EBOM-2009 EAc4: On-Site and Off-Site Renewable Energy

  • EBOM EAc4 Renewable Energy Diagram
  • Onsite and Off-Site Renewable Energy

    This credit rewards projects with up to six points for using renewable energy either through the purchase of green power A subset of renewable energy composed of grid-based electricity produced from renewable energy sources.(RECs and carbon offsets), the use of onsite renewable systems, or a combination of the two. 

    The decision to approach this credit through onsite or off-site renewable energy generally comes down to the following:

    • The first costs of onsite renewable installation.
    • Whether the owner supports the longer-term payback likely for onsite renewables.
    • The compatibility of the building and systems with onsite renewables.
    • The cost of offsite renewables and whether the owner perceives value in that.
    • The kind of green story the building owner would like to tell.

    Onsite is tough

    Onsite renewable energy is rarely pursued by EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. projects because it is can be expensive and technically challenging.

    The credit allows for numerous different systems, including solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal (hot water), to geothermal (harvesting heat from deep within the earth—not surface-level “geo-exchange”), wind, low-impact hydroelectric, and certain types of biomass. Of these, solar and solar thermal are the most widely used because they work with the widest variety of sites and microclimates.

    Green-e logoThe Green-e Energy logo is displayed on renewable energy certificates (RECs) that meet a set of requirements.

    What are RECs?

    The market for renewable energy credits (RECs) and carbon offsets has exploded in recent years, but both are fairly abstract commodities that can be difficult to define.

    For buildings that can’t generate onsite renewable power but want to use renewable energy, RECs (sometimes called “green tags”) allow customers to continue to buy the same grid-supplied power, while also buying the environmental attributes of electricity produced by a renewable source. (The actual renewably generated electricity is sold separately to the grid for market price as normal power.) To ensure quality, LEED requires you to purchase RECs certified by Green-e, a third-party program.

    Costs for offsite renewable energy vary over time according to the market. Purchasing in volume can reduce the price, while buying RECs from specific regions or sources can increase the price. RECs are easy to buy and can be done anytime. 

    What are carbon offsets?

    Carbon offsets are much more narrowly defined than RECs. Measured in tons of carbon dioxide offset, they allow an entity that is emitting carbon in one setting, such as in heating a building, to buy offsets that theoretically prevent or displace carbon emissions in another context, such as in capturing landfill emissions.

    Green-e Climate logoThe Green-e Climate program certifies carbon offsets to certain standards that are accepted by LEED.

    While RECs simply transfer an environmental attribute from one kilowatt-hour to another, carbon offsets do something much more nuanced. They try to erase the impact of an activity. To do this, they have to create carbon reductions that wouldn’t have happened but for the investment represented by the carbon offset. This is very tricky to define in practice. To ensure quality, LEED requires you to purchase offsets certified by Green-e.

    Different from LEED-NC

    In LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC), there are separate credits for onsite renewables (EAc2) and for offsite renewables (EAc6), while EBOM combines both with this credit. In EBOM, this credit also covers total energy use, including steam, natural gas, propane, and fuel oil consumed onsite, and not just electricity use as in NC. This makes the credit more costly and somewhat more involved than in NC.

    Do renewables make sense?

    Using renewable energy helps reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and their associated economic, social, and environmental costs. Still, they suffer from perceptions that they are not worth the trouble.

    PV panels on a buildingThese photovoltaic panels at Fossil Ridge School in Fort Collins, Colorado provide onsite renewable energy as well as shading.A persistent myth is that PV panels will never produce enough energy in their lifetime to offset the energy used in manufacturing them. This myth has been debunked many times. One recent study, for example, found that PV recoups its manufacturing energy within three years, while the lifespan of PV panels can be 30 or more years.

    Renewable energy is perceived as costing too much. Indeed, it is generally farFloor-area ratio is the density of nonresidential land use, exclusive of parking, measured as the total nonresidential building floor area divided by the total buildable land area available for nonresidential structures. For example, on a site with 10,000 square feet (930 square meters) of buildable land area, an FAR of 1.0 would be 10,000 square feet (930 square meters) of building floor area. On the same site, an FAR of 1.5 would be 15,000 square feet (1395 square meters), an FAR of 2.0 would be 20,000 square feet (1860 square meters), and an FAR of 0.5 would be 5,000 square feet (465 square meters). more cost-effective to invest in energy efficiency than to invest in renewable energy generation. However, for many owners, particularly with a long-term view on payback, both investments are worthwhile.

    Consider these questions when approaching this credit

    • Does the building have a corporate owner that purchases RECs and carbon offsets at the corporate level, that can be applied to the project building? If so, the credit will be particularly easy to meet.
    • What opportunities exist for adding onsite renewables to the project building? What are the costs and benefits? What incentives are available?

    FAQ's for LEED-EBOM EAc4

    We are purchasing green power through the local utility but it is not able to provide or sign a two-year contract because of restrictions applied to the utility. Can we still meet the credit requirements with our current purchased green power covering the performance period and then a memo indicating our commitment to continue purchasing green power for the rest of the two-year term?

    The reference guide states that: "At the time of application, off-site energy and offsets must have actually been purchased for at least the performance period. Contracts or commitments for future purchases can meet the remainder of the 2-year requirement." Accordingly, a commitment to purchasing green power beyond the performance period is an acceptable method of meeting the 2-year criteria.

    We’d like to wait to pursue the option for off-site renewable energy until after the results of the preliminary review. Is it ok to pursue this credit after the preliminary review is complete or as an appeal should we need additional points?

    In general, you can submit new credits after the preliminary review or at the appeal stage (or increase the achievement threshold of previously pursued credits) as long as you remain in compliance with performance period rules. Because there are no environmental implications to buying offsets for the performance period after the performance period, it's allowed for this credit.

    Where can I find the current cost for RECs and carbon offsets?

    The best way to track down cost information is to request a quote from one or several third-party providers. Prices vary with market conditions and providers do not post current pricing as a standard practice.

    What time period do purchased RECs and offsets need to cover? Do we need to cover the performance period plus an additional two years after that?

    The contract for purchased offsets needs to cover at least two years including the performance period.

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Before the Performance Period

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  • This credit requires you to use onsite renewable energy, purchase offsite renewable energy, or both, to generate or offset energy used in the project building. 


  • It is uncommon for buildings to earn this credit due to the cost of either onsite renewable retrofits or off-site RECs and carbon offsets.


  • Investments in energy efficiency are usually more cost-effective than onsite renewable energy. However, if you’ve picked that “low-hanging fruit” and want to enhance your building’s environmental profile, renewables can be cost-effective.


  • Point thresholds for this credit apply not only to electricity but to total energy use within the building, including natural gas, propane, purchased steam, and fuel oil.


  • Choosing onsite versus off-site renewable energy


  • Onsite renewable energy is generally more technically difficult and expensive than offsite. Recognizing this, the credit rewards points at a faster rate if you choose onsite renewables. You can earn one to six points for 25%–100% offsite renewable energy, or the same number of points for 3%–12% onsite energy.


  • Projects tend to pursue onsite renewables if they have an existing system, see value in the longer term payback, or want to make a prominent visual statement about the environmental facets of the building.


  • Offsite renewable energy, purchased through RECs and carbon offsets, usually has a smaller upfront cost and can be purchased easily and at virtually any time during the certification process if additional LEED points are needed. Purchasing offsite renewable energy, though not as visually engaging as onsite renewables, also offers public relations benefits. 


  • Onsite Renewable Energy


  • If the building already has onsite renewable energy systems, find out how much energy it’s producing. 


  • Add a submeter to the system if necessary—it’s required for this credit. (You can’t rely on modeling or projections of how much power the system will supply.) 


  • Assess the feasibility of a new system, or adding capacity to the existing system. What type of system is the best fit? Consider regional and site factors such as solar access. Is there enough space to support the required equipment? Can a PV or Solar Thermal system be easily integrated into the existing electrical, heating, or domestic hot water systems? What is the likely payback, and does that work for the owner? Are there federal, state, local, or utility incentives for specific renewable energy systems?


