NC-2009 EAc6: Green Power

  • NC Schools EAc6 Type1 Purchased Green Power Diagram
  • Easy to research

    Pick up the phone, call the local utility and a couple of green power providers—companies that sell renewable energy credits (RECs), which provide funding to renewable energy generation, supporting its development. Give them your project’s estimated energy consumption. Sit back and receive estimates.

    That’s all it takes to find out what a purchase of offsite renewable energy will cost, so be sure to consider it—you might be pleasantly surprised. The credit requires you to offset only a percentage of your electricity consumption with RECs to earn points (see diagram at right). You can make a stronger environmental statement and earn an extra 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 through IDc1 by offsetting 70% (100% for CI projects).

    Why green power?

    Some building owners may hesitate to pursue this credit because they don’t believe that the extra cost brings a direct, tangible benefit to their building.

    Green-e logoRECs must be Green-e certified or the equivalent. Center for Resource Solutions

    However, nonrenewable electricity production is a huge contributor to pollution and global climate change1. Climate change refers to any significant change in measures of climate (such as temperature, precipitation, or wind) lasting for an extended period (decades or longer). (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2008) 2.The increase in global average temperatures being caused by a buildup of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This temperature change is leading to changes in circulation patterns in the air and in the oceans, which are affecting climates differently in different places. Among the predicted effects are a significant cooling in Western Europe due to changes in the jet stream, and rising sea levels due to the melting of polar ice and glaciers., and buying green power creates incentives for further development of renewable energy facilities. The benefits of renewable energy are well-understood by the general public, and so buying green power can help you advertise your commitment to environmental responsibility. Many projects display their renewable energy certificates prominently.

    Making it cost-effective

    Many projects see this credit as low-hanging fruit, and may pursue it depending on how many points they need to achieve their LEED goals. Because the credit focuses exclusively on electricity (not natural gas, propane, or fuel oil) it is usually very affordable.

    Purchasing green power through your utility

    Many utilities offer a green power option for their customers, typically from renewable sources within your region. Instead of buying RECs from a third party, you can quickly get set up to buy the RECs based on a premium charge per kilowatt-hour that you consume. 

    What are RECs?

    The market for renewable energy credits (RECs) has exploded in recent years, but RECs are still an abstract entity that can be difficult to define.

    For buildings that can’t generate onsite renewable power or purchase it through a regional utility, but still want to promote renewable energy, RECs (sometimes called “green tags” or “tradable renewable certificates”) 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, while your REC purchase helps deliver extra revenue that helps make renewable energy production financially feasible.) To ensure quality, LEED requires you to purchase RECs certified by Green-e, a third-party program, or an equivalent certification program.

    You can buy RECs from specific regions of the country, and even from specific renewable energy projects, or project types (like wind or solar). Buying RECs from a specific source can increase the cost a bit, but also helps bring this intangible commodity down to earth.

    Wind farmThe Bear Creek Wind Farm in Bear Creek, Pennsylvania, with 12 Garnesa 2.0 MW turbines, was developed in 2005 by Community Energy, which sells renewable energy credits (RECs) from the project. Photo – Community Energy, Inc.

    Criticisms of RECs

    RECs, along with carbon offsets, which are similar, have come under criticism. This is largely due to the perception that they allow a person or a business to go on with business as usual, consuming as much fossil fuel as usual, and then simply write a check to assuage their guilt, without producing tangible environmental benefit.

    There is validity to these concerns, which are best countered by conserving energy through high-performance building design and location (earning other EA and SS points in LEED), generating renewable energy onsite if possible, and then buying RECs only as a last step. Focusing on energy conservation first has the side benefit of making the ultimate purchase of RECs more affordable, because you have less consumption to offset.

    FAQs for LEED and green power

    Can I buy RECs on the open market, or do I have to go through my power provider or utility, which also offers them?

    You can buy RECs from either source.

    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?

    Your simplest course of action is to buy any Green-e RECs available on the open market, including those in the U.S. There is no requirement for your RECs to be from your country. If you prefer to buy RECs from a project closer to home, you can see if there are RECs available that are certified to a standard that is equivalent to Green-e. This is less common, but has been done.

    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?

    Correct—you can't rely on your national standard in this case. The Green-e Standard exists to make sure that there is no double counting in the market and clearly addresses the voluntary market only. These fundamental issue of accounting and additionality are at the core of LEED's adoption of such a standard to define quality green power products.

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

    Yes, as confirmed by 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. #10219 posted on 7/1/2012, if the project produces 100% or more of its electricity as onsite renewable electricity, the project can earn the credit plus an EP point. However, you also need to take steps to ensure that if the as-built project does not turn out to be net-zero, that the appropriate quantity of RECs will be purchased to meet the credit threshold. See the LEED Interpretation for these details.

    We will have cogeneration onsite. Do the credit requirements apply to all electricity used onsite, or only that which is purchased from the grid?

    All electricity used by the project is the basis for the green power purchase.

    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?

    Yes. Provide evidence of the quantity and term purchase for the campus along with an explanation of how the green power has been or will be allocated as applicable. If any of this purchase has been allocated to a previous LEED project state how much and provide a letter allocating the quantity needed to this project.

    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?

    You can document this credit as late as when you submit your clarifications for the construction review. You can even do it after that, and before you accept your final certification, but you'll have to pay an appeal fee.

    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?

    The owner will need to buy additional RECs to meet the threshold.

