info

Project Info > Site Info

1: Complete the “Site Info” tab.

The following items are required to start an application:

  • Community

  • Lot / Unit Number

  • Address

*Duplicate Community/Lot combinations will be blocked.

Project Info > ICF

Project Info > ICF

2: Complete all fields in the “ICF” tab (Premise number is not required to start an application).

  • Select “Under Construction'“ as the Submission Status

  • Select the appropriate builder from the drop-down

The following items are required to start an application:

  • Enrolled Builder

  • Expected Completion Date

3. On the Ekotrope project’s homepage, select “Duke HERO Program” under the “Submit Project” drop-down.

Your application has now been started and will appear in the Program’s database.

2. Submitting a final project for incentives

The steps for submitting a final Ekotrope project closely match those outlined above for starting an application, with the following differences:

  1. Submission status must be set to “Final Submission”

  2. All project, site, and rating info fields are required

  3. Automated QA checks will ensure that the project complies with Program guidelines and requirements


The following Project Info items are required in addition to those required to start an application:

  • City

  • Zip code

  • Plan/Model

  • Start date

  • Close-in date


Specific to REM/Rate XML users — complete these steps prior to those listed immediately above:

  1. Import your REM XML into the already-started Ekotrope project

  2. Set the new Building Design (created by the import) as the Master Design by clicking the blue ribbon next to the Building Design.

3. Using Ekotrope

Quick Results.PNG

The Basics

New and experienced users alike are encouraged to make use of Ekotrope’s online knowledge base. An excellent starting point is the “New User Tour”. After reviewing this material users will be familiar with the the Quick Results pane. The Quick Results items highlighted in the image at right will be useful to raters as they review the impacts of spec changes on HERO performance and incentives.

REM Users

As outlined in a message to all participating raters, homes permitted prior to 9/1/2019 may use REM/Rate to demonstrate HERO compliance. All homes permitted on or after 9/1/2019 must show HERO compliance in Ekotrope. To make use of this allowance:

  1. Upload your REM-based XML as described in the steps above.

  2. At final submission, click the “Meets NC HERO Requirements” checkbox on the Project Info > ICF tab (pictured in Section 1, Step 2 above). As described in the tool tip that appears when hovering over the green “?” next to the checkbox, a HERO performance PDF generated from REM/Rate must be emailed to the Program inbox ( within 1 business day of submitting an affected project in Ekotrope.

Advanced Users

Determining cost-effective strategies for builders to comply with the HERO code is a primary task for raters in the RNC Program. A critical tool for providing useful recommendations is Ekotrope’s component load diagnostics tool. It clearly outlines the performance of building components relative to the HERO reference home (or any reference home of your choosing).

Visit the Ekotrope Support page for guidance on using the tool.