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LEED v4
Homes
Energy and Atmosphere
Annual energy use

LEED CREDIT

Homes-v4 EAc1: Annual energy use 1-29 points

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© Copyright U.S. Green Building Council, Inc. All rights reserved.

Requirements

Projects with major energy users not included in the HERS Index, including pools, spas, heated driveways, and heated garages, or other major energy users not included in the HERS index must use Option 1.

Option 1. LEED Energy Budget
Design and construct a building whose modeled annual energy usage is lower than the LEED energy budget. The LEED energy budget is based on the ENERGY STAR for Homes, HERS Index Target Procedure for National Program Requirements, version 3, with the following modifications:
  • The size adjustment factor is always 1.
  • The building is a slab-on-grade ranch whose floor area is equal to the ENERGY STAR reference home’s conditioned floor area.
  • There are no floors over unconditioned spaces.
  • The gross exterior wall area is as shown in Table 1.
  • There are two exterior half-lite doors, unshaded, one on the south wall, one on the west wall.
  • Glazing is 15% of the floor area.
  • The ceiling is insulated, and its gross area equals the conditioned floor area.
  • The storage water heater has an energy factor of 0.59 for gas, 0.92 for electric.
  • The thermal distribution system is 100% in the attic, above insulation.
  • The LEED energy budget shall be displayed in MBtu/year, and is based on source energy.
  • Any major energy users not covered by the energy model, including heated driveways, pools, spas, and heated garages, must be added to the annual energy consumption of the Rated Home.
Table 1. Exterior wall area of LEED reference home, by number of bedrooms

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8 or more

Area (square feet)

1,300

1,667

1,957

2,200

2,411

2,600

2,773

+ 150 ft2 per additional bedroom

Area (square meters)

120

154

181

204

223

241

257

+ 14 square meters per additional bedroom

Individual units in multifamily buildings are compared to the LEED Reference Homes. Points are awarded according to Table 2.
Table 2. Points for reducing energy usage below LEED energy budget
Percentage reduction Points
1% 1
2% 2
3% 3
4% 4
5% 5
6% 6
7% 7
8% 8
9% 9
10% 10
12% 11
14% 12
16% 13
18% 14
20% 15
22% 16
24% 17
26% 18
28% 19
30% 20
32% 21
34% 22
37% 23
40% 24
50% 25
60% 26
70% 27
80% 28
90% 29

OR

Option 2. HERS Index with Home Size Adjuster
Design and construct a home whose modeled annual energy usage achieves a HERS index rating of 70 or better (or USGBC-approved equivalent for projects outside the U.S.). Points are awarded according to Table 3.
Table 3. Points for achieving HERS index ratings
HERS index Points
70 5
69 6
68 7
67 8
66 9
65 10
64 11
63 12
62 13
60 14
58 15
56 16
54 17
52 18
50 19
45 20
40 21
35 22
30 23
25 24
20 25
15 26
10 27
5 28
0 29
AND Earn 1 point for every 4% decrease in conditioned floor area compared with the ENERGY STAR for Homes, version 3, reference home (Table 4). Buildings that are larger than the reference home lose 1 point for every 4% increase in conditioned floor area. Projects cannot exceed the maximum number of points in the EA section.
Table 4. Conditioned floor area of reference home, by number of bedrooms

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8 or more

Floor area (square feet)

1,000

1,600

2,200

2,800

3,400

4,000

4,600

+ 600 ft2 per additional bedroom

Floor area (square meters)

93

148

204

260

315

371

426

+ 55.6 square meters per additional bedroom

For multifamily buildings, home size includes only in-unit space.
Credit only available for projects using the EA performance path
North America ACP: Passive House US
LEED v4 Homes projects that earn the Passive House US (PHIUS) certificate may automatically earn 20 points in LEED v4 Homes EA Credit Annual Energy Use. See all forum discussions about this credit »

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Addenda

11/9/2020Updated: 12/7/2020
Regional ACP
Description of change:
See the Resource Library for full ACP requirements and documentation.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/14/2019Updated: 10/14/2019
Regional ACP
Description of change:
Refer to attached resource to view the Energy & Atmosphere Alternative Compliance Paths for Canada Projects,
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/25/2019Updated: 7/30/2019
Rating System Correction
Description of change:
Current language reads: Follow the criteria in EA Prerequisite Performance for Energy Star Homes to demonstrate a percentage improvement in the proposed building’s performance compared with the baseline building performance of ASHRAE 90.1–2010, or USGBC-approved equivalent standard for projects outside the U.S. Points are awarded according to Table 5.