Legend

  • Best Practices
  • Gotcha
  • Action Steps
  • Cost Tip

Pre-Design

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  • Discuss with your team the possibility of purchasing green power.


  • You have three options for earning this credit. The best and most cost-effective option for your project will depend on your location and the offerings of the local utility. 

    • Purchase green power through the existing power provider. You need to verify that it is a Green-e certified provider or the equivalent. 
    • If your state has an open electricity market, you can find—and directly purchase from—a provider that offers Green-e accredited power. 
    • Purchase Green-e certified renewable energy certificates (RECs).

  • Most projects find it easiest to go with the third option, and shop around for the best deal on RECs. Others, however, have found it best to purchase through their local utility when they can get a better bundle deal and feel like the purchase is more tangible, so do some research. Utility green pricing map


  • This is one LEED credit that you can do at the last minute. However, if you are renting or selling space in your building, you may want to use the purchase of green power as a marketing tool and will not want to wait until the last minute to make the purchase.


  • Many projects see this credit as one for which you pay but don’t receive a tangible benefit. However, nonrenewable electricity production is a huge contributor to pollution and global climate change, and buying green power supports the development of renewable energy facilities. 


  • The amount of green power that you need to purchase for the credit is based on the quantity of electricity consumed, not the cost of the electricity. If your project is pursuing EAc1: Optimize Energy Performance through energy modeling, your focus is on reduction in cost, not quantity, so note the difference when doing calculations for this credit. For guidance on the calculations, see the LEEDuser strategy on step-by-step green power calculations.

     


  • If the owner is a corporation or a school district with a portfolio of multiple buildings, consider purchasing green power through a bulk agreement and allocating it to different projects. You will need to avoid “double-dipping,” where more than one project or tenant space uses the same green power allotment. 


  • If your green power provider does not supply Green-e accredited energy, it must have an equivalent accreditation. To qualify as an equivalent accreditation, a program must meet the requirements for renewable resources as detailed by Green-e, and the supplier must have undergone an annual third-party verification process equivalent to the Green-e process. You might want to take this route if your utility provider can provide the best rate.


  • You can choose to purchase two years’ worth of green power at occupancy, rather than pay monthly or yearly. In this case, you would purchase double the percentage of assumed annual electricity consumption to satisfy the credit’s two-year commitment. For example, a LEED-NC or Schools project would purchase 70% (or more) of the assumed annual electricity consumption. 


  • Projects pursuing this credit with a district energy system should refer to the USGBC’s District Thermal Energy Treatment document for specific considerations.


  • Some universities and large companies have already decided to purchase green power and therefore your project may not have to pay for it directly. Consult with the owner to see if this is already happening and you can use previously allocated funds rather than project funds. You will need to make sure there is no “double-dipping”.


  • The lower your building’s energy use, the less you pay for this credit (because you have less electrical power use to offset). Explore cost-effective ways of reducing electrical energy consumption in order to reduce the cost of green power. 

Schematic Design

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  • CBECS defaultsCalculate a rough estimate of the cost for purchasing green power based on the default numbers found in the LEED Reference Guide or through DOE’s Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey database (see the table at right). See the LEEDuser strategy on step-by-step green power calculations and follow the steps for default electricity consumption calculations.


  • Green power prices can fluctuate like other utility prices. If you think prices may rise by the time the project is completed, lock in a low price by signing a contract anytime prior to occupancy. 


  • Running estimated calculations early in the design stage will help to give you a better understanding of how much the credit might cost. Just keep in mind that the cost may change once the energy usage is further defined as part of your calculations for EAp2 and EAc1: Optimize Energy Performance. If you are using an energy model per Option 1 of EAc1, the cost of RECs might change if alterations to the energy model are required after the LEED design review, but the change should be minimal.  


  • Especially if your project is very energy efficient, you will probably be able to pay less for green power based on your energy model than you would using the default values from CBECS. 

Design Development

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  • Continue to seek strategies that lower the building’s electrical energy use in order to subsequently reduce the cost of green power. 


  • Call several green power providers to get a preliminary estimate of the cost to buy green power for 35% of the assumed, actual or default electricity consumption. While you’re at it, also get an estimate for buying 70% green power and earning a point for exemplary performance or really go for it with 100%. Find green power providers on EPA’s Green Power Partnership website or the Green-e website. See the Resources section for links to their websites.


  • Green power is a competitive market with price variation. Obtain more than one estimate to find less-expensive options. 


  • Some projects choose to attempt this credit at the last minute and keep it as a “back-pocket” credit. For example, you may decide to go for this credit only if it helps you reach another level of LEED certification. A contract can be arranged at the last minute, and can even be submitted after the first construction review.


  • This credit requires only a few minutes to make phone calls, provide the size of the project and energy consumption, and get estimates. It is well worth the time and effort to determine the likely cost.  

Construction Documents

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  • Determine electricity use based on one of the following options: 

Construction

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  • If you are using energy modeling, get a final estimate of the cost based on final model outputs. Remember that this credit is based on the quantity of electricity consumption (usually in kWh), not cost.


  • Sign a contract with the chosen green power provider. 


  • Submit documentation to LEED Online. This will include filling out the LEED Online credit form, which requires a number of inputs on total electrical consumption (or default values) and details on the green power purchased. You will also need to upload a proof of purchase for two years of green power—see the Documentation Toolkit for an example.

Operations & Maintenance

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  • If you do not purchase two years of green power at occupancy, you will need to continue to pay monthly or yearly for two years. 


