Schools-EBOM-v4 EAp2: Minimum energy performance

  • Thoroughly vet your energy performance

    Your building must achieve an Energy Star score of at least 75 in order to meet this prerequisite and be eligible for LEED certification. This is a big change from LEED 2009, where the minimum score was 69. This update makes LEED v4 more difficult to pursue.

    Teams should assess this prerequisite thoroughly before jumping into the LEED certification process. It’s also a good idea to get the official Energy Star label for your building during the performance period to help streamline the LEED review. 

    If your building isn’t eligible for Energy Star, expect to spend extra time sorting out the appropriate benchmarking path, and in some cases tracking down energy consumption from other comparable buildings.

    What’s New in LEED v4

    • The minimum Energy Star score has been raised to 75.

    Readiness Review Questions

    • Is the project building eligible to receive an Energy Star rating using Portfolio Manager? If not, which of the other compliance paths is best suited for your building?
    • Are all sources of energy serving the project building, including that consumed by district energy systems, metered? Is consumption data available for intervals no longer than 65 days? 

    • Do you have at least 12 consecutive months of metering data for all types of energy used in the building?
    • What opportunities are there for improving energy performance through operational changes identified by an ASHRAE Level I Walkthrough Audit? What opportunities exist for improving energy performance through equipment upgrades?
    • Is comprehensive commissioningThe process of verifying and documenting that a building and all of its systems and assemblies are planned, designed, installed, tested, operated, and maintained to meet the owner's project requirements. likely to uncover significant energy savings opportunities?


    Is there a way to earn this prerequisite without meeting the Energy Star score of 75 or achieving a 25% improvement over the median building?

    Yes. If you’re in this boat, check out the Energy Jumpstart pilot credit. This pilot credit is available for LEED v4 projects and requires a 10% improvement over a historic baseline for your building. Meeting the pilot credit won’t necessarily be easy, but it can be a viable option for buildings that are not yet in the top 25% of performers.

    The LEED Reference Guide states that Case 1 “is available if the building has an official ENERGY STAR label that was awarded within the 12 months preceding the end of the LEED performance period” but it also seems to indicate that the ENERGY STAR score is required to coincide with the end of the performance period. Can you please help clarify the requirements?

    If the project has been awarded a label within the last 12 months, it is eligible for the streamlined path. If it does not pursue the official label, then the period upon which the score is based must coincide with the end of the performance period.

  • EA Prerequisite 2: Minimum energy performance


    To reduce the environmental and economic harms associated with excessive energy use by establishing a minimum level of operating energy performance.



    Calibrate meters within the manufacturer’s recommended interval if the building owner, management organization, or tenant owns the meter. Meters owned by third parties (e.g., utilities or governments) are exempt.


    Meter the building’s energy use for a full 12 months of continuous operation and achieve the levels of efficiency set forth in the options below. Each building’s energy performance must be based on actual metered energy consumption for both the LEED project building(s) and all comparable buildings used for the benchmark.

    Case 1. ENERGY STAR Rating

    For buildings eligible to receive an energy performance rating using the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager tool, achieve an energy performance rating of at least 75. For projects outside the U.S., consult ASHRAE/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1–2010, Appendixes B and D, to determine the appropriate climate zoneOne of five climatically distinct areas, defined by long-term weather conditions which affect the heating and cooling loads in buildings. The zones were determined according to the 45-year average (1931-1975) of the annual heating and cooling degree-days (base 65 degrees Fahrenheit). An individual building was assigned to a climate zone according to the 45-year average annual degree-days for its National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Division..

    Case 2. Projects not eligible for ENERGY STAR Rating

    Projects not eligible to use EPA’s rating system may compare their buildings’ energy performance with that of comparable buildings, using national averages or actual buildings, or with the previous performance of the project building.

    Option 1. Benchmark against typical buildings
    Path 1. National average data available

    Demonstrate energy efficiency performance that is 25% better than the median energy performance of similar buildings by benchmarking against the national 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. data provided in the Portfolio Manager tool.

    Path 2. National average data not available

    If national average source energy data are unavailable for buildings of similar type, benchmark against the building site energy data of at least three similar buildings, normalized for climate, building use, and occupancy. Demonstrate a 25% improvement.


    Option 2. Benchmark against historical data

    If national average source energy data are unavailable, compare the building’s site energy data for the previous 12 months with the data from three contiguous years of the previous five, normalized for climate, building use, and occupancy. Demonstrate a 25% improvement.


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Aug 17 2017
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