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LEED v2009
New Construction
Energy and Atmosphere

Green power

LEED CREDIT

NC-2009 EAc6: Green Power 1-2 points

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Marcus Sheffer

7group / Energy Opportunities
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Credit language

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Requirements

Engage in at least a 2-year renewable energy contract to provide at least 35% of the building’s electricity from renewable sources, as defined by the Center for Resource Solutions’ Green-e Energy product certification requirements or an equivalent [Europe ACP: Green Power] [South America ACP: Green Power] [India ACP: Green Power] All purchases of green power shall be based on the quantity of energy consumed, not the cost. If the green power is not Green-e Energy certified, equivalence must exist for both major Green-e Energy program criteria: 1) current green power performance standards, and 2) independent, third-party verification that those standards are being met by the green power supplier over time.

Option 1. Determine baseline electricity use
Use the annual electricity consumption from the results of EA Credit 1: Optimize Energy Performance.

OR

Option 2. Estimate baseline electricity use
Use the U.S. Department of Energy’s Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey database to determine the estimated electricity use.

Alternative Compliance Paths (ACPs)

Europe ACP: Green-e Energy Equivalent
Projects in Europe may use the following approved standards in place of Green-e Energy:
  • EKOenergy
  • Guarantees of Origin (GOs) with additional parameters
[view:embed_resource=page_1=4887966]
India ACP: Green-e Energy Equivalent
Projects in India may use the Indian Central Electricity Regulatory Commission REC program with additional parameters in place of Green-e Energy.
South America ACP: Green-e Energy Equivalent
Projects in South America may use the Brazilian “Certificado de Energia Renovável” (Renewable Energy Certificate) with additional parameters in place of Green-e Energy. [view:embed_resource=page_1=4908164]
Credit substitution available
You may use the LEED v4 version of this credit on v2009 projects. For more information check out this article.
Credit substitution available
You may use the LEED v4 version of this credit on v2009 projects. For more information check out this article.
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What does it cost?

Cost estimates for this credit

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Our tab contains overall cost guidance, notes on what “soft costs” to expect, and a strategy-by-strategy breakdown of what to consider and what it might cost, in percentage premiums, actual costs, or both.

This information is also available in a full PDF download in The Cost of LEED v4 report.

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Frequently asked questions

Our project will be net-zero energy, i.e. will produce as much or more power than it consumes. Can we earn this credit?

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The owner has purchased RECs for a percentage of energy use of its whole portfolio of buildings, or campus. Can we earn this credit for a single LEED building with this purchase?

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We plan on pursuing this credit only if we need to do so to meet our certification target, i.e. if another credit we are counting on gets rejected. How late can we apply for this credit?

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The owner purchases RECs based on an earlier prediction, but our energy model is now showing that we are just a little short of the credit threshold. What should we do?

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Our project is outside the U.S. We would like to earn this credit by purchasing RECs, but there are no Green-e options available here. It looks like most Green-e certified power comes from the U.S. What should we do?

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We are pursuing this credit outside the U.S., and the owner wants to know if we can buy green power through a provider in our country that is not Green-e certified. We started comparing our national standard to Green-e and quickly found an area where the national standard is not as stringent as Green-e. Is this a dead end?

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Addenda

10/1/2014Updated: 3/29/2018
Regional ACP
Description of change:
Add the following after the first paragraph in the Requirements section:

“Projects in South America may use the Brazilian “Certificado de Energia Renovável” (Renewable Energy Certificate) with additional parameters in place of Green-e Energy.”

**Updated on 4/1/2015 to include applicability to LEED v4
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/1/2015Updated: 3/29/2018
Regional ACP
Description of change:
Insert after first paragraph the following:
"Projects in India may use RECs from India with additional parameters in place of Green-e Energy certified RECs."
Campus Applicable
Yes
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Delete the box that states "Note for Projects outside the U.S."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
12/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the second line of the paragraph, replace "kWh per year" with "kWh over a period of 2 years"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Add a new paragraph after the second paragraph that reads: "If the green power is not Green-e Energy certified, equivalence must exist for both major Green-e Energy program criteria: 1) current green power performance standards, and 2) independent, third-party verification that those standards are being met by the green power supplier over time."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
8/1/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Add the following paragraph to the end of item 3: "The vintage of any REC purchased to meet the Green Power credit requirements must be valid according to the Green-e vintage requirements as written on the date of purchase. Project teams must affirm in writing that the purchased RECs are being claimed for use on this particular LEED Project only."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
4/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
After the first sentence, add the following: "If an energy model was used to document compliance with EAc1: Optimize Energy Performance, the data from the energy model must be used as the basis for determining the electricity consumption for this credit."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
12/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In first line, remove the following text:This project needs to purchase Green-e-certified green power orRECs equal to 106,271 kWh/yr."Replace with "This project needs to purchase Green-e-certifiedgreen power or RECs equal to 106,271 kWh over a period of 2years.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the first line of the paragraph, change the text "100%" to "70%" so it becomes "Exemplary performance is available to projects that purchase 70% of their electricity from renewable sources."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Delete the box that states "This OPTION is not available to Projects outside the U.S."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
12/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the equation, replace the second "X" with "=" so the text becomes "19,000 (sf) X 11.7 (kWh/sf/yr) = 2,223,000 (kWh/yr)
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Add "or an equivalent" to the end of the first paragraph.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
4/14/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Replace the entire paragraph with the text "The building\'s annual electricity use is 151,816 kWh."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
12/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the second paragraph, remove the text:The energy intensity multiplied by the square footage of the projectrepresents the total amount of green power (in kWh) that wouldneed to be purchased over a 2-year period to qualify for EA Credit6 using this option."Replace with "The energy intensity multiplied by the square footageof the project represents the total amount of electricityconsumption. Total electricity consumption X 35% X 2 yearsrepresents the total green power (kWh) that would need to bepurchased over a 2-year period to qualify for EA Credit 6 using thisoption.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
4/1/2012
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

If a project receives an allotment of REC credits from a larger corporation in the required amount and states that the REC credits will not be counted towards or used for any other project within the corporation`s portfolio, will this meet the credit requirements? If yes, what if any additional submittal requirements are necessary to illustrate the intent of the credit has been met?

Ruling:

The project is requesting that REC\'s purchased from a larger corporation meet the credit requirements on a single project. Yes, this approach is acceptable given that the project has purchased Green-e accredited Tradable Renewable Certificates (RECs) equal to at least 35% (or 50% for LEED-CI projects) of the predicted annual electrical consumption for the project building over a 2-year period. In addition to the standard submittal requirements, a statement in the form of an email or letter from the building portfolio owner should be provided confirming that that the REC credits will not be counted towards or used for any other project within the corporation`s portfolio.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
4/27/2009
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The 75 Station Landing project is a seven story, 175,000 SF residential apartment building with 168 apartments and 8,500 SF of core/shell retail space. The building is located in a new mixed-use, transit-oriented development located adjacent to the Wellington MBTA Station in Medford, MA. The project is seeking certification under LEED for New Construction v2.2. The Owner would like to pursue EAc6, Green Power, for the common areas and systems of the project. Each apartment has its own utility electric meter, as does the core/shell retail space, and each tenant will be responsible to pay their own electric bill. Therefore, the only electricity use over which the Owner will have control is the common areas and central systems. We have not been able to find any CBECS data for apartment buildings. The LEED NC v2.2 Reference manual appears to be silent on how to approach this issue, and the LEED CS v2.0 reference manual, while including a method for calculating core and shell electric use for many different types of buildings, also appears to be silent concerning apartment buildings. Please confirm that the following approach will be acceptable to USGBC for EAc6 compliance: Using the energy model created for EAc1 compliance, we will sum the electricity used in common areas, corridors, lobbies, amenity areas and offices. We will exclude the electricity used within the apartment units. Common Area electricity uses will include, but not be limited to: lighting (indoors and out), miscellaneous common area power, elevators, main building condenser water system (for the apartment heat pumps), central toilet exhaust riser fans, and HVAC for common areas. We expect that will exceed the normal 15% default minimum that is required under LEED-CS. We will exclude the electricity used in the apartments, which will be for lighting, miscellaneous apartment power, and water source heat pump units. We propose to purchase a minimum of 35% green power (that complies with the green power requirements and definitions already in LEED NC v2.2) for a period of two years for the Common Area electricity used as described above. We would also propose that an innovation credit be available if the project purchased 70% of the Common Area green power for a period of two years, or if the project purchased 35% green power for a period of four years.

Ruling:

The applicant is seeking clarification regarding if residential spaces within a mixed-use LEED-NC project can be excluded from consideration when determining the quantity of green energy required for compliance. No, it is not acceptable to exclude any areas within the LEED-NC project when determining the required green energy purchase. It should be noted that while the building owner may not be responsible for the residential energy use, green tags may be purchased and allocated to the residential areas of the building by the building owner. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/1/2012
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Regarding LEED BD&C EAc6: As the cost of renewable energy sources (PV, in particular) continues to drop, the number of projects able to pursue a site net zero energy goal will continue to increase. The final estimation of electricity consumption for EAc1, Optimize Energy Performance, includes the impact of renewable energy determined through EAc2, On-Site Renewable Energy. The credit language for EAc6 indicates that the annual electricity consumption is to be determined from the results of EAc1 or CBECS. Based on this language, it would appear that a net zero energy project would not need to purchase any renewable energy credits (i.e. green power) to achieve EAc6. If a project was 99% better than ASHRAE 90.1-2007 as determined for EAc1, the green power purchase required would be clear, albeit very small. EAc6 seems to conflict with facilities wanting to increase their energy performance to net zero. Please clarify this credit to support projects seeking net zero.