  • After two years, consider continuing to pay for green power. Doing so can help projects that are pursuing LEED-EBOM certification via EAc4.

  • USGBC

    Excerpted from LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations

    EA Credit 6: Green power

    2 Points

    Intent

    To encourage the development and use of grid-source, renewable energy technologies on a net zero pollution basis.

    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-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 product certification requirements or an equivalent.

    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.

    Potential Technologies & Strategies

    Determine the energy needs of the building and investigate opportunities to engage in a green power contract. Green power is derived from solar, wind, geothermal, biomass or low-impact hydro sources. Visit http://www.green-e.org/energy for details about the Green-e Energy program. The green power product purchased to comply with credit requirements need not be Green-e Energy certified. Other sources of green power are eligible if they satisfy the Green-e Energy program’s technical requirements. Renewable energy certificates (RECs), tradable renewable certificates (TRCs), green tags and other forms of green power that comply with the technical requirements of the Green-e Energy program may be used to document compliance with this credit.

Web Tools

Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey

Use this website to determine the default energy consumption rates by building type.


U.S. Department of Energy – Green Power Network

This website provides information on pricing, marketing, and purchasing green power, as well as news and information. 

Organizations

EPAs Green Power Partnership

EPA’s Green Power Partnership provides assistance and recognition to organizations that demonstrate environmental leadership by choosing green power. It includes a buyer’s guide with lists of green power providers in each state.


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 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. 


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.

Technical Guides

Treatment of District or Campus Thermal Energy in LEED V2 and LEED 2009 – Design & Construction

This document is USGBC’s second (v2.0) major release of guidance for district or campus thermal energy in LEED, and is a unified set of guidance comprising the following an update to the original Version 1.0 guidance released May 2008 for LEED v2.x and the initial release of formal guidance for LEED v2009.

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 REC 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.

Green Power Contract

You will need to execute a contract like this sample to purchase renewable energy credits (RECs), and then upload it to LEED Online to verify credit compliance.

LEED Online Forms: NC-2009 EA

The following links take you to the public, informational versions of the dynamic LEED Online forms for each NC-2009 EA credit. You'll need to fill out the live versions of these forms on LEED Online for each credit you hope to earn.

Version 4 forms (newest):

Version 3 forms:

These links are posted by LEEDuser with USGBC's permission. USGBC has certain usage restrictsions for these forms; for more information, visit LEED Online and click "Sample Forms Download."

Construction Submittal

HardhatDocumentation for this credit is part of the Construction Phase submittal.

141 Comments

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Juliane Muench
Oct 14 2014
LEEDuser Member
690 Thumbs Up

Electric consumption based on EAc1

The percentage of RECs is calculated as a percentage of the result of the energy model in EAc1.
Does this include or exclude the amount of renewables on site. I get electric consumption out of EAc1, then I can subtract the electricity I produce on site with solar PV from the electricity consumption in the energy model. Which is the base for EAc6 calculation, the total electricity consumption or the total electricity consumption minus the amount of el. produced on site with solar PV?
Thanks!

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Oct 14 2014 LEEDuser Expert 43770 Thumbs Up

Subtract the on-site renewables to determine the quantity of electricity to apply to EAc6.

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Jamison Hill Energy Engineer/LEED Consultant Community Environmental Center
Jun 26 2014
LEEDuser Member
80 Thumbs Up

Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA) in lieu of REC

Here in NYC, most costumers choose to purchase supply from a third party source, such as an ESCO, that is independent of their utility provider. Many of these suppliers have a green option, that will allow you to purchase 100% wind, as an example. Now assuming the owner has a PPA program in place with the third party to supply 100% of their consumption with green energy, the agreement is good for 2 years, and that the program is 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, will this satisfy the requirement of credit? I was hoping yes, but based upon the discussion here, it seems as though, you must pre-purchase 2 years 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 based upon your EAc1 calculations, which may have little to do with your actual consumption. Sounds like a very expensive proposition.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Jun 27 2014 LEEDuser Expert 43770 Thumbs Up

In many cases RECs are far cheaper than the green power premium but each offering can be different. You might want to look at it both ways.

The REC option is the most commonly used way to earn EAc6 but it is not the only way.

You can engage in a green power purchase based on your actual consumption that meets the criteria you mention to satisfy the credit requirements.

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Green Globes Professional, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace Jun 27 2014 Guest 3448 Thumbs Up

I concur with Marcus.

Some other input: they probably don't have a PPA; those are usually for much longer terms. They may have a contract but I wouldn't call signing up with an ESCO a "PPA." If the contract is not for ≥ two years then you may have to provide backup documentation to the reviewer to support the claim that the commitment is in place for two years.

I'd encourage you to get a price quote from a supplier like Renewable Choice, Sterling Planet, 3Degrees, or Carbon Solutions Group- it will probably save you money and bring up fewer questions.

For LEED purposes you just need "national 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." from "any technology."

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Jamison Hill Energy Engineer/LEED Consultant, Community Environmental Center Jun 27 2014 LEEDuser Member 80 Thumbs Up

I agree to some extent, but it may be hard to tell my owner, to purchase a large quantity of something upfront that does nothing to their actual overall energy consumption, and doesn't replace utility purchase power, even if in the long-run it is cheaper, although I do see the validity in your arguments, and it is an easy ID LEED point and does look good for PR.