Replace the term "EA Prerequisite Performance for Energy Star Homes" with the following: "EA Prerequisite Minimum Energy Performance."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
10/17/2016Updated: 3/29/2018
Regional ACP
Description of change:
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
4/5/2016
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

DOE has recently removed the Builder's Option Package as a certification approach to ENERGY STAR for Homes v3. Will USGBC still allow it to be used to meet the requirements of this prerequisite?

Ruling:

Yes, projects may still use the ENERGY STAR for Homes v3 Builder's Option Package as a compliance pathway for the ENERGY STAR portion of this prerequisite.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
1/5/2018
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

LEED Interpretation 10422 provides a pathway for LEED v4 Homes projects located in California to use Title 24-2013 to comply with the Energy and Atmosphere credit category. Can my project use Title 24-2016 Part 6 in order to comply with the Energy and Atmosphere credit category?

Ruling:

Yes. Projects in California may use the standard LEED for Homes v4 scoring approaches for the Energy and Atmosphere section, or they may elect to use this ACP, which combines energy modeling to Title 24-2016 Part 6 and EA credit High-Efficiency Appliances.

The Title 24 energy models must be performed by a CEA. All aspects of ENERGY STAR v3 Homes are met by Title 24 2016 compliance, save for the two following measures, which must be met by all projects:

1) Cooling equipment selection and sizing limits. All installed cooling equipment must be sized within the following parameters.

Compressor Type:
Single-Speed: 90-130%
Two-Speed: 90-140%
Variable-Speed: 90-160%

2) External static pressure of ducted heating and cooling systems must be measured by a qualified energy rater at contractor-provided test locations

Scoring in EA credit Annual Energy Use is as follows:
Points for reducing energy usage below T-24 2016 Energy Design Rating (EDR) of Standard Efficiency

% savings Points
1% 5
2% 6
3% 7
4% 8
5% 9
6% 10
7% 11
8% 12
9% 13
10% 14
13% 15
16% 16
20% 17
25% 18
30% 19
35% 20
40% 21
50% 22
60% 23
70% 24
80% 25
90% 26
100% 27

In addition, Title 24-2016 Homes projects that are zero net energy (ZNE) - as defined by site energy, source energy, or TDV - are granted maximum points and don’t need to complete the Home Size Adjuster.

The percent savings over T-24 2016 baseline is calculated using the project’s Energy Design Rating (EDR).

Title 24 savings = 1 - (Final Proposed EDR / EDR of Standard Efficiency)

This information is found on the Energy Design Rating tab of CBECC-Res, as well as the CF1R-PRF-01 report

**April 9, 2019 Update:
Add a third required measure to the LEED interpretation for projects complying with Title 24 as an ACP to ENERGY STAR v3 Homes:

3) Completion of California Quality Installed Insulation (QII), or the LEED Multifamily Thermal Enclosure Checklist, may be used in lieu of the ENERGY STAR v3 Rater Field Checklist, Thermal Enclosure System section.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/25/2019
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Our multifamily low-rise project is pursuing ENERGY STAR Multifamily New Construction Certification (Version 1, 1.1, OR-WA 1.2). Is this considered equivalent to an ENERGY STAR v3 New Homes Certificate?

Ruling:

Yes, the ENERGY STAR Multifamily New Construction certification is considered equivalent to ENERGY STAR v3 New Homes certification.

ERI energy model:
Projects may elect to earn credit based on their improvement over ENERGY STAR. The ENERGY STAR Multifamily New Construction v1 (or v1.1 and v1.2) Energy Rating Index and Energy Rating Index Target are recognized as equal to the HERS v3 Index and HERS v3 Index Target respectively. The Home Size Adjuster shall not be used to adjust the number of points awarded when using this path.