Ruling:

The applicant is asking whether EA Credit 6 - Green Power, and by extension, EAc6 exemplary performance, may be automatically awarded for projects that are designed to be net-zero in terms of average annual energy use without the purchase of green power or renewable energy credits. Yes. If the project produces 100% or more of its electricity as on-site generated renewable electricity, as documented in EAc2 - On-site Renewable Energy, the project is eligible to earn EAc6 and one Innovation in Design point for Exemplary Performance in Green Power. However, for any project that is connected to the electric utility grid, the following requirements apply to ensure that the project meets the credit intent if the project does not achieve net-zero performance once built:1. If a Green-e certified or equivalent utility program is available to the project in the project location, then the project team must provide a 2-year contract or Owner\'s letter of Commitment indicating that the project will commit to a 2-year enrollment period in the program for at least 35% of the provided electrical energy for EA Credit 6, or 70% of the provided electrical energy for Exemplary Performance in Green Power.2. If a Green-e certified or equivalent utility program is not available to the project in the project location, then the project team must provide a letter of commitment signed by the Owner or Owner\'s representative confirming:a. That a Green-e certified or equivalent utility program is not available to the project.b. That the project will review the purchased annual energy consumption for the first two years of occupancy, and will commit to purchase RECs to offset 35% of the purchased electrical consumption for EA Credit 6, or 70% of the provided electrical consumption for Exemplary Performance in Green Power.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
9/18/2008
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Can a third party such as a utility company install and operate a Solar PV system on the rooftop of a LEED project, and can the owner achieve EA c2 credit (1%) and possibly an exemplary performance credit (5%) for Core and Shell V2.0 rating system? Intent of Credit: Encourage and recognize increasing levels of on-site renewable energy self-supply in order to reduce environmental and economic impacts associated with fossil fuel energy use. Approach: A new program has been initiated in the San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E)territory named Clean Energy Systems. The objective of this program is to find usable roof space (at least 5,000 sf)in high performance buildings such as this project where a Solar PV system can be installed, operated, and maintained by SDG&E. The impetus for this unique program is to use available secure roof top space to increase its renewable energy system portfolio that will help SDG&E get to its 20% overall renewable energy portfolio as required by California State Law. It would be the intent of SDG&E to sign a long-term lease space contract with the Owner of this project and install at least 5,000 sf of Solar PV array up on the roof of this and possibly the other two future buildings (Buildings B and C)in this core and shell complex. As mentioned previously, the motivation of SDG&E will be to grid-tie this renewable energy to assist them in achieving the 20% portfolio threshold. The motivation of the Owner is to achieve at least one and maybe two LEED points even though they will not necessarily be using electricity generated from the Solar PV system. The owner would sign a contract with SDG&E before this project is submitted via LEED Online sometime in the Fall of this year 2008. We would provide evidence to this plus an implementation schedule for installation of the system on at least Building A during design submittals. Confirmation of Credit Intent: We believe this approach does meet the intent of the credit providing renewable energy self-supply in order to reduce the environmental effects of fossil fuel consumption (aka global warming)while providing the developer with very needed LEED points in order to achieve LEED Silver for its Building A project. We also believe that this approach will be occurring more frequently in the near future with progressive utilities offering to lease roof space on LEED-registered buildings for independent Solar PV farms. Please verify that this approach summarized above does fulfill the intent of Credit EA c2.

Ruling:

The installation of on-site renewable energy sources owned and operated by an entity other than the building owner is allowable for achievement of EAc2 and has been addressed by a previous CIR dated 7/19/2007, provided the following conditions are met: [1] The renewable energy system must be installed within the boundaries of the project or on the project site. [2] The renewable energy system is connected immediately adjacent to the utility meter. [3] A 10-year (minimum) contract for on-site generation with the owner of the energy system must be established. [4] The Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) associated with the renewable energy system may not be sold. [5] The renewable energy system owner may not count the RECs associated with the renewable energy system to meet a mandated renewable portfolio standard goal or provide RECs to the project owner. The proposed renewable energy system does not appear to meet condition [5] since SDG&E is proposing the renewable energy system installation in order to meet a 20% renewable energy portfolio goal. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
3/28/2007
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The project owner wishes to purchase a green power product that is not Green-e certified, but is asserted to comply with the technical aspects of the standard. How do we document equivalence?

Ruling:

Using a formal third-party verification program is not required, but projects are required to document to USGBC that their renewable supplier has 1) met the Green-e criteria, and 2) properly accounted for the eligible renewable resources sold. This documentation to USGBC must include some type of meaningful verification work performed by a qualified, disinterested third party. Example documentation methods to USGBC that meet this requirement include: a) providing a state-mandated power disclosure label from the renewable supplier in states with meaningful regulatory requirements for renewable energy disclosure and accounting practices, as well as meaningful penalties for violations; b) providing a green power scorecard or rating from a credible, independent entity that performs meaningful verification of green power characteristics and accounting practices. In either case projects must confirm that the third-party entity\'s regulatory or verification programs are meaningful, summarizing those programs to USGBC as part of their certification application and highlighting any auditing or other independent checks the program performs. Other documentation methods will be considered on a case-by-case basis. This ruling applies to all the LEED Rating Systems having a similar "green power" credit. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/1/2014
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The project team is planning on installing a Cogeneration System that will take Biogas and turn it into Electricity to be used wholly on-site. The heat produced by this Cogeneration system will also fully be used on-site to preheat heating hot water and domestic hot water via a heat exchanger and potentially to power an absorption chiller.The building will receive the Biogas from a local Biogas provider and plans to enter into at least a 10 year contract with this provider to supply enough Biogas to the building to fully power the planned Cogeneration system. The contract will stipulate both that enough Biogas will be fed into the pipeline to meet required demands of the Cogeneration system and that the Biogas will be metered to prove that the actual amount of Biogas supplied meets the contracted requirements at all times.Though the Biogas is not being piped exclusively to the site (contractually it is supplied exclusively via project ownership funds), it is transported directly to the site in the existing natural gas pipeline. This approach achieves the exact same net result on the Natural Gas grid as piping Biogas exclusively to the project site in its own dedicated pipeline and allows the project to avoid having to dig up 100s of miles of land and lay a brand new pipeline to the project, something that would have a significantly detrimental effect on the local environment. In an urban environment like where the project is located, there is little or no option to be able to refine and extract Biogas on-site or even very close to a site, so the approach the project team is suggesting is the best and most reasonable alternative.Is this approach acceptable in accordance with the Reference Guide and Addendum 100001081 (November 1, 2011)?

Ruling:

Directed Biogas purchase is not considered on-site renewable energy based on the current EAc2 credit requirements, addenda and LEED Interpretations, because the gas consumed on-site is not the same as the biogas that the project purchased. Please note that the referenced Addendum 100001081 does not allow for the fuel used on site to be different than the fuel that was purchased for the project. The referenced addendum applies for situations such as landfill gas piped directly to the project from a nearby landfill, or wood pellets from wood mill residue that are trucked to the project. In either case, it would not be acceptable for the landfill gas or pellets generated from wood mill residue to be "purchased" by the project, used in another project, and replaced in the project with natural gas or wood pellets produced from tree tops. Also, note that NREL refers to directed biogas as off-site renewable energy.

Campus Applicable
Yes
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
5/9/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

For a project that is obtaining its energy from a small hydro-electric plant, the energy from which is classified as renewable by the local government, is the use of renewable energy from small hydroelectric plant an acceptable approach to obtain the possible points of the EA Credit 4: On-site and Off-site Renewable Energy?

Ruling:

In order to claim energy from small-scale offsite hydroelectric plants as renewable, the project team must demonstrate equivalency to (or actual) Green-E certification of the energy. Applicable internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
10/3/2008
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Energy and Atmosphere Credit 6 - Green Power requires energy from renewable sources, defining renewable sources by the Centre for Resource Solutions Green E products certification requirements. In Canada, the CAGBC uses the Ecologo certification from Environment Canada Environmental Choice program for certification of their Green Power credit. This project which is located in Canada, is using the USGBC Core and Shell as there is no Core and Shell through the Canadian Green Building Council as of yet. While Green E certification exists in a small amount of Canadian distributors, most of the Canadian market uses Ecologo. In order to pursue the Green Power credit through the USGBC can the Ecologo certification be used in place of the Green E certification requirements? Will the submittal of the Ecologo certification replace the need to prove equivalency with the Green E certification requirements?

Ruling:

The project team is asking if its renewable energy certified by Ecologo will comply with the credit requirements for its project located in Canada. If the renewable energy is not Green-e certified, then the project team must prove equivalency to the Green-e technical requirements or pursue certification through LEED Canada. Applicable Internationally; Canada.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
11/1/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The LEED EB:O&M Reference Guide does not specify precisely when during the LEED application review process Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) must be purchased, it only requires that the RECs meet specific percentages of the building\'s total energy use from the performance period.Our project team would like to wait until after the final review to file an appeal in order to purchase RECs and have EAc4 points included in the project\'s total before accepting certification.Can EAc4 thresholds be met by RECs purchased after the final review when filed through the appeal process?

