Since the U. S. Green Building Council® (USGBC) launched the LEED® green building program, the program has continuously evolved to increase in scope and stringency. This year the USGBC proposed LEED 2012, an evolution that builds on LEED 2009 but also focuses on increasing the rigor of the LEED rating system while simultaneously providing measurement tools to verify the performance of LEED certified buildings.
One of the specific changes proposed in LEED 2012 is to the Green Power Credit. The proposed changes make the requirements for achieving the Green Power Credit as part of LEED certification more rigorous, with the goal of increasing support for the growth of clean energy. What specifically will change?
- Higher offset percentages: LEED 2012 will require the same offset percentages (50% for one LEED credit and 100% for two) for all LEED types except LEED EBOM. This is a higher standard than previously required for some LEED types.
- Newer RECs: LEED 2012 will require projects to use renewable energy credits (RECs) that are newer in age which will limit the supply of available green power and impact REC pricing.
- Longer commitments: LEED 2012 will require projects to make longer commitments to green power, giving renewable energy developers more long-term demand certainty.
- Total energy usage: LEED 2012 will mandate that all LEED projects offset the project’s total energy usage, not just electricity.
- Carbon offsets: LEED 2012 will allow both RECs and verified emission reductions (VERs, aka carbon offsets) to be used to offset emissions from different sources.
The new rating system is due to be completed and approved in time for the 2012 GreenBuild conference.
These changes will have far reaching impact on LEED projects, renewable energy developers, and carbon offset providers. For more detailed information about how these proposed changes will impact your business:
Download our new LEED 2012 white paper.
As a member of the USGBC since 2003, we remain committed to keeping both our LEED and renewable energy development and carbon offset clients abreast of these changes as they manifest. We have helped nearly 3,000 of the 12,000 total LEED projects around the globe achieve the Green Power LEED credits under Energy & Atmosphere, and it is our hope that the changes to the Green Power Credit specifically will serve to promote growth in both LEED and clean energy.