Prescriptive path:
Projects that earn the ENERGY STAR Multifamily New Construction Certification using the Prescriptive path shall automatically receive a HERS 70 score, for the purposes of documenting points under EA Credit: Optimize Energy Performance or EA Credit: Annual Energy Usage. The Home Size Adjuster shall not be used to adjust the number of points awarded when using this path. \

ASHRAE 90.1 model:
Projects that earn the ENERGY STAR Multifamily New Construction Certification using the ASHRAE path shall automatically receive a HERS 70 score, for the purposes of documenting points under EA Credit: Optimize Energy Performance or EA Credit: Annual Energy Usage. The Home Size Adjuster shall not be used to adjust the number of points awarded when using this path.

Projects using ASHRAE 90.1-2010 Appendix G (or a LEED approved equivalent standard under LEED v4 BD+C: Multifamily Midrise) may earn up to 29 points by following the requirements and scoring LEED Midrise: Annual Energy Use. The Home Size Adjuster shall not be used to adjust the number of points awarded when using this path.

International projects:
International projects that are ineligible to achieve ENERGY STAR certification may document achievement of the ENERGY STAR Multifamily New Construction certification requirements rather than submitting the ENERGY STAR v3 New Homes Certificate. For projects pursuing the prescriptive or ERI paths, all Mandatory and Prescriptive requirements apply, except for analogous requirements with LEED approved exceptions for International projects (e.g. LEED Interpretation 10443 allowing exceptions to HERS Qualified Energy Raters, LEED Interpretation 10444 allowing visual inspections in lieu of HERS testing, etc.). For projects pursuing the ASHRAE path, the ENERGY STAR Multifamily New Construction, Version 1 / 1.1 Mandatory Requirements in dwelling units for fenestration, high-performance insulation apply.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
4/5/2016
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Appliance manufacturers are no longer reporting MEF or WF information and are instead reporting Integrated Modified Energy Factor (IMEF) and Integrated Water Factor (IWF) for any residentially classified washing machines. ENERGY STAR appliances made this change in a recent update.

How should projects apply LEED credits that reference the old MEF and WF use the updated IMEF and IWF?

Ruling:

There is no direct equivalency between MEF and IMEF, nor WF and IWF. Projects should use the ENERGY STAR performance thresholds for IMEF and IWF to meet LEED credit requirements.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
1/1/2014
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Can projects use the NFRC's Component Modeling Approach methodology for verifying performance specifications for windows in the energy model or EA credit Windows? CMAST is a software tool created by NFRC for custom commercial windows.

Ruling:

Fenestration used to satisfy LEED for Homes prerequisites and credits must meet the following condition: 1) the installed fenestration components correspond to approved components listed within the NFRC Component Modeling Approach Software Tool (“CMAST”) library; 2) the CMAST project developed for each home has been generated by an ACE (Approved Calculation Entity) Organization; and 3) the fenestration products for the home are included in a Project Label Certificate that has been approved and certified by an Independent Certification and Inspection Agency (“IA”) licensed by NFRC.

Custom fenestration modeled using CMAST or LBL's WINDOW and THERM software - but not certified by NFRC - may be used for no more than 10% of the total window area in the home. This window area still must meet the performance requirements in LEED for Homes.

Updated ruling on 8/15/17 for rating system version applicability.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
4/5/2016
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

According to the US DOE “Zero Energy Ready Homes are at least 40%-50% more energy efficient than a typical new home. This generally corresponds to a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index Score in the low- to mid-50s, depending on the size of the home and region in which it is built.”

Interpretation 10398 states that projects that receive ENERGY STAR for Homes v3 certification may automatically earn a HERS 70. Can projects that earn the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home label also receive a HERS equivalency?

Ruling:

Projects that earn the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home certificate may automatically earn a 15 points in EA credit Annual Energy Use.

In addition, projects that earn the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home certificate meet the following credits and prerequisites:

EA prerequisite Minimum energy performance (Required)
EA prerequisite Education of homeowner, tenant, or building manager (Required)
EA credit Efficient hot water distribution system Option 2. Performance test (3 points)
EA credit Active solar-ready design (1 point)
EA credit HVAC Start-up credentialing (1 point)
EA credit Annual energy use (15 points)
IN credit Innovation ZERH (1 point)

Projects also meet the requirements of all credits and prerequisites deemed equivalent to the EPA Indoor airPLUS program.