Ruling:

A project team may elect to add and pursue EA c4 as part of an appeal after the project building\'s performance period has ended and after the Final Review has been completed and purchase RECs at that time, as long as the RECs purchased are based on the total annual site energy usage value reported for EAp2 and are allocated to the project building only. Note that at the time of appeal submittal, the project must have entered into a contract or commitment for future purchases to meet the 2-year requirement. Applicable internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
11/4/2002
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

ENERGY & ATMOSPHERE: Green Power (EA Credit 6.0) Credit Interpretation Request Washington State does not require electric utilities to provide retail open-access. The Seattle Justice is required to purchase electrical power from the local municipal utility, Seattle City Light. Seattle City Light (SCL) wants to prove a LEED electrical energy product that qualifies for the EA Credit 6.0 to any LEED project within SCL\'s service area and proposes the following approach: Seattle City Light estimates that the current resource mix includes 25-28% renewable generation as defined by Green-e, composed of low impact hydro and possibly wind and other renewables. The utility will certify the low impact hydro component, estimated at 25% of the total mix, through the Low Impact Hydropower Institute. SCL will assist projects to "green up" the remaining 25% balance in order to achieve 50% renewable energy content by facilitating the purchase of Green Tags for participating LEED projects. Projects may elect to purchase green tags from existing or new renewable resources from SCL, the Bonneville Power Administration or other providers of green tags. As a part of the Credit documentation, the Seattle Justice Center will write a letter attesting that the mix or renewables serving the LEED project meets the following criteria: 1. SCL supplied renewable power plus Green Tags are equal to 50% of the project\'s energy consumption. 2. The energy and green tag sources meet the Green-e definition of renewable energy, which includes wind, solar, low impact hydro, methane recovery, etc., and, 3. Green Tags purchased have not been double sold, as verified by contract or purchase agreement.

Ruling:

Per LEED Interpretation 0214-EAc60-122101, if Green-e rated power is not available in the project\'s region, other sources of green power may be eligible for consideration. The alternative source must satisfy the criteria of the Green-e program, which is detailed on page 163 of the LEED Reference Guide (formatted version of June 2001). Of the five listed criteria, one is based on renewable content of 50% of more. The alternative energy source must also meet the other four criteria. If the SCL product contains 25% low impact hydropower, certifies its low impact hydro power through the Low Impact Hydropower Institute, as required in the Green-e program, AND meets the other Green-e criteria, SCL energy could be considered \'equivalent\' to half of the green power benefit associated with Green-e products. The rest of the green power benefit would need to be purchased in the form of Green Tags for half of the building load. In summary, in order to achieve a Green Power credit for SCL product the following is required: 1. SCL must certify its low impact hydropower with the Low Impact Hydropower Institute. 2. SCL must write a letter stating what percentage of its product is comprised of renewable energy (including certified low impact hydropower). 3. SCL product must also confirm that the remaining green-e criteria are met (addressing emissions, \'new renewable\' power and nuclear power) and state this in their letter. 4. The project must purchase Green Tags to meet the difference between SCL\'s product renewable % and green-e renewable content of 50%. (i.e.. if SCL contains 25% renewable content, this meets half the requirement and Green Tags would be required for the equivalent of half the building load over two years to meet the other half of the requirement.) Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
4/1/2012
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Our Campus has a 780 kW PV system installed as a joint venture with a Utility, which was made possible by partial funding from the sale of the REC\'s. The system is installed on 10 existing random building rooftops, with another 136 kW phase nearly commissioned on/near a sports field. We pay a small kWh premium, and will take full ownership after 20 years. PV output is dedicated for campus use, utilizing a combination of direct building connections and connections to the campus owned grid. We would like to apply for EAc2 on a campus basis for approximately 9 separate building projects that do not include their own individual PV installations. The cost to buy REC\'s for 10 years for the entire campus system is prohibitive under our current construction budgets. We propose that individual LEED Building Projects apply for EAC2 using the existing onsite PV renewable source, and buy 10-year REC\'s for 100% of the power claimed on the Template, as qualifying on-site renewable energy. The project REC\'s would be redeemed and solely retained by the individual Building Projects, and would not be shared for use on any other projects. Would purchasing REC\'s then restore the "associated environmental benefit" to the on-site generated renewable project energy claimed; and meet the sustainable intent of the credit as indicated in the CIR Ruling dated 7/20/2009?

Ruling:

The CIR Ruling dated 7/20/2009 (#2616), states that if the project sold renewable energy certificates associated with the on-site renewable energy system, the team may not take credit for the system under EAc2, since the system would have no associated environmental benefit. The project teams approach of purchasing 10-year REC\'s for 100% of the power claimed on the Template, to restore the associated environmental benefit is acceptable. The project must provide sufficient documentation to ensure the portion of the on-site renewable energy system designated for each building is not used on other projects. Additionally, the project team should provide documentation, including contractual terms, to verify the purchase of the necessary volume of REC\'s. The project team may not apply any of the REC\'s purchased to restore the associated environmental benefits of the on-site renewable energy system for the purposes of achieving EAc2 towards achieving EAc6, Green Power.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
2/7/2007
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The project building is a naturally ventilated building that does not have a mechanical air handling system. For the EAc1 submittal ASHRAE 90.1-1999 requires that the building be modeled with air-conditioning, even though there is no air-conditioning equipment. EAc6 requires that the green power purchase contract be based on the DEC" value provided in the EAc1 submittal. In the case of naturally ventilated buildings, it seems unreasonable to be required to purchase green power for equipment that is not installed. We propose that for this project, a naturally ventilated building without air handling equipment, the green power purchase contract should be based on an adjusted value equal to the DEC" value minus the cooling energy use of the building, as obtained from the energy simulation summary output. If a Green Power purchase contract, that meets the requirements of EAc6, is based on the adjusted DEC" then the modeled net electricity use for the building will be provided by grid-source, renewable energy technologies on a net zero pollution basis, meeting the intent of the credit to: "Encourage the development and use of grid-source, renewable energy technologies on a net zero pollution basis." As ASHRAE 90.1 is not written for naturally ventilated buildings we feel that it is of paramount importance to avoid penalizing naturally ventilated buildings that are consuming considerably less energy than the conventionally air-conditioned buildings for which ASHRAE 90.1 was written. Is DEC" minus the cooling energy, as obtained from the energy simulation results, an appropriate baseline amount for the purpose of a green power purchase contract for naturally ventilated buildings without air handling equipment?

Ruling:

The project is proposing an alternative method for calculating the Green Power requirements for a naturally ventilated building. If an energy simulation is performed for EAc1, then the project team may subtract their simulated cooling energy from the proposed design energy consumption (DEC"). This must be clearly documented in the team\'s submittal. The project team may also calculate Green Power requirements based on one year of actual utility bills. Naturally ventilated projects using the above alternative methods for calculating Green Power requirements must also confirm that no cooling system exists in the building. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
11/6/2006
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

LEED Energy and Atmosphere Green Power Credit Interpretation Request A CIR Ruling dated November 2003, allows the portion of Seattle City Light\'s Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) certified electrical production to be credited towards satisfying the requirements of LEED-NC v2.1 EA Credit 6.0 Green Power. Since May 2003 when the Skagit Hydropower Project received LIHI certification, Seattle City Light began offering green tags to all retail customers through its Green Up program. Customers have the option to purchase a portion or all of their electricity supply from the Stateline Wind Power Project. Stateline began producing electricity in December 2001. Seattle City Light would now like to provide one renewable power program to LEED and other retail electrical customers that combines the portion of generation certified through LIHI, with the balance of renewable power provided with Seattle City Light green tags, in order to allow projects to meet the requirements needed to satisfy the Green Power Credits available across all LEED products. To define the portion of LIHI provided generation, the following table shows the annual contributions of the LIHI certified Skagit Hydroelectric Project (Gorge, Diablo and Ross facilities), total annual generation, annual averages, and three year averages for the first three years of LIHI certification. (Read in table format) MWH | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 3 Year Average (Headings) Ross MWh | 673,558 | 674,640 | 465,810 | 604,669 Gorge MWh | 854,491 | 855,132 | 644,060 | 784,561 Diablo MWh | 736,778 | 737,626 | 542,715 | 672,373 Total LIHI Certified MWh | 2,264,827 | 2,267,398 | 1,652,585 | 2,061,603 Total Seattle City Light MWh | 9,440,301 | 9,561,757 | 9,711,154 | 9,571,071 Percentage LIHI | 23.99% | 23.71% | 17.02% | 21.54% City Light proposes that LEED Green Power credits within the Seattle City Light service area can be satisfied through a two year contract with Seattle City Light in which 21.54% of the renewable energy requirement is met by LIHI certified power from the Skagit Hydropower Project and the balance provided by green tags from the Stateline Wind Project.

Ruling:

[Updated 12/21/2006] The applicant is requesting qualification of a Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) certified power for EAc6, Green Power. Renewable energy power sources are defined by the Center for Resource Solutions Green-e program. The proposed combination will be categorized as a Competitive Electricity and Utility Green Pricing Product. To demonstrate compliance with credit requirements any power supplied should demonstrate equivalence with the section IV of the Green-e Renewable Electricity Certification Program National Standard Version 1.3, as well as with all the requirements of CIR ruling dated 11/4/2002.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
5/5/2003
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

APPROACH As a firm representing several projects seeking LEED certification, we respectfully submit the following Credit Interpretation Request (CIR). In an effort to achieve EA Credit 6 (EAc60), our firm performed due diligence and has identified a wholesale provider of Green Power. Although retail renewable electricity certificate (REC) products exist in the marketplace, these products are not optimal for high-volume purchasers. Potential purchasers of high-volumes of Green Power should have the option to choose a wholesale certificate-based transaction. Such transactions provide the high-volume buyer flexibility to choose the type of generation it wishes to support, the market from which Green Power is purchased (regulated or competitive), the location of the generation facilities, transparent price discovery, a choice of fuel-mix, and most importantly, flexible pricing structures.