  • Solar photovoltaics (PV) and solar thermal are the most likely ways to integrate renewable energy into an existing building in a variety of sites and climates. Is there reliable solar access? Is there a rooftop or site area available to place panels? If a rooftop, can the roof support the additional weight and uplift? 


  • Solar thermal systemA solar thermal installation provides hot water at the Snowmass Recreation Center in Snowmass, Colorado.Solar-thermal applications can offer attractive paybacks, especially for buildings with high demand for domestic hot water or hydronic heating, such as multifamily residential buildings, hotels, or other buildings that use boilers. Solar-thermal is best suited to support a building’s mechanical system when the building uses low-temperature boilers.


  • Retrofitting an existing building with a system other than solar power, such as a biofuel system, low-impact hydroelectric, wind power, or other options is very unlikely for most situations due to cost, permitting, and infrastructure issues, as well as the suitability of the site.


  • Develop a timeline for implementing the renewable energy system retrofit, and assess the impact on the LEED certification timeline.


  • Net metering allows the building to sell back any excess electricity produced by renewable energy systems, and is usually an important financial piece. Varying price structures are offered, though, and net metering is not offered in all states. Check with your utility.


  • Check for utility and government incentives, which can make renewable energy systems cost-competitive with other energy infrastructure investments.


  • Some buildings producing onsite renewable energy sell RECs to help finance the systems. Selling the RECs means that someone else can claim the environmental benefits of that power (potentially helping them with this LEED credit). That precludes you from counting that power toward this credit however.


  • Third-party financing for renewable energy systems is offered in some places as part of a power purchase agreement (PPA). These systems may be installed on a building site with no upfront cost to the building owner. Be sure to structure PPAs and incentives to retain ownership of the RECs.


  • Off-Site Renewable Energy


  • Determine if Green-e certified RECs and carbon offsets can be purchased through the building’s utility or power provider, or choose a third party to purchase from.


  • RECs must be used to meet electricity use in the building, while carbon offsets must be used to meet energy use from purchased steam, natural gas, propane and fuel oil.


  • Numerous companies offer RECs and carbon offsets—check the Green-e website for listings. The products are commodities that do not need to have any electrical or geographical connection to the project building.


  • Calculate the total annual energy use for the building, and separate electricity use from purchased steam, natural gas, propane, or fuel oil consumed onsite.


  • Work with vendors or the utility to determine the cost of purchasing RECs and carbon offsets for at least a two-year period. Check the cost for achieving each point threshold, and use it to conduct a cost-benefit analysis.


  • Vendors often offer multiple REC types or bundles like 100% wind or 100% biomass. Different bundles may be attractive depending their marketing value to your company. The cost may vary, too. (See the Documentation Toolkit for a sample REC pricing table with various options.)


  • Solicit multiple proposals for the purchase of RECs and carbon offsets to ensure competitive pricing. Pricing can change rapidly as markets change, and will vary from provider to provider.


  • REC providers offer specific attributes which are not relevant to this credit, but which may be a good match with your project. These include the geographical location of the energy production, the ownership of energy projects by Native Americans, the type of energy production. 


  • Coordinate the purchase of RECs and offsets for multiple buildings or portfolios to get a volume discount and bring down the cost per building.


  • If RECs and offsets are purchased at the corporate level, the owner can apportion any part of that purchase to the project building as long as it is not also credited to any other LEED project.


  • Many local utilities have “green power” programs but not all are Green-e accredited. Be sure to verify the Green-e accreditation or equivalency of any utility provider’s green power program.


  • Though not commonly attempted, Green-e equivalency may be established by confirming that the program meets the two major criteria for Green-e certification: 

    1. The energy source meets the requirements for renewable sources. 
    2. The renewable energy supplier has undergone an independent, third-party against Green-e standards.

During the Performance Period

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  • The following steps are organized with example calculations in the LEEDuser strategy, Step-by-Step Calculations for EBOM EAc4: Onsite and Off-Site Renewable Energy.


  • Submeter energy produced by the renewable energy system, if one is installed.


  • Identify all forms of energy use at the building.


  • Convert each energy source into Million btus (Mbtus). 


  • Calculate Total Building Annual Energy Use (including all energy forms).


  • Determine length of performance period and prorate energy use accordingly.


  • Calculate on-site renewable energy production, if any.


  • If buying RECs and carbon offsets, have in place a contract that covers consumption during the performance period and that lasts at least two years, with the intent to continue purchases indefinitely.


  • Retain a copy of the green power purchase or carbon offset contract and submit along with the LEED submittal documentation.

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance

    EA Credit 4: On-site and off-site renewable energy

    1-6 points

    Intent

    To encourage and recognize increasing levels of on and off-site renewable energy to reduce environmental and economic impacts associated with fossil fuel energy use.

    Requirements

    During the performance period, meet some or all of the building’s total energy use with on-site or off-site renewable energy systems. Points are earned according to the following table, which shows the percentages of building energy use met by renewable energy during the performance period.

    Off-site renewable energy sources are defined by the Center for Resource Solutions Green-eGreen-e is a program established by the Center for Resource Solutions to both promote green electricity products and provide consumers with a rigorous and nationally recognized method to identify those products. Energy program’s products certification requirements, or the equivalent. Green power may be procured from a Green-e Energy-certified power marketer or a Green-e Energy-accredited utility program, or through Green-e Energy-certified tradable renewable energy certificates (RECs) or the equivalent [Europe ACP: Green-e Energy Equivalent] [India ACP: Green-e Energy Equivalent]. For on-site renewable energy that is claimed for LEED 2009 for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance credit, the associated environmental attributes must be retained or retired and cannot be sold.

    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.

    Up to the 6-point limit, any combinations of individual actions are awarded the sum of the points allocated to those individual actions. For example, 1 point would be awarded for implementing 3% of on-site renewable energy, and 3 additional points would be awarded for meeting 50% of the building’s energy load with renewable power or certificates during the performance period. Projects must submit proof of a contract to purchase RECs for a minimum of 2 years and must also make a commitment to purchase RECs on an ongoing basis beyond that.

    On-site renewable energy Off-site renewable

    energy certificates

    Points
    3% or 25% 1
    4.5% or

    37.5%

    2

    6%

    or 50% 3
    7.5% or 62.5%

    4

    9%

    or

    75% 5
    12% or 100% 6



    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

    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.

    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    Design and specify the use of on-site nonpolluting renewable technologies to contribute to the total energy requirements of the building. Consider and employ solar, geothermal, wind, biomass (other than unsustainably harvested wood) and biogas technologies.

    Purchase renewable energy or tradable renewable energy certificates to meet some or all of the building’s energy requirements. Review the building’s electrical consumption trends. Research power providers in the area and select a provider that guarantees that a portion of its delivered electric power is derived from net nonpolluting renewable technologies. If the project is in an open-market state, investigate green power and power marketers licensed to provide power in that state. Grid power that qualifies for this credit originates from solar, wind, geothermal, biomass or low-impact hydro sources.

Organizations

Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)

This database shows state-by-state incentives for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other green building measures. Included in this database are incentives on demand control ventilation, ERVs, and HRVs.


Green-e

Search for green power or carbon offsetA fiscal unit measured in metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2e) representing six main categories of greenhouse gases. Aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, one carbon offset represents the reduction, or avoidance, of one metric ton of carbon dioxide (or its equivalent in other greenhouse gases). Carbon offsets are typically purchased by consumers of fossil fuels or products using fossil fuels, as a way to offset "or negate their negative environmental impact." providers by location. Understand Green-eGreen-e is a program established by the Center for Resource Solutions to both promote green electricity products and provide consumers with a rigorous and nationally recognized method to identify those products. standards to demonstrate equivalency. 


US Department of Energy: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Search for green power and carbon offsetA fiscal unit measured in metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2e) representing six main categories of greenhouse gases. Aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, one carbon offset represents the reduction, or avoidance, of one metric ton of carbon dioxide (or its equivalent in other greenhouse gases). Carbon offsets are typically purchased by consumers of fossil fuels or products using fossil fuels, as a way to offset "or negate their negative environmental impact." providers. Also, Includes information on all types of renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency.