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Green Globes Professional, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace Jun 27 2014 Guest 3448 Thumbs Up

yeah, a lot of owners don't like to purchase RECs because the benefit is less tangible than other investments.Sometimes I'm able to show owners the actual projects their REC money supports. Lately I have been promoting EAc6 as one of my favorite LEED credits though because it is just so straightforward compared to some of the other credits I've had the pleasure of working through :)

If you pursue the credit it's good to get the lowest possible price on the electron and the lowest possible price on the REC rather than buying them "bundled." That is, if you want to save money more than you want the convenience of having 1 supplier.

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PATRICK HILLIER
May 19 2014
Guest
253 Thumbs Up

Green-e Energy

We are looking at purchasing thew power for credit EAc6.
1. Can we as the A/E purchase it for the Owner?
2. How do you document the ID credit for 100% power purchased for 2 years?

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group May 19 2014 LEEDuser Expert 43770 Thumbs Up

Yes you can. Ideally the documentation of the purchase would include the name of the project.

You provide a proof of purchase/contract and document that you have purchased a sufficient quantity of green power. Do this for the credit and the ID is automatic. No need to submit anything else, just fill out the ID credit form in LEED Online. The requirement for an ID credit is 70%, not 100%.

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Caupolican Diaz Sustainable Design Coordinator SMMA
Apr 17 2014
LEEDuser Member
110 Thumbs Up

EP Threshold for LEED-HC

The reference guide does not provide an EP threshold for this credit under the LEED-HC system. Does anyone know if an EP point is available at 70% or 100%?

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group May 19 2014 LEEDuser Expert 43770 Thumbs Up

70%

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Jean Marais b.i.g. Bechtold DesignBuilder Expert
Apr 08 2014
LEEDuser Member
8768 Thumbs Up

Catch

Are there any catches to proving that the RECs that we buy are used only on a specific LEED project? Should I ask the seller to specify the facility's name or something on the REC?

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Green Globes Professional, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace Apr 08 2014 Guest 3448 Thumbs Up

I haven't received comments about this but I think it would be a best practice to include the facility name in the contract.

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Hernando Miranda Owner, Soltierra LLC Apr 08 2014 Guest 7826 Thumbs Up

I have done a single bulk purchase of RECs for seven projects. The RECs were in the name of the owner and were for "multiple LEED Projects." Specific projects were not named for the REC.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Apr 08 2014 LEEDuser Expert 43770 Thumbs Up

If it is a matter of allocation of the RECs to a particular project as part of a larger purchase of RECs then you will need a letter from the owner allocating the appropriate number of RECs to that particular project.

If it is not a matter of allocation then ideally the RECs would indicate the owner and the project.

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Hernando Miranda Owner, Soltierra LLC Apr 08 2014 Guest 7826 Thumbs Up

For the case I mentioned, I found that an project specific allocating from the owner wasn't necessary. Maybe that case was unusual. The seven projects were for a single owner and all of the projects were certified within a several months of each other.

I provided a common set of documentation for green power for all seven projects. The documentation included a breakdown of how the bulk purchase of green power was split for the projects.

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Jean Marais b.i.g. Bechtold DesignBuilder Expert Apr 08 2014 LEEDuser Member 8768 Thumbs Up

So this is an online purchase, but I have taken up contact with the seller. Online I can specify the billing address (which has to be that of the credit card) and the shipping address (which has to that of our office for tax purposes). We are the owner's adjent, so I guess that is okay. I will ask if they can include the project name on 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. documentation. We are not actually setting up a contract as we are just buying both years worth now.

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Rick Alfandre Principal Alfandre Architecture
Apr 01 2014
LEEDuser Member
396 Thumbs Up

New York State Green Energy...

New York's Renewable Portfolio Standard states that as of 2013, 23% of the State's electricity came from renewable energy resources. By 2015 it's required to be 30%

Does anyone know if this default 23% currently can be incorporated into the targeted 35 or 70% Green Energy use to achieve this credit?

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Green Globes Professional, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace Apr 01 2014 Guest 3448 Thumbs Up

Those 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. certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). They allow big hydro which is not consistent with the green-e standards. Also taking credit for it would be "double counting" because the utility is required to retire those RECs and in effect they are "using" them to meet the state mandate. Your reviewer might approve it but technically it's not really in line with the way RECs are supposed to function. This is my opinion based on working for a retailer of RECs for 5 years. In my experience the reviewers don't really have a firm grasp of RECs so if you argued that the NY State RPS is equivalent to green-e they might approve it. RECs are very affordable so I'd encourage you to get a price quote before diving further into this option of claiming credit for the state RPS.

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Kath Williams LEED Fellow 2011, Principal, Kath Williams + Associates Apr 01 2014 LEEDuser Member 1532 Thumbs Up

Our project teams have never been able to successfully argue that a state's "renewable power" portfolio qualifies. Recently a review team commented that the state has a #1 mandate to provide power. The source is secondary at best and can't be guaranteed, even when they say their portfolio is xx% renewable. Another review team mentioned the state's portfolio is "just a point in time" and that they draw power from whatever part of the market is the cheapest source. RECs are very affordable now, even for large projects.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Apr 01 2014 LEEDuser Expert 43770 Thumbs Up

Power under RPS mandates is excluded from qualifying for 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. so it does not count. The reviewer should not approve it.

