We are working on a 100% electric building pursuing LEEDv4 BD+C: Core and Shell. The client would like to explore the option of pursuing the green power and carbon offsets credit. If the building is 100% electric and does not have any systems that use fossil fuels, can we purchase RECs only to comply with this credit to offset 100% of the total annual energy consumption, calculated in EA Prerequisite Minimum Energy Performance Option 1?
In terms of the credit requirements:
"Engage in a contract for qualified resources that have come online since January 1, 2005, for a minimum of five years, to be delivered at least annually. The contract must specify the provision of at least 50% or 100% of the project’s energy from green power, carbon offsets, or renewable energy certificates (RECs)"
Do RECs have to be purchased every year for 5 years to meet the requirement? For example, if the total annual building electricity use is 1,000MWh per year and the price of RECs to cover 100% of this is $5,000, does this have to be paid on a yearly basis for 5 years ($25,000 in total over 5 years)?
Last question, do carbon offsets only have to be purchased if there are fossil fuel systems in the building contributing to the total annual energy use?