Low Impact Hydropower Institute

The Low Impact Hydropower Institute is a non-profit organization and certification body that establishes criteria against which to judge the environmental impacts of hydropower projects in the United States.

Articles

The Folly of Building-Integrated Wind

Wind turbines on buildings could produce electricity where it's needed and catch high winds above ground level. However, wind turbulence, safety, cost, and poor performance all make building-integrated wind a limited strategy, according to this article from Environmental Building News.


Low Emissions, Quick Energy Payback for Thin-Film PV

A BuildingGreen.com article about a 2008 study showing that all current photovoltaic technologies offer at least an 89% reduction of air emissions compared with conventional electricity while also offering an energy-payback time of less than three years.

Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) Pricing

RECA Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) is a certificate representing proof that a given unit of electricity was generated from a renewable energy source such as solar or wind. These certificates are able to be sold, traded, or bartered as environmental commodities, where an electricity consumer can buy the renewable energy attributes of electricty to support renewable energy, even if they are consuming generic grid-supplied electricity that may be supplied by nonrenewable sources. vendors often offer different RECRenewable energy credit: a tradable commodity representing proof that a unit of electricity was generated from a renewable resource. RECs are sold separately from electricity itself and thus allow the purchase of green power by a user of conventionally generated electricity. products and pricing based on the type of renewable energy generation (such as solar or wind) and the geographical location of the generation, as shown in this sample pricing table prepared for a LEED-NC project.

Renewable Energy Feasibility

Careful analysis of renewable energy feasibility is required for most projects. The example shown here was for a 20-kW system on a commercial building.

Photovoltaic (PV) Calculator

Use of photovoltaic (PV) electricity is the most common way to earn LEED points. This spreadsheet helps you analyze how much PV you need to earn LEED points, what it will cost, and how much it will reduce your project's carbon emissions.

Photovoltaic Project Work

Sample documents showing PV infrastructure and calculations with an onsite PV project.

Off-Site Calculator

Use this calculator to determine the key data points related to EAc4 (off-site only). This information may be used as supporting documentation to demonstrate that purchased RECs and carbon offsets over the 2-year contract period meet the expected energy consumption for electricity and fuels.

Sample LEED Online Form

Use sample LEED Online form with sample data and annotations to understand documentation of EAc4.

LEED Online Forms: EBOM-2009 EA

Sample LEED Online forms for all rating systems and versions are available on the USGBC website.

118 Comments

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Izabela Kwiecinska Gleeds Polska
Feb 15 2017
LEEDuser Member
4 Thumbs Up

Certificates for hot district water?

Project Location: Poland

Hello Everyone,
We are preparing our Client to buy Green-eGreen-e is a program established by the Center for Resource Solutions to both promote green electricity products and provide consumers with a rigorous and nationally recognized method to identify those products. certified energy. We don't know if he has to buy also GOs or carbon offsets for district hot water that the building is supplied with. We have this source of energy in Energy Star Portfolio Manager. The building is supplied with hot water for the heating system.
What is more the hot water supplier (French Veolia) buys each year great amount of renewable energy sources RES. So do we still have to buy certificates or carbon offsets if Veolia does?
I'm confused. Hope for help.
Izabela

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Pablo Fortunato Suarez Principal ESD Consultant/Architect GreenArc Sustainable Building & Architecture
Oct 22 2016
LEEDuser Member
3626 Thumbs Up

exemplary performance points - combined on-site and off-site ren

Our project has combined off-site and on-site renewable energy sources. The total threshold is over 98%. As per LEED Manual, the threshold has to be 100% in order to be awarded the exemplary performanceIn LEED, certain credits have established thresholds beyond basic credit achievement. Meeting these thresholds can earn additional points through Innovation in Design (ID) or Innovation in Operations (IO) points. As a general rule of thumb, ID credits for exemplary performance are awarded for doubling the credit requirements and/or achieving the next incremental percentage threshold. However, this rule varies on a case by case basis, so check the credit requirements. point. However, the LEED Online form has a bit more vague definition - "For
projects with a combination of on- and off-site renewable energy, must meet
the next threshold of credit achievement and be less than 100%" which we may qualify for.

My queries:
1) What does GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). mean with the statement "must meet the next threshold of credit achievement"? One of our sources (off-site) comprises about 94% of the total energy used in the project. Does this satisfy the criteria on "next threshold"?
2) Does the total of over 98% sourced from combined renewables satisfy the "less than 100%" criteria?

Hoping for your assistance.

thank you and regards,
Pabs

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Charles Nepps Charles Nepps Consulting Oct 23 2016 LEEDuser Member 1788 Thumbs Up

I agree the criteria for exemplary performanceIn LEED, certain credits have established thresholds beyond basic credit achievement. Meeting these thresholds can earn additional points through Innovation in Design (ID) or Innovation in Operations (IO) points. As a general rule of thumb, ID credits for exemplary performance are awarded for doubling the credit requirements and/or achieving the next incremental percentage threshold. However, this rule varies on a case by case basis, so check the credit requirements. a bit vague, however I believe when you complete the credit form, and indicate that "The project team is pursuing exemplary performance of EA Credit 4.", the form should automatically tell you the points you've achieved and whether or not you get the EP point. My feeling is that you would have to have at least 13.5% (next threshold) on site renewables to achieve EP, but that's only a guess.

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Pablo Fortunato Suarez Principal ESD Consultant/Architect, GreenArc Sustainable Building & Architecture Oct 23 2016 LEEDuser Member 3626 Thumbs Up

Thank you Charles. I tried changing the figures to get different scenarios but there is no change in the form/any indication of exemplary performanceIn LEED, certain credits have established thresholds beyond basic credit achievement. Meeting these thresholds can earn additional points through Innovation in Design (ID) or Innovation in Operations (IO) points. As a general rule of thumb, ID credits for exemplary performance are awarded for doubling the credit requirements and/or achieving the next incremental percentage threshold. However, this rule varies on a case by case basis, so check the credit requirements. point. In one scenario I removed the off-site renewable and plugged in a value that would make it 13.5% and even 20% on-site renewables - no change. I guess that's the disadvantage with the new online form - it does not automatically indicate a points total or a prompt if the thresholds achieved merit exemplary performance point.
Will await other advise.

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Charles Nepps Charles Nepps Consulting Oct 23 2016 LEEDuser Member 1788 Thumbs Up

What confuses me is when you click that you are pursuing EP, a message comes up that states:"Exemplary performanceIn LEED, certain credits have established thresholds beyond basic credit achievement. Meeting these thresholds can earn additional points through Innovation in Design (ID) or Innovation in Operations (IO) points. As a general rule of thumb, ID credits for exemplary performance are awarded for doubling the credit requirements and/or achieving the next incremental percentage threshold. However, this rule varies on a case by case basis, so check the credit requirements. may be available for projects that provide a minimum equivalent calculated combination of 37% on-site and off-site renewable energy." But I can't find any resource that says how to calculate the "equivalent calculated combination"; I'm sure someone out there has the answer. You might also try asking the GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). directly; they have always been very good about answering my questions over the years!