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Alicia Freire Associate hurleypalmerflatt
Oct 25 2013
LEEDuser Member
654 Thumbs Up

Purchasing Green Power for Client's Entire Operation

I am working on a project in Sweden that purchases green energy from a wind farm in Norway to cover the consumption of the entire company's operations. I have obtained certificates of the amount of purchased energy for the last few years, proof that the contract is renewed on an annual basis, and proof that the company in Norway is not legally allowed to sell the same energy to more than 1 customer (of course).

In addition to providing proof that an adequate amount of green energy is purchased to account for the additional energy consumption arising due to this added new building [or 35% thereof], is there more evidence I would need to provide in order to demonstrate compliance?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Oct 25 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Alicia, you will need to demonstrate that the green power you purchased is 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. certified power, by showing that it is certified to an equivalent standard. (Taking the effort to do this is not common.) There is more guidance on this above, and in earlier conversations on this forum.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Oct 25 2013 LEEDuser Expert 43770 Thumbs Up

Equivalency includes the following sections of 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. Energy Standard - Section II, III (excluding G), Section IV (excluding A), and Section V.

The last one if often the most difficult. The power source cannot be part of a government mandate. It must create additionality in the voluntary market.

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Green Globes Professional, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace Oct 25 2013 Guest 3448 Thumbs Up

I'd be careful with the term "additionality." It has strong connotations that the green power would need to be installed BECAUSE of the money from the RECs, not as part of business as usual. In the US RECs do not require additionality, while carbon offsets do.

I think you're saying they can't be double counted: once for a government mandate and again for a voluntary purchase.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Oct 25 2013 LEEDuser Expert 43770 Thumbs Up

As I understand it that is the case. To count as 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. RECs they do require additionality (see Section IIID) but maybe I am not using the term correctly. Again as I understand it RECs themselves may not require additionality (Green-e RECs do require it) and some of the low quality carbon offsets do not require it either. Additionality does not happen with a government mandated renewable (they would happen anyway); it does happen in the voluntary market and in some cases because of the value of the RECs.

I am saying that it can't be double counted and it can't be part of a mandate like an RPS or similar government requirement. As I understand it both are the case for LEED projects since both are required by Green-e.

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Green Globes Professional, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace Oct 25 2013 Guest 3448 Thumbs Up

Additionality: means that a project is beyond business as usual. http://www.green-e.org/learn_dictionary.shtml

Green-e RECs absolutely do not require proof of additionality. If I buy a REC all I am buying is proof that 1,000 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. of renewable energy was generated and put onto the electric grid and the "environmental benefits" of that 1,000 kwh belong to me and no one else.

Additionality usually refers to reductions that would happen in *addition* to business as usual. When I buy a green-e REC I am not buying proof that additional capacity is being added or that my money is making a direct impact on the amount of renewable energy generated/GHGs reduced.

The vast majority of Green-e wind RECs are really coming from wind farms that would have been built even if there was no REC market (they were built because of the production tax credit). So in that sense the green-e RECs are not "additional."

I'd like RECs more if they required "addionality" but they don't. The only people who ask for "additional RECs" are college students :) it's not a term I hear very much.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Oct 25 2013 LEEDuser Expert 43770 Thumbs Up

We understand the term the same.

So help me understand what Section III D is saying if it is not about additionality? Again maybe I am getting the term and this "no mandate" requirement confused.

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Green Globes Professional, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace Oct 25 2013 Guest 3448 Thumbs Up

the majority of section III D clarifies what is/is not "double counting." I'd encourage you to call 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 ask them if green-e RECs are "additional."

Some voluntary REC companies would come into a state with a 30% renewable portfolio standard (RPS) mandate, sell someone RECs for 70% of their usage and call it 100% renewable energy. Other companies would say that 100% of the usage had to be "offset" and no credit for the RPS could be taken. This section clarifies what's allowed.

In other instances Some utilities had renewable mandates forced on them, realized some of their customers were voluntarily buying RECs, and tried to take credit for it. That's not allowed per section III D (thank god).( Personally, I did purchase RECs to "make a difference" and I would have been mad if my utility got to take credit for my purchase.) I'm not sure about the sentence about specific mandated facilities because I am not aware of any.

Pro-additionality people may have said that wind farms/ solar farms receiving generous tax incentives should not be able to sell green-e RECs. Section IIID says those facilities can still generate green-e RECs. That does relate to "additionality" in that a non-"additional" facility can still generate green-e RECs.

...could get rough trying to exactly match green-e to the standards in another country, ya think? I know people on this form have succeeded with that though.

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Green Globes Professional, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace Nov 11 2013 Guest 3448 Thumbs Up

or call Bob Maddox, Sterling Planet you may have served on the TAGLEED Technical Advisory Group (TAG): Subcommittees that consist of industry experts who assist in developing credit interpretations and technical improvements to the LEED system. together

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Nov 18 2013 LEEDuser Expert 43770 Thumbs Up

Yep maybe I will call Bob as we did serve on the EA TAGLEED Technical Advisory Group (TAG): Subcommittees that consist of industry experts who assist in developing credit interpretations and technical improvements to the LEED system. together.

I do appreciate the education. Perhaps my use of additionality was inappropriate so let's lay that aside. I think I understand the term but maybe not as thoroughly as you do.

My primary point was related to the green power source not being part of a mandate. Section III D clearly states "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 certified products must be comprised of eligible renewable generation over and above anything required by state or federal RPS requirements, legislation, or settlement agreements". This section seems pretty clear. As I understand it to be Green-e or equivalent the green power source cannot be part of a mandate. I suppose this is a form of "double counting" but the next section deals with the double counting that I think of when I hear the term.