PROPOSED SUBMITTAL ELEMENT An element of LEED Version 2.1 EAc60 requires the submittal of "a copy of the two-year electric utility purchase contract for power generated from renewable sources." With respect to the Potential Technologies & Strategies described on page 32 of the LEED Green Building Rating System, it is our position that this Submittal's requirement of an "electric utility purchase contract" does not accurately reflect the type of contract, or financial agreement, entered into when utilizing the following certificate-based procurement strategies: a) "Green-e certified Tradable Renewable Certificates" b) "other power supply that meets the Green-e renewable power definition" Therefore, we request and propose that the following be added or deemed an acceptable EAc60 Submittal: "a copy of the two-year electric utility purchase OR renewable electricity certificate contract for power generated from renewable sources." The interim acceptability and/or inclusion of the proposed language, as part of EAc60 Submittals, is significant in that it accurately reflects the financial agreement between owner, tenant or responsible party, and the seller. Currently, the owner, tenant or responsible party can procure Green Power from sources other than an electric utility or power marketer, therefore we feel that the EAc60 Submittals should be adapted to clearly represent the distinction and to facilitate and encourage an open and competitive Green Power market.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION It is our Intent to encourage the development and use of grid-source, renewable energy technologies on a net zero pollution basis through direct payment and/or support to renewable generation facilities. The direct payment will be outlined in a financial agreement between the project owner, tenant or other responsible party and the owner or operator of the renewable generation facility. We intend to employ the services of a wholesale renewable energy broker to facilitate and structure the financial agreement(s) so as to select the least-cost renewable electricity and /or REC provider(s). Our Green Power procurement strategy includes promoting the development of new capacity through the sourcing of renewable electricity certificates in both competitive and regulated electricity markets, with or without the availability of a green pricing program or retail certificate-based products. Moreover, the Requirements set-forth in EAc60 will be met and/or exceeded in a brokered certificate-based Green Power transaction. The wholesale renewable energy broker will provide documentation guaranteeing the renewable generation facility meets and/or exceeds the criteria and requirements set-forth by the Center for Resource Solutions as defined in \'Attachment C: Green-e National Tradable Renewable Certificate (TRC) Standard\' (http://www.green-e.org/pdf/trc_standard.pdf). In addition, the wholesale renewable energy broker will arrange independent, third-party verification to guarantee the renewable electricity was produced and sold as defined in the contract or transaction agreement. Furthermore, a year-end audit will be performed by an independent, third-party accountant verifying that no double counting of renewable generation has occurred. It is our continued position that the proposed language for the EAc60 Submittal Element will promote the growth and development of the renewable energy industry and related sustainable markets. Therefore, we respectfully request that the Project Manager accept the proposed language referenced above and/or grant EAc60 credit to the owner, tenet or responsible party who submits to USGBC a copy of a two-year renewable electricity certificate contract for power generated from renewable sources.

Ruling:

The proposed power resale marketing strategy appears to meet the intent of encouraging the use of grid-source renewable energy, but the description of how this strategy encourages the development of new renewable energy sources is unclear. A project submitting for this credit would need to clearly document that the power purchased under this arrangement meets or exceeds the Green-e Certification requirements. Provision of a "renewable electricity contract for power generated from renewable sources" is acceptable provided the contract represents purchase of at least 2 years worth of renewable electricity for 50% for the building's energy load. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
5/9/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Are Ecoenergy labeled electricity products applicable for LEED EB O&M EA credit 4: Renewable energy?

Ruling:

Ecoenergy-labeled electricity products can qualify for EAc4 provided that equivalency with Green-e certification is demonstrated by the project team. The Green-e standard is located on their website: http://wee.green-e.org

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
3/28/2007
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

What is required in order to document equivalence with Green-e certified power

Ruling:

Using a formal third-party verification program is not required, but projects are required to document to USGBC that their renewable supplier has 1) met the Green-e criteria, and 2) properly accounted for the eligible renewable resources sold. This documentation to USGBC must include some type of meaningful verification work performed by a qualified, disinterested third party. Example documentation methods to USGBC that meet this requirement include: a) providing a state-mandated power disclosure label from the renewable supplier in states with meaningful regulatory requirements for renewable energy disclosure and accounting practices, as well as meaningful penalties for violations; b) providing a green power scorecard or rating from a credible, independent entity that performs meaningful verification of green power characteristics and accounting practices. In either case projects must confirm that the third-party entity\'s regulatory or verification programs are meaningful, summarizing those programs to USGBC as part of their certification application and highlighting any auditing or other independent checks the program performs. Other documentation methods will be considered on a case-by-case basis. This ruling applies to all the LEED Rating Systems having a similar "green power" credit. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/1/2016
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

We would like to purchase carbon offsets instead of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). Can the LEED v4 EA Credit Green Power and Carbon Offsets be substituted on LEED v2009 projects?

Ruling:

The project may achieve the maximum number of points for Green Power, and an innovation point by complying with the LEED v4 requirements for Green Power and Carbon Offsets, with the following changes to reflect carbon offsets as an approach:

35% of total annual building energy consumption for a period of two years (or 70% for an innovation point) must be addressed by green power, RECs, and/or carbon offsets to qualify.

If using directed purchase of biogas, documentation must be provided showing that the biogas used for directed purchase is Green-e certified or equivalent, and the building ownership retains the environmental attributes associated with the directed purchase. (Note the v4 requirement is 50% or 100% of the total annual energy consumption for a period of five years).

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
8/1/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Our project is located in Shanghai, China where renewable energy contracts are not directly available from the local utility company ruling out option 1 and option 2 for EAc6: Green Power. Rather than pursue the compliance path involving purchase of Green-e energy certified RECs from the US we would like to purchase Green-e climate certified carbon offsets for the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the electricity used by the project over the two-year period.Because we do not have a complete picture of the annual energy usage of the space at this time we propose to use the LEED recommended default figure of 8kWh psf per year with a China specific emission factor to determine the necessary volume of offsets required to cover the calculated kWh of energy used (i.e. for two years\' worth of usage).A precedent for this compliance path was set by Haworth with their LEED CI v2.0 fit out in Washington, DC. Please confirm whether this would be acceptable for this project (or this type of project for LEED Interpretation) and advise any additional requirements of which we need to be congnizant when pursuing the alternative compliance path.

Ruling:

The Project team is requesting clarification regarding whether Energy and Atmosphere Credit 6: Green Power, can be achieved by purchasing Green-e certified carbon credits instead of RECs to offset the greenhouse gas emissions for the electricity used by the project. The approach is not acceptable. Please note that past project reviews do not set precedent for future projects. The intent of the credit is to encourage the development and use of grid-source, renewable technologies on a net zero pollution basis. Carbon offsets do not necessarily meet this intent.Also note that the credit requirements do not constrain the project team to purchase Green-e RECs from the United States. The project team has the option of documenting that the renewable energy purchased is "Green-e certified or equivalent". As stated in the 2009 LEED Reference Guide for Green Interior Design and Construction, page 200, "if renewable energy is not Green-e certified, establish that it is equivalent for the 2 major criteria for Green-e certification: (1) the energy source meets the requirements for renewable resources detailed in the current version of the Green-e standard, and (2) the renewable energy supplier has undergone an independent, third party verification that the standard has been met." Applicable internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
8/21/2009
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Our project is installing a photovoltaic system that will be directly connected to the building\'s energy system, and which will be net-metered with the utility grid. The system is being financed through a power purchase agreement, which requires selling of the RECs to the public utility. A number of Credit Interpretation Rulings have been issued regarding the conditions which must be met for a project to qualify for renewable energy credits under EAc2. These CIRs seem to provide conflicting language. We are seeking clarification regarding these conditions for LEED-NCv2.2 and LEED-CSv2.0 projects. - CIRs dated 10/3/2006 and 5/16/2006 state that the sale of RECs is allowed from an on-site renewable energy system that claims credit under EAc2 if the building owner or energy system owner purchases a total amount of RECs equal to 200% of the system\'s annual rated energy output each year from another source, which must be Green-e eligible. Per the CIRs, the seller of the on-site RECs must also follow all established guidelines for the sale of RECs and not claim any of the environmental attributes for the on-site system. - An administrative ruling dated 7/19/2007, which updates conditions for on-site renewable systems to achieve EAc2 points, does not make reference to the purchase of 200% RECs as an acceptable method of credit achievement. - However, the same 200% REC purchase compliance path is also outlined in the new LEED 2009 BD&C Reference Guide. - A CIR dated April 15, 2009 rules that a project that hosts a PV system, which does not use the PV and/or the PV is fully financed, owned and sold to third parties, can achieve EAc2 by purchasing a total amount of RECs equal to 100% of the system\'s annual rated energy output. Please confirm that a project pursuing EAc2 under LEED-NC v2.2 (or LEED-CSv2.0) can achieve EAc2 points by utilizing the 200% REC purchase methodology as outlined in the 2006 CIRs and 2009 BD&C Reference Guide, or the 100% REC purchase methodology outlined in the 2009 CIR. We are also seeking clarification regarding the length of time for which RECs must be purchased. The 5/16/2006 CIR states that RECs must be purchased "each year." Does this mean that RECs must be purchased each year that the system\'s RECs are sold, indefinitely? Alternatively, the 10/3/2006 CIR states that RECs must be purchased for at least ten years. Please clarify if the REC purchase is required for 10 years, or for the entire length of the utility REC purchase agreement.

Ruling:

The applicant is asking for clarification on the quantity and length of time for which RECs need to be purchased in order to achieve credit for On-Site Renewable energy that is sold to the grid. Most of the various CIRs referenced by the applicant are relevant; some of these rulings appear to add confusion to the quantity of RECs that are needed. It has been determined that the project can achieve EAc2 by purchasing a total amount of RECs equal to 100% of the system\'s annual rated energy output. There must be at least a 10-year contract for the purchase of the energy output. This CIR supersedes the 200% requirement set by the CIR Ruling dated 5/16/2006. Please note this CIR only dictates the quantity of RECs and the duration and other requirements related to documentation and green-e stay valid as stated in the 5/16/2006 and other CIRs.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
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Requirements

Engage in at least a 2-year renewable energy contract to provide at least 35% of the building’s electricity from renewable sources, as defined by the Center for Resource Solutions’ Green-e Energy product certification requirements or an equivalent [Europe ACP: Green Power] [South America ACP: Green Power] [India ACP: Green Power] All purchases of green power shall be based on the quantity of energy consumed, not the cost. If the green power is not Green-e Energy certified, equivalence must exist for both major Green-e Energy program criteria: 1) current green power performance standards, and 2) independent, third-party verification that those standards are being met by the green power supplier over time.