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Pablo Fortunato Suarez Principal ESD Consultant/Architect, GreenArc Sustainable Building & Architecture Oct 24 2016 LEEDuser Member 3626 Thumbs Up

Thanks again Charles. I believe the 37% threshold for combined on-site and off-site renewable energy criteria for exemplary performanceIn LEED, certain credits have established thresholds beyond basic credit achievement. Meeting these thresholds can earn additional points through Innovation in Design (ID) or Innovation in Operations (IO) points. As a general rule of thumb, ID credits for exemplary performance are awarded for doubling the credit requirements and/or achieving the next incremental percentage threshold. However, this rule varies on a case by case basis, so check the credit requirements. appears in the LEED EB:O+M v3 2009 manual.
It seems the LEED Online form (new) I'm using doesn't have an option to click on exemplary performance. It just shows a box the heading Exemplary Performance and the % generated from inputs to off-site and on-site renewables, and a sum of the %; conditions are written on the side as well.
Cheers

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David Ellner
Aug 01 2016
Guest
5 Thumbs Up

Green-E Equivalency

Project Location: United States

We have pursued EAc4, using a combination of on site and off site renewable energy sources. On site sources is not a problem. However, we have a unique circumstance (summarized below) for reporting our off-site renewable energy purchases, which have been rejected by USGBC because we have not documented Green-eGreen-e is a program established by the Center for Resource Solutions to both promote green electricity products and provide consumers with a rigorous and nationally recognized method to identify those products. equivalency to the USGBC's satisfaction. The problem is, nowhere can I find any references describing the documentation required to "comply with green-e certification standards" or green-e equivalency. My question is what specific documentation, audits, guidelines, forms and/or other information is required by the USGBC to document green-e equivalency?

This issue is particularly frustrating, since the USGBC made no mention of any problem with green-e equivalency documentation in their first Technical Advice comments. So we answered the comments they did provide as part of our re-submittal and then they rejected the credit (5 points) based only on a comment they never mentioned originally, requiring us to pay additional fees if we wish to pursue a third review.

Our unique circumstance is as follows:

We are applying for a LEED-EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. gold renewal for an 800,000 sf high rise office building with 400 kw of on-site solar. The building is adjacent to a separate, completely independent (separate metered electric account) property, owned by the same Owner as the high rise office building. It also has a 400 kw solar system. Owner wants to sell (allocate) all solar generated by the adjacent structure to the office building at a cost of $0.00/kwhA kilowatt-hour is a unit of work or energy, measured as 1 kilowatt (1,000 watts) of power expended for 1 hour. One kWh is equivalent to 3,412 Btu.. Since the solar generated by the adjacent property is not logged on the Energy Star SEP, it is treated as off-site. My attempt to comply with the Green-e equivalency documentation requirement was to obtain a letter from Ownership, committing to exclusively allocate all solar generated to the adjacent high rise office building, at a cost of $0.00/kwh, for a period of not less than 5 years. The USGBC’s rejection cited LEED InterpretationLEED Interpretations are official answers to technical inquiries about implementing LEED on a project. They help people understand how their projects can meet LEED requirements and provide clarity on existing options. LEED Interpretations are to be used by any project certifying under an applicable rating system. All project teams are required to adhere to all LEED Interpretations posted before their registration date. This also applies to other addenda. Adherence to rulings posted after a project registers is optional, but strongly encouraged. LEED Interpretations are published in a searchable database at usgbc.org. 1744 and stated any future submittal must comply with the requirements of 1744. 1744 only states off-site power must be certified Green-e or equivalent, only they do not provide any guidance on what is required to prove green-e equivalency.

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Ben Stanley Sustainability Manager, YRG sustainability Mar 08 2017 LEEDuser Expert 6253 Thumbs Up

My understanding is that in order to demonstrate equivalency you would need to demonstrate that the off-site energy met the green-eGreen-e is a program established by the Center for Resource Solutions to both promote green electricity products and provide consumers with a rigorous and nationally recognized method to identify those products. national standards or a separate set of standards that was shown to be equivalent. Then you would also need to show that an independent third party verified that those standards are met by the provider over time.

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Peter Doo President Doo Consulting, LLC
Jan 25 2016
LEEDuser Member
3729 Thumbs Up

Amount of offset in multi tenanted building

If tenants are individually metered, are the percentages of offset calculated on common area meter usage only?

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Ben Stanley Sustainability Manager, YRG sustainability Jan 25 2016 LEEDuser Expert 6253 Thumbs Up

Hi Peter,

The calculations and thresholds are based on the annual energy use for the entire building, including tenant spaces.

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Peter Doo President, Doo Consulting, LLC Feb 09 2016 LEEDuser Member 3729 Thumbs Up

How does one model the tenant energy use? Is there a default energy use / SF? What about residential tenants? This is a residential / mixed use building?

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Edmee Knight
Oct 27 2015
LEEDuser Member
12 Thumbs Up

The amount of REC's necessary if onsite solar credits are sold

Project Location: United States

My buildings roof is covered in solar panels that generate at least 20% of the building's annual energy. However these solar panels are owned by a third party and the RECA Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) is a certificate representing proof that a given unit of electricity was generated from a renewable energy source such as solar or wind. These certificates are able to be sold, traded, or bartered as environmental commodities, where an electricity consumer can buy the renewable energy attributes of electricty to support renewable energy, even if they are consuming generic grid-supplied electricity that may be supplied by nonrenewable sources.'s are sold to help finance the panels (through a PPA). Do I have to purchase RECRenewable energy credit: a tradable commodity representing proof that a unit of electricity was generated from a renewable resource. RECs are sold separately from electricity itself and thus allow the purchase of green power by a user of conventionally generated electricity.'s to offset my buildings total energy use regardless of the energy generated by the solar panels or is there a way to get a discount since a large portion of the energy is generated on site?

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Ben Stanley Sustainability Manager, YRG sustainability Dec 01 2015 LEEDuser Expert 6253 Thumbs Up

Hi Edmee,

Yes, the renewable energy attributes must be retained and owned by the building owner in order to apply that energy generation to the credit. The LEED v4 reference guide has some additional guidance for third party systems that could be useful for you.

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Erin Holdenried Sustainable Design Manager, AECOM Dec 23 2015 LEEDuser Member 429 Thumbs Up

LEED NC 2009 allows projects to purchase RECs equivalent to the amount generated by the third-party owned onsite renewables as a path to counting the onsite renewables for LEED credit. Is this not also allowed for LEED EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems.?

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Fabio Frescia PM, LEED AP Arcadia (Thailand) Company Limited
Aug 30 2015
LEEDuser Member
173 Thumbs Up

LEED EBOM EA c.4

Project Location: Thailand

Hello,

I have a LEED EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. project in Thailand.

I am now dealing with EA c.4 - On site or Off site Renewable Energy. Regarding the off-site option I have the following question related to the possibility of buying Green-eGreen-e is a program established by the Center for Resource Solutions to both promote green electricity products and provide consumers with a rigorous and nationally recognized method to identify those products. certified carbon off-set (pab.207, par.3 , LEED EBOM reference guide).

Do you know if can use Certified Emission Reduction (CER) from UNFCCC-- It is the gold standard for carbon credit and should be as stringent as US's carbon credit standard if not more-- or Voluntary Emission Reduction from locally-certified carbon credit ( in Thailand, it is called T-VER). Securing the carbon credit is not a big problem as there are plenty of issued carbon credits in the market. If USGBC says that only carbon credits with Green-E stamp is accepted, do you know if we can buy this credit in the US and apply to a project in Thailand? After all, 1 ton of CO2Carbon dioxide in the US is the same with 1 ton of CO2 in Thailand.

The client would like to achieve all 6 points with either On-site 12% or Off-site Renewable Energy 100%. Regarding the on-site option I have the following question: how much space would we need to install PV on the roof? And does the roof need to be within the LEED boundaries or can be nearby (outside it)?

Thanks a lot!

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Boone Jones Director of Business Development, Renewable Choice Energy Oct 16 2015 Guest 12 Thumbs Up

Hello Fabio,

The most straight forward path for your project is to secure Green-eGreen-e is a program established by the Center for Resource Solutions to both promote green electricity products and provide consumers with a rigorous and nationally recognized method to identify those products. Climate VERs. The VERs can indeed be generated from a project in the United States and used to address the Thai facility's emissions.

Cheers,

Boone

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Charalampos Giannikopoulos Senior Sustainability Consultant DCarbon
Jul 17 2015
LEEDuser Member
1860 Thumbs Up

Calculating total energy use for RECs purchase

Since the RECs (or equivalent) needs to meet 100% of the building’s energy use (in case of pursuing 6 points) does this mean that we need to wait until full completion of the performance period in order to get the accurate figure of energy use to reflect to the corresponding purchase? We are in the 11th month of the performance period (thus approaching the end of the 12 month period) so could we round the energy use to an estimate of the total including the 12th month remaining?