Section III E is labeled "Double Counting" and deals with claiming the same source more than once.

So my primary point was "not part of a mandate" which is difficult in many countries as most if not all renewables in some are mandated as I understand it. Sorry if I confused folks with an inaccurate use of the term additionality.

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Alicia Freire Associate, hurleypalmerflatt Dec 03 2013 LEEDuser Member 654 Thumbs Up

Thanks all, for the comments :)

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Hernando Miranda Owner Soltierra LLC
Aug 26 2013
Guest
7826 Thumbs Up

Warning for net-zero projects.

The GBCI has decided that net-zero projects must buy additional EAc6 green power if the actual energy use for two-years post-occupancy does not match the GBCI approved results from EAc1/EAc2. (Refer to LI 10219 regarding the net-zero case.)

Projects would be better off claiming 99.9% energy cost reduction than trying to claim net-zero.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Aug 27 2013 LEEDuser Expert 43770 Thumbs Up

Thanks for pointing that one out. I think you are right that projects would be better off claiming less than 100%.

This Interpretation makes no sense on so many levels. It encourages (in some cases forces) projects to play games with their results to avoid having to follow these requirements. It requires projects to buy potentially expensive utility provided green power if available. If no local green power is available it requires projects to reconcile and buy RECs two years after occupancy which cannot be enforced.

We are working on two net zero projects for LBC. The estimates of energy consumption and renewable production current show them to be better than net zero. This paperwork exercise should not force the project to buy sometimes expensive green power from their utility. In our area they charge $0.025/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. extra on top of the regular electric rate compared to RECs which are a small fraction of that cost. To avoid this situation I will be forced to make up different values when submitting our documentation for LEED.

It makes no sense to make things harder for net-zero projects by adding requirements on them that do not exist for other projects. Grid-tied, net-zero projects will almost always feed renewable power back into the grid at some point during the year. This makes them a grid-source renewable in alignment with the credit intent so they should count for EAc6 without any further restrictions.

It is pretty clear that the requirements in this Interpretation were not thought through. Gotta wonder where this stuff comes from sometimes?

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Kathryn West LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Green Globes Professional, Guiding Principles Compliance Professional, Energy Ace Aug 27 2013 Guest 3448 Thumbs Up

weird. good to know...

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Hernando Miranda Owner, Soltierra LLC Aug 27 2013 Guest 7826 Thumbs Up

I have six net-zero cost and energy use projects under review with the same LI interpretation problem. The GBCI reviewer clarified the two-year post-occupancy performance requirements--linked to the two-year requirement for EAc6.

The projects are for an owner who I know won't be able to provide a purchase commitment letter. They are not authorized to spend future funds on the projects.

I asked the GBCI if I would be allowed to retract the EAc1/EAc2 claims to be just less than 100% cost reduction. That is the only solution that gets the owner (school construction department), and me off the LEED-hook after the final review. Who wants a two-year commitment with an unknown penalty imposed on their projects? Claiming net-zero for LEED is simply not worth it.

But, I will say that the renewables allocated to each project will always remain at net-zero. The EAc2 energy deducted will be for LEED purposes only. The owner could still make their own, non-LEED related, net-zero energy cost and use claim.

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Hernando Miranda Owner, Soltierra LLC Aug 27 2013 Guest 7826 Thumbs Up

Okay, the GBCI is forced to interpret LI 10219 the way they are told to interpret it. The assumption is that the EA TAGLEED Technical Advisory Group (TAG): Subcommittees that consist of industry experts who assist in developing credit interpretations and technical improvements to the LEED system. thought through exactly what they wanted a net-zero building to do, pay a penalty for not performing as expected. There is nothing the GBCI-side of the USGBC can do. They cannot write rules, that can only enforce them.

So, the only solution is to claim less than 100% energy-cost reduction to avoid the extra hoops LI 10219 tries to impose.

Suffice to say, the LEED development-side of the USGBC is anti-net-zero buildings. Almost, but not quite, net-zero buildings appear to have the easiest path to maximize LEED claims.

I would not waste my time with such a silly ruling, but I also cannot leave five projects one or two points short of LEED Platinum. That is what I am facing, failing by just a little bit to earn my keep as a LEED consultant. Ugh, is all I can say.

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Sangmin An Building Energy Simulation Analyst SGS
Jul 18 2013
Guest
146 Thumbs Up

Company Information that sells RECs in Asia Pacific Region

Hello,
I am working on LEED project in Korea.
I am looking for some companies that sells renewable energy certificates in Asia-Pacific Region.
Could you please recommend RECs providers in Asia ?

Thank you for your assistance with this matter in advance.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Jul 22 2013 LEEDuser Expert 43770 Thumbs Up

I am not aware of a market for RECs in Asia but perhpas there is one I am not familiar with. If you do find local RECs make sure to be able to demonstrate 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 for LEED. This includes the following sections of the Green-e Energy Standard - Section II, III (excluding G), Section IV (excluding A), and Section V.

You can also buy US-Based RECs.

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Sangmin An Building Energy Simulation Analyst, SGS Jul 26 2013 Guest 146 Thumbs Up

Thank you so much for your help. It is greatly helpful for me in performing this credit.