Option 1. Determine baseline electricity use
Use the annual electricity consumption from the results of EA Credit 1: Optimize Energy Performance.

OR

Option 2. Estimate baseline electricity use
Use the U.S. Department of Energy’s Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey database to determine the estimated electricity use.

Alternative Compliance Paths (ACPs)

Europe ACP: Green-e Energy Equivalent
Projects in Europe may use the following approved standards in place of Green-e Energy:
  • EKOenergy
  • Guarantees of Origin (GOs) with additional parameters
[view:embed_resource=page_1=4887966]
India ACP: Green-e Energy Equivalent
Projects in India may use the Indian Central Electricity Regulatory Commission REC program with additional parameters in place of Green-e Energy.
South America ACP: Green-e Energy Equivalent
Projects in South America may use the Brazilian “Certificado de Energia Renovável” (Renewable Energy Certificate) with additional parameters in place of Green-e Energy. [view:embed_resource=page_1=4908164]
Credit substitution available
You may use the LEED v4 version of this credit on v2009 projects. For more information check out this article.
Credit substitution available
You may use the LEED v4 version of this credit on v2009 projects. For more information check out this article.

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Our project will be net-zero energy, i.e. will produce as much or more power than it consumes. Can we earn this credit?

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The owner has purchased RECs for a percentage of energy use of its whole portfolio of buildings, or campus. Can we earn this credit for a single LEED building with this purchase?

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We plan on pursuing this credit only if we need to do so to meet our certification target, i.e. if another credit we are counting on gets rejected. How late can we apply for this credit?

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The owner purchases RECs based on an earlier prediction, but our energy model is now showing that we are just a little short of the credit threshold. What should we do?

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Our project is outside the U.S. We would like to earn this credit by purchasing RECs, but there are no Green-e options available here. It looks like most Green-e certified power comes from the U.S. What should we do?

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We are pursuing this credit outside the U.S., and the owner wants to know if we can buy green power through a provider in our country that is not Green-e certified. We started comparing our national standard to Green-e and quickly found an area where the national standard is not as stringent as Green-e. Is this a dead end?

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10/1/2014Updated: 3/29/2018
Regional ACP
Description of change:
Add the following after the first paragraph in the Requirements section:

“Projects in South America may use the Brazilian “Certificado de Energia Renovável” (Renewable Energy Certificate) with additional parameters in place of Green-e Energy.”

**Updated on 4/1/2015 to include applicability to LEED v4
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/1/2015Updated: 3/29/2018
Regional ACP
Description of change:
Insert after first paragraph the following:
"Projects in India may use RECs from India with additional parameters in place of Green-e Energy certified RECs."
Campus Applicable
Yes
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Delete the box that states "Note for Projects outside the U.S."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
12/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the second line of the paragraph, replace "kWh per year" with "kWh over a period of 2 years"
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Add a new paragraph after the second paragraph that reads: "If the green power is not Green-e Energy certified, equivalence must exist for both major Green-e Energy program criteria: 1) current green power performance standards, and 2) independent, third-party verification that those standards are being met by the green power supplier over time."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
8/1/2011Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Add the following paragraph to the end of item 3: "The vintage of any REC purchased to meet the Green Power credit requirements must be valid according to the Green-e vintage requirements as written on the date of purchase. Project teams must affirm in writing that the purchased RECs are being claimed for use on this particular LEED Project only."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
4/1/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
After the first sentence, add the following: "If an energy model was used to document compliance with EAc1: Optimize Energy Performance, the data from the energy model must be used as the basis for determining the electricity consumption for this credit."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
12/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In first line, remove the following text:This project needs to purchase Green-e-certified green power orRECs equal to 106,271 kWh/yr."Replace with "This project needs to purchase Green-e-certifiedgreen power or RECs equal to 106,271 kWh over a period of 2years.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
11/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the first line of the paragraph, change the text "100%" to "70%" so it becomes "Exemplary performance is available to projects that purchase 70% of their electricity from renewable sources."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Delete the box that states "This OPTION is not available to Projects outside the U.S."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
12/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the equation, replace the second "X" with "=" so the text becomes "19,000 (sf) X 11.7 (kWh/sf/yr) = 2,223,000 (kWh/yr)
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
7/6/2012Updated: 2/14/2015
Global ACP
Description of change:
Add "or an equivalent" to the end of the first paragraph.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
4/14/2010Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
Replace the entire paragraph with the text "The building\'s annual electricity use is 151,816 kWh."
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
12/2/2009Updated: 2/14/2015
Reference Guide Correction
Description of change:
In the second paragraph, remove the text:The energy intensity multiplied by the square footage of the projectrepresents the total amount of green power (in kWh) that wouldneed to be purchased over a 2-year period to qualify for EA Credit6 using this option."Replace with "The energy intensity multiplied by the square footageof the project represents the total amount of electricityconsumption. Total electricity consumption X 35% X 2 yearsrepresents the total green power (kWh) that would need to bepurchased over a 2-year period to qualify for EA Credit 6 using thisoption.
Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
4/1/2012
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

If a project receives an allotment of REC credits from a larger corporation in the required amount and states that the REC credits will not be counted towards or used for any other project within the corporation`s portfolio, will this meet the credit requirements? If yes, what if any additional submittal requirements are necessary to illustrate the intent of the credit has been met?

Ruling:

The project is requesting that REC\'s purchased from a larger corporation meet the credit requirements on a single project. Yes, this approach is acceptable given that the project has purchased Green-e accredited Tradable Renewable Certificates (RECs) equal to at least 35% (or 50% for LEED-CI projects) of the predicted annual electrical consumption for the project building over a 2-year period. In addition to the standard submittal requirements, a statement in the form of an email or letter from the building portfolio owner should be provided confirming that that the REC credits will not be counted towards or used for any other project within the corporation`s portfolio.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
4/27/2009
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The 75 Station Landing project is a seven story, 175,000 SF residential apartment building with 168 apartments and 8,500 SF of core/shell retail space. The building is located in a new mixed-use, transit-oriented development located adjacent to the Wellington MBTA Station in Medford, MA. The project is seeking certification under LEED for New Construction v2.2. The Owner would like to pursue EAc6, Green Power, for the common areas and systems of the project. Each apartment has its own utility electric meter, as does the core/shell retail space, and each tenant will be responsible to pay their own electric bill. Therefore, the only electricity use over which the Owner will have control is the common areas and central systems. We have not been able to find any CBECS data for apartment buildings. The LEED NC v2.2 Reference manual appears to be silent on how to approach this issue, and the LEED CS v2.0 reference manual, while including a method for calculating core and shell electric use for many different types of buildings, also appears to be silent concerning apartment buildings. Please confirm that the following approach will be acceptable to USGBC for EAc6 compliance: Using the energy model created for EAc1 compliance, we will sum the electricity used in common areas, corridors, lobbies, amenity areas and offices. We will exclude the electricity used within the apartment units. Common Area electricity uses will include, but not be limited to: lighting (indoors and out), miscellaneous common area power, elevators, main building condenser water system (for the apartment heat pumps), central toilet exhaust riser fans, and HVAC for common areas. We expect that will exceed the normal 15% default minimum that is required under LEED-CS. We will exclude the electricity used in the apartments, which will be for lighting, miscellaneous apartment power, and water source heat pump units. We propose to purchase a minimum of 35% green power (that complies with the green power requirements and definitions already in LEED NC v2.2) for a period of two years for the Common Area electricity used as described above. We would also propose that an innovation credit be available if the project purchased 70% of the Common Area green power for a period of two years, or if the project purchased 35% green power for a period of four years.

Ruling:

The applicant is seeking clarification regarding if residential spaces within a mixed-use LEED-NC project can be excluded from consideration when determining the quantity of green energy required for compliance. No, it is not acceptable to exclude any areas within the LEED-NC project when determining the required green energy purchase. It should be noted that while the building owner may not be responsible for the residential energy use, green tags may be purchased and allocated to the residential areas of the building by the building owner. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/1/2012
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Regarding LEED BD&C EAc6: As the cost of renewable energy sources (PV, in particular) continues to drop, the number of projects able to pursue a site net zero energy goal will continue to increase. The final estimation of electricity consumption for EAc1, Optimize Energy Performance, includes the impact of renewable energy determined through EAc2, On-Site Renewable Energy. The credit language for EAc6 indicates that the annual electricity consumption is to be determined from the results of EAc1 or CBECS. Based on this language, it would appear that a net zero energy project would not need to purchase any renewable energy credits (i.e. green power) to achieve EAc6. If a project was 99% better than ASHRAE 90.1-2007 as determined for EAc1, the green power purchase required would be clear, albeit very small. EAc6 seems to conflict with facilities wanting to increase their energy performance to net zero. Please clarify this credit to support projects seeking net zero.