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Ben Stanley Sustainability Manager, YRG sustainability Dec 01 2015 LEEDuser Expert 6253 Thumbs Up

Hi Charalampos,

To be 100% accurate you would need to wait until the end of the performance period to purchase those RECs. But, if you need to purchase the RECs earlier for some reason, such as processing payment or catching a good price, I could see purchasing the RECs prior to the end of the performance period based on an estimate. If you ended up being short, the reviewer might be lenient if it's very very close to 100%. Worst case you would need to buy a small group of RECs to make up the difference at the end of the performance period.

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Charalampos Giannikopoulos Senior Sustainability Consultant DCarbon
Apr 30 2015
LEEDuser Member
1860 Thumbs Up

RECs for Europe

Project Location: Greece

Could you advise of a list of RECA Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) is a certificate representing proof that a given unit of electricity was generated from a renewable energy source such as solar or wind. These certificates are able to be sold, traded, or bartered as environmental commodities, where an electricity consumer can buy the renewable energy attributes of electricty to support renewable energy, even if they are consuming generic grid-supplied electricity that may be supplied by nonrenewable sources. vendors who could provide offsite renewable energy for a project located in Europe (Greece)? In other words, are there vendors whose RECs would not contribute to the credit requirements depending on the location of the project?

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Ben Stanley Sustainability Manager, YRG sustainability Dec 01 2015 LEEDuser Expert 6253 Thumbs Up

As long as the vendor can provide RECs meeting the credit requirements, you can work with any vendor internationally or local. The country of origin for the renewable energy does not impact compliance with the credit.

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charles bell principal theGreenTeam, Inc.
Nov 06 2014
Guest
1014 Thumbs Up

New wind turbines

Project Location: United States

My client has a LEED NC silver award from about 10 years ago. Recently, they have installed a 3.5 megawatt wind generating system to assist in reducing grid power requirements for their manufacturing facility. They are asking me to recommend how they might upgrade their LEED status due to the improvements. Can anyone help advise? Is the EB O&M a viable option for the rating system? They are excited about the possibility, but need to be educated regarding the monetary costs and level of participation they will be need to commit to the project.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Executive Editor – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Dec 10 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

Charles, I would definitely recommend EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. certification for any previously certified LEED project. The presence of the wind turbine will only help demonstrate a high level of performance.

You seem to be asking a broader question about the level of effort and cost required for overall EBOM certification. I'm afraid that's beyond the scope of this specific credit forum, but I would recommend a review of the rating system (check out our LEED-EBOM Stress Test -- you can Google it), and you will get the picture, especially if you have LEED experience.

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Wendy Parker, LEED AP Property Operations Manager MetroNational
Aug 14 2014
Guest
127 Thumbs Up

Confused about Perf periods and 2-yr contract for offsite REC's

We purchased RECA Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) is a certificate representing proof that a given unit of electricity was generated from a renewable energy source such as solar or wind. These certificates are able to be sold, traded, or bartered as environmental commodities, where an electricity consumer can buy the renewable energy attributes of electricty to support renewable energy, even if they are consuming generic grid-supplied electricity that may be supplied by nonrenewable sources.'s (Texas products) for backdates 3/13 to 3/14 AND going forward 3/14 to 3/15 to cover both the Perf Period AND the 2 yr contract requirement for the credit. BUT, the RECRenewable energy credit: a tradable commodity representing proof that a unit of electricity was generated from a renewable resource. RECs are sold separately from electricity itself and thus allow the purchase of green power by a user of conventionally generated electricity.'s are Green-eGreen-e is a program established by the Center for Resource Solutions to both promote green electricity products and provide consumers with a rigorous and nationally recognized method to identify those products. "certifiable" and not "certified" right now because they cannot "certified" until they are retired in 3/15. So how am i going to submit the Green-E certification documentation in the application (around Oct 2014) if they are not retired/certified until 3/15?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Executive Editor – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Oct 06 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

Wendy, the key thing is that the purchases comply with Green-eGreen-e is a program established by the Center for Resource Solutions to both promote green electricity products and provide consumers with a rigorous and nationally recognized method to identify those products. certification standards. Buying RECs from a Green-e provider, as discussed in the credit language, should do the trick. I think you may be splitting hairs over "certifiable" Green-e RECs. 

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Green Globes Professional, JLL Oct 07 2014 LEEDuser Member 7344 Thumbs Up

There's no reason to think they won't be retired. It should be fine. The org. that manages Green-eGreen-e is a program established by the Center for Resource Solutions to both promote green electricity products and provide consumers with a rigorous and nationally recognized method to identify those products. kicks providers out if they don't retire the right amount & type of RECs on their customers' behalf.

To me the contract should say Reporting Year (RY) 2014/2015 Green-e RECs. I personally wouldn't want the word "certifiable" in there. All green-e RECs are understood to be retired at some future point in time. If a REC was already retired by the time you signed the contract that would indicate that it could no longer be "used."

I think you're going way beyond what the reviewers are looking for and would caution you against trying to learn all the green-e rules :) It's hard for some people even in the REC industry to understand the reporting years.

The contract requires that the RECs be retired. It would be extremely out of the ordinary for the supplier to breach the contract by not retiring the RECs--that's their whole business. They get audited and they would no longer be able to sell Green-e products if they broke the rules. Best of luck with this credit!

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Wendy Parker, LEED AP Property Operations Manager MetroNational
Jul 16 2014
Guest
127 Thumbs Up

Natural gas use less than 1MMBtu...can't obtain carbon offsets

We have purchased our RECA Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) is a certificate representing proof that a given unit of electricity was generated from a renewable energy source such as solar or wind. These certificates are able to be sold, traded, or bartered as environmental commodities, where an electricity consumer can buy the renewable energy attributes of electricty to support renewable energy, even if they are consuming generic grid-supplied electricity that may be supplied by nonrenewable sources.'s for our building's electricity use but have been unable to find anyone that offers carbon offsets for our natural gas use because it's so low (less than 1MMBtu a year). How do we go about fulfilling the EAc4 if we're not able to purchase these? (We are still covering 99.99% of the building's total energy use with the RECRenewable energy credit: a tradable commodity representing proof that a unit of electricity was generated from a renewable resource. RECs are sold separately from electricity itself and thus allow the purchase of green power by a user of conventionally generated electricity. purchase but don't want to get tripped up in the review process and lose points for not having the gas usage covered.) thoughts?

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Green Globes Professional, JLL Jul 16 2014 LEEDuser Member 7344 Thumbs Up

You could probably do this $60/year. The administrative costs of writing up a contract for a 1 ton carbon offsetA fiscal unit measured in metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2e) representing six main categories of greenhouse gases. Aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, one carbon offset represents the reduction, or avoidance, of one metric ton of carbon dioxide (or its equivalent in other greenhouse gases). Carbon offsets are typically purchased by consumers of fossil fuels or products using fossil fuels, as a way to offset "or negate their negative environmental impact." is too high for a company to justify making that transaction. You'll probably need to sign up for a program rather than getting a contract.

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Wendy Parker, LEED AP Property Operations Manager, MetroNational Jul 17 2014 Guest 127 Thumbs Up

Our natural gas provider isn't Green-eGreen-e is a program established by the Center for Resource Solutions to both promote green electricity products and provide consumers with a rigorous and nationally recognized method to identify those products. certified for carbon offsets (even though they offer that monthly offset program)..will reviewers have issue with that or will an explanation re the difficulty in obtaining the offsets be sufficient you think? I did see another provider on the Green-e website that has a monthly program so I've inquired from them as well...

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Green Globes Professional, JLL Jul 17 2014 LEEDuser Member 7344 Thumbs Up

who is your natural gas provider? Do you have a link to their carbon offsetA fiscal unit measured in metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2e) representing six main categories of greenhouse gases. Aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, one carbon offset represents the reduction, or avoidance, of one metric ton of carbon dioxide (or its equivalent in other greenhouse gases). Carbon offsets are typically purchased by consumers of fossil fuels or products using fossil fuels, as a way to offset "or negate their negative environmental impact." program?