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Doreen Kruschina Doreen Kruschina Planung+Baumanagement
Jun 27 2013
LEEDuser Member
161 Thumbs Up

US american REC´s for european projects

Hi,
we recently received an ad promoting the sales of US-american REC´s that would count towards the green power credit.
Anyone familiar with www.renewablechoice.com?
Thanks

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Jun 27 2013 LEEDuser Expert 43770 Thumbs Up

Yes they are one of the most frequently used vendors of green power for LEED projects. Their products will comply.

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Todd Bundren Director of Sustainabilty - Architectural Project Manager Lawrence Group
Apr 26 2013
LEEDuser Member
1164 Thumbs Up

On Site Renewable energy double dip

My client is producing enough energy on-site (solar) to get all the points in EAc1 and EAc2 with a large surplus of renewable energy. They have decied to sell the remaining on-site renewable energy (the energy not being used to satisfy the LEED credit requirements) as SRECs. Can any of the energy produced on site go towards fufilling EAc6 or is this credit only applicable to buying RECs from an outside source (not producing it on site)? Thanks.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Apr 29 2013 LEEDuser Expert 43770 Thumbs Up

We successfully argued a few years ago that our on-site renewables were exporting to the grid and that since we cannot buy negative RECs we should be awarded EAc6. We did not sell our SRECs however. Not sure if this would be accepted today so if you want to know for sure submit a 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..

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Ramya Shivkumar Energy Analyst, Newcomb and Boyd May 29 2013 LEEDuser Member 35 Thumbs Up

The associated environmental attributes of the renewable energy must be retained (not sold) in order to satisfy the requirements of the credit. FYI - Although not directly related to your question, LI #10161 addresses a similar situation for EAc2 and the impact on EAc6.

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Daniela Grotenfelt Miss Larkas& Laine Architects Ltd
Mar 13 2013
LEEDuser Member
144 Thumbs Up

Are GoO fulfilling EAc6 credit?

GoO (Guarantees of Origin) are European equivalent to United States' 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.. They are are traded in the framework of the European Energy Certificate System.
We have project is Europe and we'd like to buy GoO in order to fulfill the EAc6. Are they recognized by LEED if they comply with the European Energy Certificate System (but not 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.)?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Mar 13 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

Daniela, the way this credit is currently written, you could only comply if the credits are 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..

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Mar 13 2013 LEEDuser Expert 43770 Thumbs Up

I am not aware of any system being granted a blanket equivalency 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.. Perhaps if you were to submit a 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. a blanket equivalency could be granted. Maybe the GoO system would support you in doing so as a customer service. Otherwise you will need to demonstrate equivalency to the following section of the Green-e Energy Standard - Section II, III (excluding G), Section IV (excluding A), and Section V.

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Kath Williams LEED Fellow 2011, Principal Kath Williams + Associates
Feb 02 2013
LEEDuser Member
1532 Thumbs Up

Two-year contracts

Seems like this question must have been asked before but I can't find the answer. Can Green Power credit be earned if the owner (a government entity) is restricted from contracting more than one year at a time? What documentation of commitment would be required if there can be no contract?

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Hernando Miranda Owner, Soltierra LLC Feb 02 2013 Guest 7826 Thumbs Up

Hello Kath,

The credit language requiring a 2-year contract, or any term-based contract, does not mean anything. Projects have always been allowed to purchase lump sum green power. The end result is the same; the same amount of green power is purchased.

Under a lump sum purchase no contract is required.

A few of my 100 LEED projects have purchased green power through long-term contracts. Most have not.

The credit requirements and language for green power are not actually written with long-term purchase commitments in mind. Entering into a four-year contract should earn a project an innovation point for purchasing double the required amount of power. Entering into an eight-year contract provides no "LEED" benefit to the owner.

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Courtney Royal, LEED AP BD+C Sr. Sustainability Consultant, Taitem Engineering Oct 22 2013 LEEDuser Member 1079 Thumbs Up

I have a similar question to Kath, except the owner of my project is hesitant to engage in a 2-year contact because he feels he will be limited to a single green power provider for the 2 years and not have the option to shop around for the better price. The owner doesn't have a problem committing to providing 35% green power for the building, but its the contact term that is problematic in the eyes of the owner and losing the option to shop around and buying green power at different times as market conditions change.
Is there any way around this and still go for the credit? Thank you in advance!

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Oct 22 2013 LEEDuser Expert 43770 Thumbs Up

As Henando points out the term is somewhat meaningless. The most common way this credit is earned is to buy RECs and pay for them all upfront. You just apply them over a two year period for the LEED calculations. No commitment required beyond the initial purchase.

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Oct 22 2013 LEEDuser Moderator

I would just add that RECs are generally pretty cheap, and you're going to get a better price buying in bulk. Shop around when the owner wants to extent their commitment to a longer period.

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Courtney Royal, LEED AP BD+C Sr. Sustainability Consultant, Taitem Engineering Oct 23 2013 LEEDuser Member 1079 Thumbs Up

Great, thanks for the comments! I think I was just a little confused with Hernando's response, but yes I understand now. Many thanks.

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Nena Elise May 13 2014 LEEDuser Member 3544 Thumbs Up

Along the same lines the owner has already purchased an 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. for 1 year that offsets more then 35% of the building for 1 year. Could he now purchase another REC that is equal to another 35% offset of the building for Year 2? Would we need to word the contract somehow to say we are applying the 2nd REC for Year 2 of the building?

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group May 13 2014 LEEDuser Expert 43770 Thumbs Up

As long as the total purchase adds up to at least 35% of the electricity over the two years it does not matter. You do not have to hit 35% each year, just in total.