Ruling:

The applicant is asking whether EA Credit 6 - Green Power, and by extension, EAc6 exemplary performance, may be automatically awarded for projects that are designed to be net-zero in terms of average annual energy use without the purchase of green power or renewable energy credits. Yes. If the project produces 100% or more of its electricity as on-site generated renewable electricity, as documented in EAc2 - On-site Renewable Energy, the project is eligible to earn EAc6 and one Innovation in Design point for Exemplary Performance in Green Power. However, for any project that is connected to the electric utility grid, the following requirements apply to ensure that the project meets the credit intent if the project does not achieve net-zero performance once built:1. If a Green-e certified or equivalent utility program is available to the project in the project location, then the project team must provide a 2-year contract or Owner\'s letter of Commitment indicating that the project will commit to a 2-year enrollment period in the program for at least 35% of the provided electrical energy for EA Credit 6, or 70% of the provided electrical energy for Exemplary Performance in Green Power.2. If a Green-e certified or equivalent utility program is not available to the project in the project location, then the project team must provide a letter of commitment signed by the Owner or Owner\'s representative confirming:a. That a Green-e certified or equivalent utility program is not available to the project.b. That the project will review the purchased annual energy consumption for the first two years of occupancy, and will commit to purchase RECs to offset 35% of the purchased electrical consumption for EA Credit 6, or 70% of the provided electrical consumption for Exemplary Performance in Green Power.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
9/18/2008
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Can a third party such as a utility company install and operate a Solar PV system on the rooftop of a LEED project, and can the owner achieve EA c2 credit (1%) and possibly an exemplary performance credit (5%) for Core and Shell V2.0 rating system? Intent of Credit: Encourage and recognize increasing levels of on-site renewable energy self-supply in order to reduce environmental and economic impacts associated with fossil fuel energy use. Approach: A new program has been initiated in the San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E)territory named Clean Energy Systems. The objective of this program is to find usable roof space (at least 5,000 sf)in high performance buildings such as this project where a Solar PV system can be installed, operated, and maintained by SDG&E. The impetus for this unique program is to use available secure roof top space to increase its renewable energy system portfolio that will help SDG&E get to its 20% overall renewable energy portfolio as required by California State Law. It would be the intent of SDG&E to sign a long-term lease space contract with the Owner of this project and install at least 5,000 sf of Solar PV array up on the roof of this and possibly the other two future buildings (Buildings B and C)in this core and shell complex. As mentioned previously, the motivation of SDG&E will be to grid-tie this renewable energy to assist them in achieving the 20% portfolio threshold. The motivation of the Owner is to achieve at least one and maybe two LEED points even though they will not necessarily be using electricity generated from the Solar PV system. The owner would sign a contract with SDG&E before this project is submitted via LEED Online sometime in the Fall of this year 2008. We would provide evidence to this plus an implementation schedule for installation of the system on at least Building A during design submittals. Confirmation of Credit Intent: We believe this approach does meet the intent of the credit providing renewable energy self-supply in order to reduce the environmental effects of fossil fuel consumption (aka global warming)while providing the developer with very needed LEED points in order to achieve LEED Silver for its Building A project. We also believe that this approach will be occurring more frequently in the near future with progressive utilities offering to lease roof space on LEED-registered buildings for independent Solar PV farms. Please verify that this approach summarized above does fulfill the intent of Credit EA c2.

Ruling:

The installation of on-site renewable energy sources owned and operated by an entity other than the building owner is allowable for achievement of EAc2 and has been addressed by a previous CIR dated 7/19/2007, provided the following conditions are met: [1] The renewable energy system must be installed within the boundaries of the project or on the project site. [2] The renewable energy system is connected immediately adjacent to the utility meter. [3] A 10-year (minimum) contract for on-site generation with the owner of the energy system must be established. [4] The Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) associated with the renewable energy system may not be sold. [5] The renewable energy system owner may not count the RECs associated with the renewable energy system to meet a mandated renewable portfolio standard goal or provide RECs to the project owner. The proposed renewable energy system does not appear to meet condition [5] since SDG&E is proposing the renewable energy system installation in order to meet a 20% renewable energy portfolio goal. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
3/28/2007
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The project owner wishes to purchase a green power product that is not Green-e certified, but is asserted to comply with the technical aspects of the standard. How do we document equivalence?

Ruling:

Using a formal third-party verification program is not required, but projects are required to document to USGBC that their renewable supplier has 1) met the Green-e criteria, and 2) properly accounted for the eligible renewable resources sold. This documentation to USGBC must include some type of meaningful verification work performed by a qualified, disinterested third party. Example documentation methods to USGBC that meet this requirement include: a) providing a state-mandated power disclosure label from the renewable supplier in states with meaningful regulatory requirements for renewable energy disclosure and accounting practices, as well as meaningful penalties for violations; b) providing a green power scorecard or rating from a credible, independent entity that performs meaningful verification of green power characteristics and accounting practices. In either case projects must confirm that the third-party entity\'s regulatory or verification programs are meaningful, summarizing those programs to USGBC as part of their certification application and highlighting any auditing or other independent checks the program performs. Other documentation methods will be considered on a case-by-case basis. This ruling applies to all the LEED Rating Systems having a similar "green power" credit. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/1/2014
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The project team is planning on installing a Cogeneration System that will take Biogas and turn it into Electricity to be used wholly on-site. The heat produced by this Cogeneration system will also fully be used on-site to preheat heating hot water and domestic hot water via a heat exchanger and potentially to power an absorption chiller.The building will receive the Biogas from a local Biogas provider and plans to enter into at least a 10 year contract with this provider to supply enough Biogas to the building to fully power the planned Cogeneration system. The contract will stipulate both that enough Biogas will be fed into the pipeline to meet required demands of the Cogeneration system and that the Biogas will be metered to prove that the actual amount of Biogas supplied meets the contracted requirements at all times.Though the Biogas is not being piped exclusively to the site (contractually it is supplied exclusively via project ownership funds), it is transported directly to the site in the existing natural gas pipeline. This approach achieves the exact same net result on the Natural Gas grid as piping Biogas exclusively to the project site in its own dedicated pipeline and allows the project to avoid having to dig up 100s of miles of land and lay a brand new pipeline to the project, something that would have a significantly detrimental effect on the local environment. In an urban environment like where the project is located, there is little or no option to be able to refine and extract Biogas on-site or even very close to a site, so the approach the project team is suggesting is the best and most reasonable alternative.Is this approach acceptable in accordance with the Reference Guide and Addendum 100001081 (November 1, 2011)?

Ruling:

Directed Biogas purchase is not considered on-site renewable energy based on the current EAc2 credit requirements, addenda and LEED Interpretations, because the gas consumed on-site is not the same as the biogas that the project purchased. Please note that the referenced Addendum 100001081 does not allow for the fuel used on site to be different than the fuel that was purchased for the project. The referenced addendum applies for situations such as landfill gas piped directly to the project from a nearby landfill, or wood pellets from wood mill residue that are trucked to the project. In either case, it would not be acceptable for the landfill gas or pellets generated from wood mill residue to be "purchased" by the project, used in another project, and replaced in the project with natural gas or wood pellets produced from tree tops. Also, note that NREL refers to directed biogas as off-site renewable energy.

Campus Applicable
Yes
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
5/9/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

For a project that is obtaining its energy from a small hydro-electric plant, the energy from which is classified as renewable by the local government, is the use of renewable energy from small hydroelectric plant an acceptable approach to obtain the possible points of the EA Credit 4: On-site and Off-site Renewable Energy?

Ruling:

In order to claim energy from small-scale offsite hydroelectric plants as renewable, the project team must demonstrate equivalency to (or actual) Green-E certification of the energy. Applicable internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
10/3/2008
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Energy and Atmosphere Credit 6 - Green Power requires energy from renewable sources, defining renewable sources by the Centre for Resource Solutions Green E products certification requirements. In Canada, the CAGBC uses the Ecologo certification from Environment Canada Environmental Choice program for certification of their Green Power credit. This project which is located in Canada, is using the USGBC Core and Shell as there is no Core and Shell through the Canadian Green Building Council as of yet. While Green E certification exists in a small amount of Canadian distributors, most of the Canadian market uses Ecologo. In order to pursue the Green Power credit through the USGBC can the Ecologo certification be used in place of the Green E certification requirements? Will the submittal of the Ecologo certification replace the need to prove equivalency with the Green E certification requirements?

Ruling:

The project team is asking if its renewable energy certified by Ecologo will comply with the credit requirements for its project located in Canada. If the renewable energy is not Green-e certified, then the project team must prove equivalency to the Green-e technical requirements or pursue certification through LEED Canada. Applicable Internationally; Canada.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
11/1/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The LEED EB:O&M Reference Guide does not specify precisely when during the LEED application review process Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) must be purchased, it only requires that the RECs meet specific percentages of the building\'s total energy use from the performance period.Our project team would like to wait until after the final review to file an appeal in order to purchase RECs and have EAc4 points included in the project\'s total before accepting certification.Can EAc4 thresholds be met by RECs purchased after the final review when filed through the appeal process?

Ruling:

A project team may elect to add and pursue EA c4 as part of an appeal after the project building\'s performance period has ended and after the Final Review has been completed and purchase RECs at that time, as long as the RECs purchased are based on the total annual site energy usage value reported for EAp2 and are allocated to the project building only. Note that at the time of appeal submittal, the project must have entered into a contract or commitment for future purchases to meet the 2-year requirement. Applicable internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
11/4/2002
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

ENERGY & ATMOSPHERE: Green Power (EA Credit 6.0) Credit Interpretation Request Washington State does not require electric utilities to provide retail open-access. The Seattle Justice is required to purchase electrical power from the local municipal utility, Seattle City Light. Seattle City Light (SCL) wants to prove a LEED electrical energy product that qualifies for the EA Credit 6.0 to any LEED project within SCL\'s service area and proposes the following approach: Seattle City Light estimates that the current resource mix includes 25-28% renewable generation as defined by Green-e, composed of low impact hydro and possibly wind and other renewables. The utility will certify the low impact hydro component, estimated at 25% of the total mix, through the Low Impact Hydropower Institute. SCL will assist projects to "green up" the remaining 25% balance in order to achieve 50% renewable energy content by facilitating the purchase of Green Tags for participating LEED projects. Projects may elect to purchase green tags from existing or new renewable resources from SCL, the Bonneville Power Administration or other providers of green tags. As a part of the Credit documentation, the Seattle Justice Center will write a letter attesting that the mix or renewables serving the LEED project meets the following criteria: 1. SCL supplied renewable power plus Green Tags are equal to 50% of the project\'s energy consumption. 2. The energy and green tag sources meet the Green-e definition of renewable energy, which includes wind, solar, low impact hydro, methane recovery, etc., and, 3. Green Tags purchased have not been double sold, as verified by contract or purchase agreement.