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Green Globes Professional, JLL Jul 17 2014 LEEDuser Member 7344 Thumbs Up

ugh the link I posted on the earlier post didn't come through. Which is silly. I don't work for that company. www.sterlingplanet.com www.3degreesinc.com offer carbon offsetA fiscal unit measured in metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2e) representing six main categories of greenhouse gases. Aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, one carbon offset represents the reduction, or avoidance, of one metric ton of carbon dioxide (or its equivalent in other greenhouse gases). Carbon offsets are typically purchased by consumers of fossil fuels or products using fossil fuels, as a way to offset "or negate their negative environmental impact." programs.

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Wendy Parker, LEED AP Property Operations Manager, MetroNational Jul 17 2014 Guest 127 Thumbs Up

I've contacted our natural gas provider and they are not Green-eGreen-e is a program established by the Center for Resource Solutions to both promote green electricity products and provide consumers with a rigorous and nationally recognized method to identify those products. climate certified. I am talking to another company (Terrapass) about their monthly program. Do we also need to consider the backup generator diesel fuel that is burned for a short time period weekly to test the generator? Also, I noticed the EAc4 calculator says the amount of RECA Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) is a certificate representing proof that a given unit of electricity was generated from a renewable energy source such as solar or wind. These certificates are able to be sold, traded, or bartered as environmental commodities, where an electricity consumer can buy the renewable energy attributes of electricty to support renewable energy, even if they are consuming generic grid-supplied electricity that may be supplied by nonrenewable sources.'s purchased may not exceed the total elec use? Why is that?? What if our purchased amount (based on 3/13-3/14 usage - contract ends 3/15) exceeds current SEP amount???

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Bahareh van Boekhold Energy and Sustainability Planner Delaware Division of Energy and Climate
Mar 27 2014
Guest
113 Thumbs Up

Performance Period Question for PV, SREC and credis added at end

I have a similar question as Summer Gorder. We are at the cusp of Gold certificaion. If we will be 1-2 credit short after GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). review PV isnatllation can be justified at the buillding. Would this be accepted?

The LEED Certification Policy Manual offers the project team two more opportunities to add new credits and prerequisites after the initial submittal. The first opportunity is when the project team submits the response to the GBCI preliminary review and the second one is as an appeal after the final GBCI “awarded” and “denied” ruling. Does the performance period for the new credit need to follow the project performance period and overlap with credits submitted 85 or 115 days prior in the initial application package? Are they flexibilities with the performance period for credits added to the project through an appeal process?

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Summer Gorder Owner ecoREAL
Mar 11 2014
Guest
864 Thumbs Up

Purchasing RECS after the Performance Period

Based on our reviewer clarifications, we are needing to take a different tactic to meet our goal. Can Offsite Green Power be purchased after the performance period as long as it accounts for that annual energy consumption from our Energy Star SEP?

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David ESPAGNET Green Building and Sustainability Project Manager Bureau Veritas
Feb 26 2014
Guest
96 Thumbs Up

Green e equivalence

Hello.
In the "credit language" above is precised :
" Projects in Europe may use the following approved standards in place of Green-eGreen-e is a program established by the Center for Resource Solutions to both promote green electricity products and provide consumers with a rigorous and nationally recognized method to identify those products. Energy:
- EKOenergy
- Guarantees of Origin (GOs) with additional parameters"
What is meant by additional parameters? My client, in France, has subscribed, for its site, for 1200 guarantees of Origins Certificates from EDF, the French national electric company. The certificates are delivered by a third party company : POWERNEXT.
In that case, what are the additional parameters i have to prove to show compliance with EA c4? The Powernext process of certification ?
Thank you very much by advance.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Executive Editor – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Mar 07 2014 LEEDuser Moderator

David, you'll find more information in the ACP download that is linked to from the credit language above.

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Lucy Williams Principal, Lucy C. Williams, Architect Nov 10 2014 LEEDuser Member 714 Thumbs Up

Tristan- please advise on the location of the link to the ACP download you reference above.

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Charles Nepps Charles Nepps Consulting Nov 11 2014 LEEDuser Member 1788 Thumbs Up
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Alicia Silva CEO Revitaliza consultores
Jan 15 2014
LEEDuser Member
2385 Thumbs Up

On Site Renewable Energy accreditation

We are working in a project where the local government wants to certify its main administrative office building.

They want to install PV panels but they no longer have available space on this building´s roof.

However, they own a twin building separated by an avenue where they can install the PV panels, Is it possible to claim for on site renewable energy even when the panels will not be installed in the LEED project boundary?.

Thanks in advance.

Regards.

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Ben Stanley Sustainability Manager, YRG sustainability Jan 15 2014 LEEDuser Expert 6253 Thumbs Up

Hi Alicia,

I think this could work if you apply the situation like a campus scenario. See LI 10128 for more information on previous guidance from USGBC. One caution is that it looks like the guidance from that LI hasn't been officially applied to EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. projects.

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Magda Aghababyan CEO Co-Energi (Pvt) Ltd.
Aug 30 2013
LEEDuser Member
1227 Thumbs Up

Onsite renewable - Biomass

Hello,

We have a biomass boiler of 1.5 tons/hour. My question is when I calculate the renewable energy generation from this system, should i calculate it based on the amount of firewood consumed or amount of steam generated?

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Ben Stanley Sustainability Manager, YRG sustainability Aug 30 2013 LEEDuser Expert 6253 Thumbs Up

Hi Magda,

The calculation should be based on the steam generated.

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Eddie Cuevas
Aug 20 2013
Guest
105 Thumbs Up

On-site vs. Off-Site Campus Project

I am working on an EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. project located on a college campus. There is a large PV array located just outside the campus boundary that will strictly serve the buildings on campus, including our project building. Would this set-up be considered on-site renewable energy?

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Ben Stanley Sustainability Manager, YRG sustainability Aug 30 2013 LEEDuser Expert 6253 Thumbs Up

Eddie,

Take a look at LEED InterpretationLEED Interpretations are official answers to technical inquiries about implementing LEED on a project. They help people understand how their projects can meet LEED requirements and provide clarity on existing options. LEED Interpretations are to be used by any project certifying under an applicable rating system. All project teams are required to adhere to all LEED Interpretations posted before their registration date. This also applies to other addenda. Adherence to rulings posted after a project registers is optional, but strongly encouraged. LEED Interpretations are published in a searchable database at usgbc.org. 10161. The ruling there makes me think you'd be ok with the boundary issue and have some leeway on how you apportion the renewable energy to the buildings on campus. http://www.usgbc.org/leed-interpretations?clearsmartf=true&keys=2616

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Kimberlee Dobbins Sustainability Coordinator City of Virginia Beach
Jul 09 2013
LEEDuser Member
309 Thumbs Up

On-Site vs. Off-Site

We are working with out Utility Provider and they will be putting solar panels on the roof of our building. They will pay us rent for the space, and in exchange we will recieve RECs from them equal to what the rental charge is. Would LEED consider this be classified as off site, or on-site renewable energy?

Thanks

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Ben Stanley Sustainability Manager, YRG sustainability Aug 30 2013 LEEDuser Expert 6253 Thumbs Up

Based on LI 2594, I would say your scenario works for on-site but that you'll need to make sure that the total RECs received are equal or greater than 100% of the system's annual energy output. See here http://www.usgbc.org/leed-interpretations?keys=renewable+PV

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Joseph Snider, AIA, LEED Fellow LEED Architect SEQUIL Systems, Inc.
Jun 08 2013
LEEDuser Member
392 Thumbs Up

On Site Renewable

The project would like to consider this credit. For that a PV system was previously installed and has been in operation within the performance period. The renewable energy system generates energy to help reduce the overall reliance on traditional energy. However, the total on-site renewable energy is only 2.3% of the total energy used. What should the project team do to obtain this credit and still make use of the benefits of the PV system even if the production is less than the 3% required to obtain 1 point? thanks

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Ben Stanley Sustainability Manager, YRG sustainability Aug 30 2013 LEEDuser Expert 6253 Thumbs Up

You could pursue the option to use a combination of on-site and off-site renewable energy to meet the credit requirements. Otherwise, I guess you would need to reduce the overall energy use of the building or add more on-site renewable energy capacity.