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Cassandra Kail MWA Architects
Jan 08 2013
Guest
165 Thumbs Up

EAc6 Implementation

Does the project need to purchase Green Power from its power provider (it is provided), or is there the option of purchasing RECs on the open market from other providers (given that costs may be cheaper)?

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Apr 29 2013 LEEDuser Expert 43770 Thumbs Up

Either option can qualify.

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Michele Helou Principal, Sage Design & Consulting Nov 22 2013 LEEDuser Member 820 Thumbs Up

Marcus
there is some language in the LEED Reference Guide page 328 that I have never seen removed by addenda:

'If Green-e–certified power cannot be purchased through a local utility, the owner and project team can purchase Green-e–accredited renewable energy certificates (RECs).'

Are RECs only an option if green power cannot be purchased?

Also, somewhere I read if an owner buys RECs in bulk, they must issue a letter to state that the RECs are allocated for a specific project. Where is this credit requirement language?

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Nov 25 2013 LEEDuser Expert 43770 Thumbs Up

RECs can be purchased even if 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. power is available from your local utility.

Not sure that the allocation is written in the credit requirement. Might be written in the campus application guidance. This is just common sense IMO so that you do not claim the same green power on more than one project.

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Mahbuba Khan AIA, LEED AP BD+C President MnKhan Architects PLLC
Nov 28 2012
Guest
171 Thumbs Up

International project-onsite renuable energy

An industrial building client in Bangladesh wants to produce most of it's power by gas operated generator. About 10%-15% power will also be generated from solar panels and small wind turbines.
Will gas burn power generation get credit for the onsite renewable energy?

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Nov 28 2012 LEEDuser Expert 43770 Thumbs Up

A gas powered generator will not count as an onsite renewable.

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Gaston Viau GEBCO Green Solutions Dec 21 2012 LEEDuser Member 431 Thumbs Up

Our project will get almost 100% of the power from PVs and Fuel Cell (it gets power from Natural Gas).

So, since the purchased energy will be very low, for achieving EAC6 we would have to buy just the 35% of that purchased energy from 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. sources?

Thanks in advance for your response!

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Dec 26 2012 LEEDuser Expert 43770 Thumbs Up

The PV contribution is subtracted off the total electric consumption. The fuel cell production I think would be included in the total electric consumption.

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Gaston Viau GEBCO Green Solutions Dec 26 2012 LEEDuser Member 431 Thumbs Up

In that case, to achieve this credit we would have to buy a bigger quantity of green energy than the consumed quantity. So it seems to be impossible for our project.

What about buying green gas instead?

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Dec 26 2012 LEEDuser Expert 43770 Thumbs Up

You would not need to buy more than consumed. Subtract the PV and include the fuel cell production up to the total consumption if you are going to produce excess.

I am not aware of any 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. gas since it is a fossil fuel.

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Gaston Viau GEBCO Green Solutions Dec 26 2012 LEEDuser Member 431 Thumbs Up

Marcus I am sorry but let me see if I understood. I will make the numbers in a monthly basis.

- Let the monthly Total Energy consumption of the building be 10,000kWh/month
- The PVs will generate 20% of that consumption: 2,000 kWh
- The Gas Fuel Cell will generate 60% of that consumption: 6,000 kWh

So just a 20% of the total consumption will be bought to PG&E: 2,000 kWh

You are telling me that the PV contribution should be subtracted off the total electric consumption and the fuel cell production should be included in the total electric consumption.
Following this instructions, the total electric consumption should be taken as 8,000 kWh (10,000kWh - PVs constribution).
So, the 35% of the consumption would be 0.35 x 8,000 = 2,800 kWh

Thus, since we wont buy more than 2,000 kWh/month, I don't see how we can demonstrate that we are buying 2,800 kWh from green sources.
If we buy the whole 2,000 kWh from green sources that would be just the 25% of our "total" consumption.

The only alernatives I see are:

1) Buy this 25% (2,000 kWh/m) for 2.8 years, instead of purchasing 35% (2,800 kWh/m) for 2 years, which equals the global amount of green energy to be bought.

2) Buy RECs instead of green source energySource energy is the total amount of raw fuel required to operate a building; it incorporates all transmission, delivery, and production losses for a complete assessment of a building's energy use.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Dec 26 2012 LEEDuser Expert 43770 Thumbs Up

Yes I would think that you would need to either buy RECs or a combination of green power and RECs to obtain the credit. The total of the two in your example should be 2,800 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. per month.

I suppose you could also extend the contract and get there that way too.

Both of your alternatives could work.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Jan 08 2013 LEEDuser Expert 43770 Thumbs Up

Now that I think about it again I suppose another option for international projects is to buy carbon offsets. In a way that is like buying green gas I suppose.

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Michele Helou Principal Sage Design & Consulting
Nov 12 2012
LEEDuser Member
820 Thumbs Up

Energy Use from EAp2 / EAc1

We have already had our EAp2/EAc1 energy model credits reviewed and approved. In an effort to achieve a higher LEED rating, the owner has opted to purchase 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. However, the EAc6 LOF is showing the required basis for green power/REC purchase to be the 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. from EAp2 - Table 6 - without subtracting for Kwh from the exceptional calculations. Does anyone know if this is an LOF error - shouldn't the approved proposed model Kwh (including the benefit from except calc) be the basis for green power or REC purchase?

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