Update 7/25/19: This interpretation does not apply to projects that include pools or other major energy users not covered by the energy model.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
See all forum discussions about this credit »

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© Copyright U.S. Green Building Council, Inc. All rights reserved.

Requirements

Projects with major energy users not included in the HERS Index, including pools, spas, heated driveways, and heated garages, or other major energy users not included in the HERS index must use Option 1.

Option 1. LEED Energy Budget
Design and construct a building whose modeled annual energy usage is lower than the LEED energy budget. The LEED energy budget is based on the ENERGY STAR for Homes, HERS Index Target Procedure for National Program Requirements, version 3, with the following modifications:
  • The size adjustment factor is always 1.
  • The building is a slab-on-grade ranch whose floor area is equal to the ENERGY STAR reference home’s conditioned floor area.
  • There are no floors over unconditioned spaces.
  • The gross exterior wall area is as shown in Table 1.
  • There are two exterior half-lite doors, unshaded, one on the south wall, one on the west wall.
  • Glazing is 15% of the floor area.
  • The ceiling is insulated, and its gross area equals the conditioned floor area.
  • The storage water heater has an energy factor of 0.59 for gas, 0.92 for electric.
  • The thermal distribution system is 100% in the attic, above insulation.
  • The LEED energy budget shall be displayed in MBtu/year, and is based on source energy.
  • Any major energy users not covered by the energy model, including heated driveways, pools, spas, and heated garages, must be added to the annual energy consumption of the Rated Home.
Table 1. Exterior wall area of LEED reference home, by number of bedrooms

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8 or more

Area (square feet)

1,300

1,667

1,957

2,200

2,411

2,600

2,773

+ 150 ft2 per additional bedroom

Area (square meters)

120

154

181

204

223

241

257

+ 14 square meters per additional bedroom

Individual units in multifamily buildings are compared to the LEED Reference Homes. Points are awarded according to Table 2.
Table 2. Points for reducing energy usage below LEED energy budget
Percentage reduction Points
1% 1
2% 2
3% 3
4% 4
5% 5
6% 6
7% 7
8% 8
9% 9
10% 10
12% 11
14% 12
16% 13
18% 14
20% 15
22% 16
24% 17
26% 18
28% 19
30% 20
32% 21
34% 22
37% 23
40% 24
50% 25
60% 26
70% 27
80% 28
90% 29

OR

Option 2. HERS Index with Home Size Adjuster
Design and construct a home whose modeled annual energy usage achieves a HERS index rating of 70 or better (or USGBC-approved equivalent for projects outside the U.S.). Points are awarded according to Table 3.
Table 3. Points for achieving HERS index ratings
HERS index Points
70 5
69 6
68 7
67 8
66 9
65 10
64 11
63 12
62 13
60 14
58 15
56 16
54 17
52 18
50 19
45 20
40 21
35 22
30 23
25 24
20 25
15 26
10 27
5 28
0 29
AND Earn 1 point for every 4% decrease in conditioned floor area compared with the ENERGY STAR for Homes, version 3, reference home (Table 4). Buildings that are larger than the reference home lose 1 point for every 4% increase in conditioned floor area. Projects cannot exceed the maximum number of points in the EA section.
Table 4. Conditioned floor area of reference home, by number of bedrooms

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8 or more

Floor area (square feet)

1,000

1,600

2,200

2,800

3,400

4,000

4,600

+ 600 ft2 per additional bedroom

Floor area (square meters)

93

148

204

260

315

371

426

+ 55.6 square meters per additional bedroom

For multifamily buildings, home size includes only in-unit space.
Credit only available for projects using the EA performance path
North America ACP: Passive House US
LEED v4 Homes projects that earn the Passive House US (PHIUS) certificate may automatically earn 20 points in LEED v4 Homes EA Credit Annual Energy Use.
See all LEEDuser forum discussions about this credit » Unsubscribe from discussions about Homes-v4 EAc1