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Henrique Mendes Mr. Green Domus
May 15 2013
Guest
1050 Thumbs Up

Carbon Offsets (Green-e Equivalent)

We have a client that wants to buy carbon credits from a project in Brazil, and since green-eGreen-e is a program established by the Center for Resource Solutions to both promote green electricity products and provide consumers with a rigorous and nationally recognized method to identify those products. do not have auditors here, there are no Brazilian companies certified under the Green-e climate standard.
Although, there are companies here that sell carbon credits (CERs - certified by the UNFCCC) to offset emissions.
I´d like to know if those credits would be accepted by USGBC, since Green-e Climate also accepts CERs credits for carbon offsets.
Should I write a CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide?

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Ben Stanley Sustainability Manager, YRG sustainability Aug 30 2013 LEEDuser Expert 6253 Thumbs Up

If you can make the case that the UNFCCC standard is similar in rigor to the Green-eGreen-e is a program established by the Center for Resource Solutions to both promote green electricity products and provide consumers with a rigorous and nationally recognized method to identify those products. standard then your scenario should work without a CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide.

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Henrique Mendes Mr., Green Domus Aug 30 2013 Guest 1050 Thumbs Up

Really, Even without a CIRCredit Interpretation Ruling. Used by design team members experiencing difficulties in the application of a LEED prerequisite or credit to a project. Typically, difficulties arise when specific issues are not directly addressed by LEED information/guide?
I tough every different compliance approach should be direct with a CIR.
I´ll study and write this killer case to show equivalency between Green-eGreen-e is a program established by the Center for Resource Solutions to both promote green electricity products and provide consumers with a rigorous and nationally recognized method to identify those products. and UNFCCC carbon credit cancelation.
Thanks Ben!

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Fabio Frescia PM, LEED AP, Arcadia (Thailand) Company Limited Sep 01 2015 LEEDuser Member 173 Thumbs Up

Dear Henrique and Ben,

I read your post and I have a very similar case here in Thailand, so maybe your experience could help with my case.

Do you know if can use Certified Emission Reduction (CER) from UNFCCC-- It is the gold standard for carbon credit and should be as stringent as US's carbon credit standard if not more-- or Voluntary Emission Reduction from locally-certified carbon credit ( in Thailand, it is called T-VER). Securing the carbon credit is not a big problem as there are plenty of issued carbon credits in the market. If USGBC says that only carbon credits with Green-EGreen-e is a program established by the Center for Resource Solutions to both promote green electricity products and provide consumers with a rigorous and nationally recognized method to identify those products. stamp is accepted, do you know if we can buy this credit in the US and apply to a project in Thailand? After all, 1 ton of CO2Carbon dioxide in the US is the same with 1 ton of CO2 in Thailand.

The client would like to achieve all 6 points with either On-site 12% or Off-site Renewable Energy 100%. Regarding the on-site option I have the following question: how much space would we need to install PV on the roof? And does the roof need to be within the LEED boundaries or can be nearby (outside it)?

Thanks!

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Patricia Fuertes
May 13 2013
Guest
413 Thumbs Up

Green-e equivalent

Good morning,

We are pursuing this credit and we do not have a Green-eGreen-e is a program established by the Center for Resource Solutions to both promote green electricity products and provide consumers with a rigorous and nationally recognized method to identify those products. certification for the product so we have submitted for the preliminary review all the documentation we have to stablished the equivalency with the Green-e certified. The review team has asked we for a clarification but we are confused because they are asking a documentation we have already submitted. Or probably there is something we do not understand. I am going to explain the steps we have taken for the equivalency. The LEED reference guide says that:

1- "The energy source meets the requirements for renewable resources detailed in the current version of the Green- e standard".
We have uploaded a certificate of the supplier company veryfing that the Green Power comes exclusively from renewable sources.The Green-e standard defines the eligible renewables in the chapter II. Eligible sources of supply/ 1. Definition of eligible renewables as solar, wind, geothermal...which are the same of our supplier company sources. Do we have to submit a letter of our supplier company confirming this?

2- "The renewable energy supplier has undergone an independent, third-party verification that the standard has been met. The third-party verification process must be as rigorous as that used in the Green-e certification process, and it must be performed annually."
In this point we have explained that the Green Power will be double certified at the end of the 2-year contract:
a. In its origin by RECS “Renewable Energy Certified System” (attached below) certificates issued and managed by an Agency for each Country (“Issuing Body”) which in Spain is REE and ensures that the generated energy comes exclusively from renewable sources. This certificates are issued by MWh blocks and contain a certicate number, the issuer, generating plant identity, issue date, production period, technology type, etc. All of this values that appear in the RECS document will be changed at the end of the contract period when the certificate will be issued. They made an annual revision but the certificate is issued at the end of the current Green Power contract.

b. The supplier company has undergone an independent third-party certification by Bureau Veritas Quality International company (attached below) verifying the renewable provenience of the total contracted energy. This certification implies that exists an internal management method of this RECs certifies and the assignment of the Green Power to the purchasers.

Besides this, do we have to compare the Bureau Veritas verification process with the Green-e process? I do not know what more can we do. I hope you could help me because this credit is very important. Thank you very much.

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Green Globes Professional, JLL May 13 2013 LEEDuser Member 7344 Thumbs Up

Can you include the exact requests from the LEED Review team?

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Patricia Fuertes May 13 2013 Guest 413 Thumbs Up

The review team has told me the following:

The LEED Credit Form has been provided stating that 75.11% of the building energy usage has been met with off-site renewable energy systems. A copy of a two-year contract for renewable energy has been provided.
However, it does not appear that Green-eGreen-e is a program established by the Center for Resource Solutions to both promote green electricity products and provide consumers with a rigorous and nationally recognized method to identify those products. certified renewable energy has been purchased.

TECHNICAL ADVICE:
Please provide documentation indicating that the green power provided is Green-e certified. If the green power is not Green-e certified, provide documentation showing Green-e equivalence, including: 1) equivalence of the green power performance standards for the provider to Green-e, and 2) independent, third-party verification that those standards are being met by the green power supplier over time. Please see the Implementation section of EAc4 in the LEED Reference Guide for Green Building Operations and Maintenance, 2009 Edition (Updated April 2010) for more information.

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Green Globes Professional, JLL May 13 2013 LEEDuser Member 7344 Thumbs Up

I think you will have a lot of trouble getting a product to be "equivalent" to green-eGreen-e is a program established by the Center for Resource Solutions to both promote green electricity products and provide consumers with a rigorous and nationally recognized method to identify those products.. http://www.green-e.org/getcert_re_stan.shtml This appears to be a growing pain of LEED going international. It doesn't look like any equivalent has been formally accepted and I don't see any specific equivalent mentioned in LEEDv4 either. Even though it doesn't really make sense, you may want to purchase green-e certified RECs for your project instead of renewable energy in your county...carbon dioxide knows no national borders after all. and green-e certified RECs from the U.S. are very affordable (~$1/ MWh)

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Executive Editor – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. May 13 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Patricia, you would have to do exactly what you stated, which is to compare the Green-eGreen-e is a program established by the Center for Resource Solutions to both promote green electricity products and provide consumers with a rigorous and nationally recognized method to identify those products. certification against Bureau Veritas.

I agree with Kathryn, though, that simply purchasing Green-e might be more cost-effective, besides being guaranteed of success.