Ruling:

Per LEED Interpretation 0214-EAc60-122101, if Green-e rated power is not available in the project\'s region, other sources of green power may be eligible for consideration. The alternative source must satisfy the criteria of the Green-e program, which is detailed on page 163 of the LEED Reference Guide (formatted version of June 2001). Of the five listed criteria, one is based on renewable content of 50% of more. The alternative energy source must also meet the other four criteria. If the SCL product contains 25% low impact hydropower, certifies its low impact hydro power through the Low Impact Hydropower Institute, as required in the Green-e program, AND meets the other Green-e criteria, SCL energy could be considered \'equivalent\' to half of the green power benefit associated with Green-e products. The rest of the green power benefit would need to be purchased in the form of Green Tags for half of the building load. In summary, in order to achieve a Green Power credit for SCL product the following is required: 1. SCL must certify its low impact hydropower with the Low Impact Hydropower Institute. 2. SCL must write a letter stating what percentage of its product is comprised of renewable energy (including certified low impact hydropower). 3. SCL product must also confirm that the remaining green-e criteria are met (addressing emissions, \'new renewable\' power and nuclear power) and state this in their letter. 4. The project must purchase Green Tags to meet the difference between SCL\'s product renewable % and green-e renewable content of 50%. (i.e.. if SCL contains 25% renewable content, this meets half the requirement and Green Tags would be required for the equivalent of half the building load over two years to meet the other half of the requirement.) Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
4/1/2012
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Our Campus has a 780 kW PV system installed as a joint venture with a Utility, which was made possible by partial funding from the sale of the REC\'s. The system is installed on 10 existing random building rooftops, with another 136 kW phase nearly commissioned on/near a sports field. We pay a small kWh premium, and will take full ownership after 20 years. PV output is dedicated for campus use, utilizing a combination of direct building connections and connections to the campus owned grid. We would like to apply for EAc2 on a campus basis for approximately 9 separate building projects that do not include their own individual PV installations. The cost to buy REC\'s for 10 years for the entire campus system is prohibitive under our current construction budgets. We propose that individual LEED Building Projects apply for EAC2 using the existing onsite PV renewable source, and buy 10-year REC\'s for 100% of the power claimed on the Template, as qualifying on-site renewable energy. The project REC\'s would be redeemed and solely retained by the individual Building Projects, and would not be shared for use on any other projects. Would purchasing REC\'s then restore the "associated environmental benefit" to the on-site generated renewable project energy claimed; and meet the sustainable intent of the credit as indicated in the CIR Ruling dated 7/20/2009?

Ruling:

The CIR Ruling dated 7/20/2009 (#2616), states that if the project sold renewable energy certificates associated with the on-site renewable energy system, the team may not take credit for the system under EAc2, since the system would have no associated environmental benefit. The project teams approach of purchasing 10-year REC\'s for 100% of the power claimed on the Template, to restore the associated environmental benefit is acceptable. The project must provide sufficient documentation to ensure the portion of the on-site renewable energy system designated for each building is not used on other projects. Additionally, the project team should provide documentation, including contractual terms, to verify the purchase of the necessary volume of REC\'s. The project team may not apply any of the REC\'s purchased to restore the associated environmental benefits of the on-site renewable energy system for the purposes of achieving EAc2 towards achieving EAc6, Green Power.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
2/7/2007
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

The project building is a naturally ventilated building that does not have a mechanical air handling system. For the EAc1 submittal ASHRAE 90.1-1999 requires that the building be modeled with air-conditioning, even though there is no air-conditioning equipment. EAc6 requires that the green power purchase contract be based on the DEC" value provided in the EAc1 submittal. In the case of naturally ventilated buildings, it seems unreasonable to be required to purchase green power for equipment that is not installed. We propose that for this project, a naturally ventilated building without air handling equipment, the green power purchase contract should be based on an adjusted value equal to the DEC" value minus the cooling energy use of the building, as obtained from the energy simulation summary output. If a Green Power purchase contract, that meets the requirements of EAc6, is based on the adjusted DEC" then the modeled net electricity use for the building will be provided by grid-source, renewable energy technologies on a net zero pollution basis, meeting the intent of the credit to: "Encourage the development and use of grid-source, renewable energy technologies on a net zero pollution basis." As ASHRAE 90.1 is not written for naturally ventilated buildings we feel that it is of paramount importance to avoid penalizing naturally ventilated buildings that are consuming considerably less energy than the conventionally air-conditioned buildings for which ASHRAE 90.1 was written. Is DEC" minus the cooling energy, as obtained from the energy simulation results, an appropriate baseline amount for the purpose of a green power purchase contract for naturally ventilated buildings without air handling equipment?

Ruling:

The project is proposing an alternative method for calculating the Green Power requirements for a naturally ventilated building. If an energy simulation is performed for EAc1, then the project team may subtract their simulated cooling energy from the proposed design energy consumption (DEC"). This must be clearly documented in the team\'s submittal. The project team may also calculate Green Power requirements based on one year of actual utility bills. Naturally ventilated projects using the above alternative methods for calculating Green Power requirements must also confirm that no cooling system exists in the building. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
11/6/2006
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

LEED Energy and Atmosphere Green Power Credit Interpretation Request A CIR Ruling dated November 2003, allows the portion of Seattle City Light\'s Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) certified electrical production to be credited towards satisfying the requirements of LEED-NC v2.1 EA Credit 6.0 Green Power. Since May 2003 when the Skagit Hydropower Project received LIHI certification, Seattle City Light began offering green tags to all retail customers through its Green Up program. Customers have the option to purchase a portion or all of their electricity supply from the Stateline Wind Power Project. Stateline began producing electricity in December 2001. Seattle City Light would now like to provide one renewable power program to LEED and other retail electrical customers that combines the portion of generation certified through LIHI, with the balance of renewable power provided with Seattle City Light green tags, in order to allow projects to meet the requirements needed to satisfy the Green Power Credits available across all LEED products. To define the portion of LIHI provided generation, the following table shows the annual contributions of the LIHI certified Skagit Hydroelectric Project (Gorge, Diablo and Ross facilities), total annual generation, annual averages, and three year averages for the first three years of LIHI certification. (Read in table format) MWH | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 3 Year Average (Headings) Ross MWh | 673,558 | 674,640 | 465,810 | 604,669 Gorge MWh | 854,491 | 855,132 | 644,060 | 784,561 Diablo MWh | 736,778 | 737,626 | 542,715 | 672,373 Total LIHI Certified MWh | 2,264,827 | 2,267,398 | 1,652,585 | 2,061,603 Total Seattle City Light MWh | 9,440,301 | 9,561,757 | 9,711,154 | 9,571,071 Percentage LIHI | 23.99% | 23.71% | 17.02% | 21.54% City Light proposes that LEED Green Power credits within the Seattle City Light service area can be satisfied through a two year contract with Seattle City Light in which 21.54% of the renewable energy requirement is met by LIHI certified power from the Skagit Hydropower Project and the balance provided by green tags from the Stateline Wind Project.

Ruling:

[Updated 12/21/2006] The applicant is requesting qualification of a Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) certified power for EAc6, Green Power. Renewable energy power sources are defined by the Center for Resource Solutions Green-e program. The proposed combination will be categorized as a Competitive Electricity and Utility Green Pricing Product. To demonstrate compliance with credit requirements any power supplied should demonstrate equivalence with the section IV of the Green-e Renewable Electricity Certification Program National Standard Version 1.3, as well as with all the requirements of CIR ruling dated 11/4/2002.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
5/5/2003
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

APPROACH As a firm representing several projects seeking LEED certification, we respectfully submit the following Credit Interpretation Request (CIR). In an effort to achieve EA Credit 6 (EAc60), our firm performed due diligence and has identified a wholesale provider of Green Power. Although retail renewable electricity certificate (REC) products exist in the marketplace, these products are not optimal for high-volume purchasers. Potential purchasers of high-volumes of Green Power should have the option to choose a wholesale certificate-based transaction. Such transactions provide the high-volume buyer flexibility to choose the type of generation it wishes to support, the market from which Green Power is purchased (regulated or competitive), the location of the generation facilities, transparent price discovery, a choice of fuel-mix, and most importantly, flexible pricing structures.

