Don’t Skip Easy Points: Advanced Energy Metering under LEED CI
You are running a LEED for Commercial Interiors charette, you are deep into the scorecard, and the Advanced Energy Metering credit comes up. At first glance, it’s easy—just install meters—but then you dig in deeper. Many questions now arise:
- Is the tenant required to install meters, or the base building owner?
- Meters are expensive, aren’t they?
- Who owns the meter?
- How are the data reported?
- Do we have to get the utility company involved?
The credit starts to sound complicated. You give up, mark this credit as a “no,” and move on.
But wait! This credit is not actually that difficult to achieve—and it will save money in the long run.
Meters pay for themselves
Unlike the BD+C ratings systems (New Construction, Core and Shell, Schools, Retail, Hospitality, and Healthcare) the ID+C rating systems (Commercial Interiors, Hospitality, and Retail) do not include prerequisites for energy and water data metering and reporting. This means, from a LEED perspective, energy and water meters are not required to be installed at the tenant level to have a certified tenant space.
Whether tenant meters are installed by the base building owner is mostly determined by budgets. When budgets get tight, meters are one of the first things on the VE list. In the end, the lack of submeters ends up costing someone.
If the base building has installed submeters, Yahtzee! Move on to the below section on documentation for the LEED CI certification. If not, it’s okay; the tenant can install the meters.
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The upfront cost of installing meters is about $500 for each energy source; this typically means installing two or three meters for a single tenant. The installation of submeters can save money for tenants through accurate utility billing. These meters could pay for themselves in under a year!
Option 1 – Metering (one point)
This option is similar to the energy and water metering prerequisites in the BD+C rating systems, except that the project doesn’t have to meter water use, and an annual summary isn’t required. This includes:
- Installation of the meters for energy systems (typically electricity and gas)
- Data recorded on a monthly basis
- A commitment to sharing the data for five years
Option 2 – Advanced metering (two points)
In addition to the meters from Option 1, Advanced Metering requires the metering of individual energy uses that represent 10% or more of total annual consumption. For a typical commercial interior space, the only additional meter needed is for hot water.
Additionally, all the meters need to be connected to the building automation system. Since BAS are needed for typical tenant fit-outs, this should not be difficult for the controls contractor to implement. Moreover, end uses don’t need to be separated.
The installed meters need to be able to record at daily hourly levels while documenting the demand and consumption side recordings.
Documentation isn’t onerous
Despite the copious number of words present within the credit, the Option 2 documentation only includes:
- Mechanical and Electrical design drawings showing the meters
- Controls shop drawings showing the network diagram and riser
- A snapshot or Excel file of the trend data collection pulling data monthly (the data can be blank)
- Cut sheets for the meters
But what about v4.1? This credit didn’t change between LEED v4.0 and v4.1.