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David ESPAGNET Green Building and Sustainability Project Manager, Bureau Veritas Jan 14 2014 Guest 96 Thumbs Up

Hello.
In the "credit language" above is precised :
" Projects in Europe may use the following approved standards in place of Green-eGreen-e is a program established by the Center for Resource Solutions to both promote green electricity products and provide consumers with a rigorous and nationally recognized method to identify those products. Energy:

- EKOenergy
- Guarantees of Origin (GOs) with additional parameters"

What is meant by additional parameters? My client, in France, has subscribed, for its site, for 1200 guarantees of Origins Certificates from EDF, the French national electric company. The certificates are delivered by a third party company : POWERNEXT.

In that case, what are the additional parameters i have to prove to show compliance with EA c4? The Powernext process of certification ?
Thank you very much by advance.

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Patricia Fuertes
Apr 10 2013
Guest
413 Thumbs Up

Green Power purchase after first review (out of the performance)

We have already submitted the certification and we have received the return review, at this point we need to activate some more points in order to reach de 40 points for the certification. Previously, the team thought in achieving the EAC4, and we asked for an offer of Green Power to Iberdrola (utility). Due the economical increase of this type of energy, we decided not to pursue this for the first review.
We are thinking now in achieving this credit, but we are not going to be able to demonstrate 3 months of performance period of green power, because we are planning in purchasing it this month. We are planning to provide for the Final Review, a commitment letter from the property and the Green Power contract of the utility that assures the minimum of 2 years of green power purchase.
Regarding the LEED Reference Guide for Green Building Operations and Maintenance it says that we can submit a commitment to purchase green power instead of a contract in this sentences: "Purchase or commit to purchasing enough off-site renewable energy or carbon offsets to satisfy the building's annual energy consumption for 2 years. Contract or commitments for future purchases can meet the remainder of the 2-year requirement?, but we will like to validate with you if this justification is enough, knowing that the performance period ended the 31st January, 2013, and we are planning to send the final review on the following 15 days.

Thank you very much

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Ben Stanley Sustainability Manager, YRG sustainability Apr 10 2013 LEEDuser Expert 6253 Thumbs Up

Patricia, because your looking at off-site renewable energy there shouldn't be any issue with your approach and we have seen a number of projects purchase green power prior to the final review in order to meet the credit.

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Patricia Fuertes Apr 19 2013 Guest 413 Thumbs Up

Thank you very much Ben. But if I have not purschased green power during the performance period, which value do I have to enter in the column of the "Total Green Power Purchase Quantity Allotted to the Performance
Period" of the "Table EAc4-1. Green power provider summary"?

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Ben Stanley Sustainability Manager, YRG sustainability Apr 19 2013 LEEDuser Expert 6253 Thumbs Up

In this case, I would enter the total amount of off-site renewable energy such that the form shows that the performance period percent of off-site renewable energy is equal to the percent of off-site renewable energy covered by the entire 2 year contract.

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Alicia Silva CEO, Revitaliza consultores Apr 24 2013 LEEDuser Member 2385 Thumbs Up

Our team has almost the same issue, this is for the appeal phase, since we want to increase the threshold and try to reach Gold instead of Silver.

But we are afraid our review team won´t validate if the two-year contract for off-site renewable energy is signed today and not in the performance period.
Sometimes what appears in LEED User is not necessarily linked to the GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)..

Can anyone give some feedback? Any experience in this in the past? Have they accepted the purchase of RECs even if they are out of the performance period?

Thanks in advance.

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Green Globes Professional, JLL May 13 2013 LEEDuser Member 7344 Thumbs Up

what was your performance period? You may have trouble finding 2012 RECs.

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Sara Zoumbaris Sustainable Design Consulting
Mar 07 2013
LEEDuser Member
1167 Thumbs Up

EBOM 2009, EAc4 - LEED Form Calculations for On-site?

This question is in regards to the LEED online form for SSc4 in EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. 2009.

We have selected the option to calculate for "On-Site" renewable energy. The calculator is calculating our "Percentage Renewable Achievement" much higher than what our actual on-site percentage is and we are confused/ would like to know more about how the calculator reaches its final percentage. For reference, our designated inputs are as follows:

Annual Site Energy Usage: 337.11 mBTU
Performance Period: 3 months equating to a prorated mBTU of 84.28

System Type: PV
Amount of Energy Generted during PP (2.2%): 543 kWhA kilowatt-hour is a unit of work or energy, measured as 1 kilowatt (1,000 watts) of power expended for 1 hour. One kWh is equivalent to 3,412 Btu.

The calculations come out to: 1.85 mBTU amount of renewable energy per PP (seem correct) and a Percentage Renewable Achievement of 8.78% (seems too high, how does the calculator get the 8.78%??)

Thanks for any input!

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Sara Zoumbaris Sustainable Design Consulting Mar 19 2013 LEEDuser Member 1167 Thumbs Up

For anyone who may read this and have the same issue, GBCIThe Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) manages Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building certification and professional accreditation processes. It was established in 2008 with support from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). responded & clarified that this was a technical calulation error on the form and is being as quick as possible to correct the issue!

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Maria Vasapollo
Nov 14 2012
Guest
289 Thumbs Up

How can the PV array benefit be shared?

Our campus has multiple buildings, one of which is going for EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. now. The PV array is adjacent (in the parking lot). The PV's do have a meter, so we know their output. This output along with the local utility are like a pool, powering the entire campus. If we share the PV feature for LEED certification among all the buildings (using a sf allocation perhaps) the renewable energy to each building will be so low that no one will really get this EAc4, despite the millions of $ spent. What are our options?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Executive Editor – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 23 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Maria, you could allocate in LEED terms to one building to give that building EAc4. Or you could allocate it equally and make up the difference with purchases of RECs.

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Sustainability Provider
Mar 21 2012
LEEDuser Member
296 Thumbs Up

No Green-e certification available

Hello,
Our building is pursuing for LEED EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating systems. 2009 vertification and we procure all of our electricity (no natural gas or other fuel type is consumed in our building) from a renewable energy provider (wind energy) which has a renewable energy source (RES) certificate according to our national government's certification scheme. The building is in Turkey, farFloor-area ratio is the density of nonresidential land use, exclusive of parking, measured as the total nonresidential building floor area divided by the total buildable land area available for nonresidential structures. For example, on a site with 10,000 square feet (930 square meters) of buildable land area, an FAR of 1.0 would be 10,000 square feet (930 square meters) of building floor area. On the same site, an FAR of 1.5 would be 15,000 square feet (1395 square meters), an FAR of 2.0 would be 20,000 square feet (1860 square meters), and an FAR of 0.5 would be 5,000 square feet (465 square meters). away from US and there's no presence of Green-eGreen-e is a program established by the Center for Resource Solutions to both promote green electricity products and provide consumers with a rigorous and nationally recognized method to identify those products. certification here. Plus, no energy provider heard or knows about Green-e standard! Therefore, I don't know how the equivalency to Green-e can be provided.
Does it work if I go with "Special Circumstances ..." option and try to explain with the supporting documentation (formal renewable energy source certificate of our government, contract for 2 years, invoices, etc.) that we do not have Green-e in our country and is not possible to show equivalency? Would it be reasonable for earning this credit?
Our government has its own rules and regulations in order to certify an energy provider as a renewable energy source utility but there's no dirct or indirect link with Green-e.
Thanks.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Executive Editor – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Apr 05 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

It may seem unattractive for various reasons, but you can simply buy Green-eGreen-e is a program established by the Center for Resource Solutions to both promote green electricity products and provide consumers with a rigorous and nationally recognized method to identify those products. certified products from anywhere—the U.S. if necessary.

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Wendy Gibson
Jan 24 2012
Guest
1774 Thumbs Up

off-site renewable with local utility

We currently participate in our natural gas utility provider's off-set program and off-set all of our natural gas usage. When we called the utility provider to ask if we could sign a contract to commit to purchasing these off-sets for two years they told us that they were unable to do that due to the tariff rules they follow. They said that they would be willing to sign a memo stating that we both agree to participate in the program for years, but it would not be legally binding. So in all reality it would make just as much since for us to submit a memo or letter to LEED stating our intent and commitment to purchasing off-sets for 2 years.

Is this good enough? I would hate switch from supporting our local utility provider just b/c LEED wont allow anything but a contract.

Thanks for your input.

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