PROPOSED SUBMITTAL ELEMENT An element of LEED Version 2.1 EAc60 requires the submittal of "a copy of the two-year electric utility purchase contract for power generated from renewable sources." With respect to the Potential Technologies & Strategies described on page 32 of the LEED Green Building Rating System, it is our position that this Submittal's requirement of an "electric utility purchase contract" does not accurately reflect the type of contract, or financial agreement, entered into when utilizing the following certificate-based procurement strategies: a) "Green-e certified Tradable Renewable Certificates" b) "other power supply that meets the Green-e renewable power definition" Therefore, we request and propose that the following be added or deemed an acceptable EAc60 Submittal: "a copy of the two-year electric utility purchase OR renewable electricity certificate contract for power generated from renewable sources." The interim acceptability and/or inclusion of the proposed language, as part of EAc60 Submittals, is significant in that it accurately reflects the financial agreement between owner, tenant or responsible party, and the seller. Currently, the owner, tenant or responsible party can procure Green Power from sources other than an electric utility or power marketer, therefore we feel that the EAc60 Submittals should be adapted to clearly represent the distinction and to facilitate and encourage an open and competitive Green Power market.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION It is our Intent to encourage the development and use of grid-source, renewable energy technologies on a net zero pollution basis through direct payment and/or support to renewable generation facilities. The direct payment will be outlined in a financial agreement between the project owner, tenant or other responsible party and the owner or operator of the renewable generation facility. We intend to employ the services of a wholesale renewable energy broker to facilitate and structure the financial agreement(s) so as to select the least-cost renewable electricity and /or REC provider(s). Our Green Power procurement strategy includes promoting the development of new capacity through the sourcing of renewable electricity certificates in both competitive and regulated electricity markets, with or without the availability of a green pricing program or retail certificate-based products. Moreover, the Requirements set-forth in EAc60 will be met and/or exceeded in a brokered certificate-based Green Power transaction. The wholesale renewable energy broker will provide documentation guaranteeing the renewable generation facility meets and/or exceeds the criteria and requirements set-forth by the Center for Resource Solutions as defined in \'Attachment C: Green-e National Tradable Renewable Certificate (TRC) Standard\' (http://www.green-e.org/pdf/trc_standard.pdf). In addition, the wholesale renewable energy broker will arrange independent, third-party verification to guarantee the renewable electricity was produced and sold as defined in the contract or transaction agreement. Furthermore, a year-end audit will be performed by an independent, third-party accountant verifying that no double counting of renewable generation has occurred. It is our continued position that the proposed language for the EAc60 Submittal Element will promote the growth and development of the renewable energy industry and related sustainable markets. Therefore, we respectfully request that the Project Manager accept the proposed language referenced above and/or grant EAc60 credit to the owner, tenet or responsible party who submits to USGBC a copy of a two-year renewable electricity certificate contract for power generated from renewable sources.

Ruling:

The proposed power resale marketing strategy appears to meet the intent of encouraging the use of grid-source renewable energy, but the description of how this strategy encourages the development of new renewable energy sources is unclear. A project submitting for this credit would need to clearly document that the power purchased under this arrangement meets or exceeds the Green-e Certification requirements. Provision of a "renewable electricity contract for power generated from renewable sources" is acceptable provided the contract represents purchase of at least 2 years worth of renewable electricity for 50% for the building's energy load. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
5/9/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Are Ecoenergy labeled electricity products applicable for LEED EB O&M EA credit 4: Renewable energy?

Ruling:

Ecoenergy-labeled electricity products can qualify for EAc4 provided that equivalency with Green-e certification is demonstrated by the project team. The Green-e standard is located on their website: http://wee.green-e.org

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No
3/28/2007
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

What is required in order to document equivalence with Green-e certified power

Ruling:

Using a formal third-party verification program is not required, but projects are required to document to USGBC that their renewable supplier has 1) met the Green-e criteria, and 2) properly accounted for the eligible renewable resources sold. This documentation to USGBC must include some type of meaningful verification work performed by a qualified, disinterested third party. Example documentation methods to USGBC that meet this requirement include: a) providing a state-mandated power disclosure label from the renewable supplier in states with meaningful regulatory requirements for renewable energy disclosure and accounting practices, as well as meaningful penalties for violations; b) providing a green power scorecard or rating from a credible, independent entity that performs meaningful verification of green power characteristics and accounting practices. In either case projects must confirm that the third-party entity\'s regulatory or verification programs are meaningful, summarizing those programs to USGBC as part of their certification application and highlighting any auditing or other independent checks the program performs. Other documentation methods will be considered on a case-by-case basis. This ruling applies to all the LEED Rating Systems having a similar "green power" credit. Applicable Internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
7/1/2016
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

We would like to purchase carbon offsets instead of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). Can the LEED v4 EA Credit Green Power and Carbon Offsets be substituted on LEED v2009 projects?

Ruling:

The project may achieve the maximum number of points for Green Power, and an innovation point by complying with the LEED v4 requirements for Green Power and Carbon Offsets, with the following changes to reflect carbon offsets as an approach:

35% of total annual building energy consumption for a period of two years (or 70% for an innovation point) must be addressed by green power, RECs, and/or carbon offsets to qualify.

If using directed purchase of biogas, documentation must be provided showing that the biogas used for directed purchase is Green-e certified or equivalent, and the building ownership retains the environmental attributes associated with the directed purchase. (Note the v4 requirement is 50% or 100% of the total annual energy consumption for a period of five years).

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
8/1/2011
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Our project is located in Shanghai, China where renewable energy contracts are not directly available from the local utility company ruling out option 1 and option 2 for EAc6: Green Power. Rather than pursue the compliance path involving purchase of Green-e energy certified RECs from the US we would like to purchase Green-e climate certified carbon offsets for the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the electricity used by the project over the two-year period.Because we do not have a complete picture of the annual energy usage of the space at this time we propose to use the LEED recommended default figure of 8kWh psf per year with a China specific emission factor to determine the necessary volume of offsets required to cover the calculated kWh of energy used (i.e. for two years\' worth of usage).A precedent for this compliance path was set by Haworth with their LEED CI v2.0 fit out in Washington, DC. Please confirm whether this would be acceptable for this project (or this type of project for LEED Interpretation) and advise any additional requirements of which we need to be congnizant when pursuing the alternative compliance path.

Ruling:

The Project team is requesting clarification regarding whether Energy and Atmosphere Credit 6: Green Power, can be achieved by purchasing Green-e certified carbon credits instead of RECs to offset the greenhouse gas emissions for the electricity used by the project. The approach is not acceptable. Please note that past project reviews do not set precedent for future projects. The intent of the credit is to encourage the development and use of grid-source, renewable technologies on a net zero pollution basis. Carbon offsets do not necessarily meet this intent.Also note that the credit requirements do not constrain the project team to purchase Green-e RECs from the United States. The project team has the option of documenting that the renewable energy purchased is "Green-e certified or equivalent". As stated in the 2009 LEED Reference Guide for Green Interior Design and Construction, page 200, "if renewable energy is not Green-e certified, establish that it is equivalent for the 2 major criteria for Green-e certification: (1) the energy source meets the requirements for renewable resources detailed in the current version of the Green-e standard, and (2) the renewable energy supplier has undergone an independent, third party verification that the standard has been met." Applicable internationally.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
Yes
8/21/2009
LEED Interpretation
Inquiry:

Our project is installing a photovoltaic system that will be directly connected to the building\'s energy system, and which will be net-metered with the utility grid. The system is being financed through a power purchase agreement, which requires selling of the RECs to the public utility. A number of Credit Interpretation Rulings have been issued regarding the conditions which must be met for a project to qualify for renewable energy credits under EAc2. These CIRs seem to provide conflicting language. We are seeking clarification regarding these conditions for LEED-NCv2.2 and LEED-CSv2.0 projects. - CIRs dated 10/3/2006 and 5/16/2006 state that the sale of RECs is allowed from an on-site renewable energy system that claims credit under EAc2 if the building owner or energy system owner purchases a total amount of RECs equal to 200% of the system\'s annual rated energy output each year from another source, which must be Green-e eligible. Per the CIRs, the seller of the on-site RECs must also follow all established guidelines for the sale of RECs and not claim any of the environmental attributes for the on-site system. - An administrative ruling dated 7/19/2007, which updates conditions for on-site renewable systems to achieve EAc2 points, does not make reference to the purchase of 200% RECs as an acceptable method of credit achievement. - However, the same 200% REC purchase compliance path is also outlined in the new LEED 2009 BD&C Reference Guide. - A CIR dated April 15, 2009 rules that a project that hosts a PV system, which does not use the PV and/or the PV is fully financed, owned and sold to third parties, can achieve EAc2 by purchasing a total amount of RECs equal to 100% of the system\'s annual rated energy output. Please confirm that a project pursuing EAc2 under LEED-NC v2.2 (or LEED-CSv2.0) can achieve EAc2 points by utilizing the 200% REC purchase methodology as outlined in the 2006 CIRs and 2009 BD&C Reference Guide, or the 100% REC purchase methodology outlined in the 2009 CIR. We are also seeking clarification regarding the length of time for which RECs must be purchased. The 5/16/2006 CIR states that RECs must be purchased "each year." Does this mean that RECs must be purchased each year that the system\'s RECs are sold, indefinitely? Alternatively, the 10/3/2006 CIR states that RECs must be purchased for at least ten years. Please clarify if the REC purchase is required for 10 years, or for the entire length of the utility REC purchase agreement.

Ruling:

The applicant is asking for clarification on the quantity and length of time for which RECs need to be purchased in order to achieve credit for On-Site Renewable energy that is sold to the grid. Most of the various CIRs referenced by the applicant are relevant; some of these rulings appear to add confusion to the quantity of RECs that are needed. It has been determined that the project can achieve EAc2 by purchasing a total amount of RECs equal to 100% of the system\'s annual rated energy output. There must be at least a 10-year contract for the purchase of the energy output. This CIR supersedes the 200% requirement set by the CIR Ruling dated 5/16/2006. Please note this CIR only dictates the quantity of RECs and the duration and other requirements related to documentation and green-e stay valid as stated in the 5/16/2006 and other CIRs.

Campus Applicable
No
Internationally Applicable:
No

LEEDuser expert

Marcus Sheffer

7group / Energy Opportunities
LEED Fellow

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