LEED Certification & Green Building FAQ
What is LEED®?
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is a green building certification process developed by the US Green Building Council® (USGBC). LEED certification provides independent verification that a building or home was designed using LEED green building environmental strategies and standards.
What role does green power play in LEED certification?
Even the most energy efficient buildings consume electricity from an energy infrastructure that is detrimental to the environment. The LEED Energy and Atmosphere Green Power Credit allows your project to choose renewable energy, offering points toward LEED green building certification that significantly reduce a project’s environmental impact. The ongoing development of the U.S. Green Building Council's various LEED credit systems has weighted more and more points toward the Green Power LEED Credit and the on-site and off-site renewable energy credit.
How is green power purchasing rewarded in the LEED certification process?
Projects pursuing LEED credit can earn up to seven LEED green building points by purchasing green power to offset a building’s energy use. LEED Certification for commercial interiors achieve five points toward certification through offsetting 50% of their power while New Constructions and Schools achieve two points for offsetting 35% of their power. All existing buildings can earn one to six points for offsetting different levels of their power consumption.
What is green power?
Renewable energy facilities generate renewable energy credits (RECs) when they produce electricity. Purchasing these credits is the widely accepted way to address the environmental footprint of electricity consumption. RECs ensure that the amount of electricity your project consumes is added to the power grid from a renewable energy facility. Whether purchased from Renewable Choice or a local utility’s green pricing program, both systems are based on the purchase of RECs. Renewable Choice offers the same product as a local utility company but at a fraction of the price and with numerous value-added services.
How should LEED projects offset emissions?
Electricity usage for LEED Green Buildings should be offset with Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) on a kWh‐to‐kWh (or Btu-to‐Btu) basis. Natural gas, steam or other heating emissions should be converted to metric tons of CO2 equivalent and offset with direct carbon offsets or “Verified Emissions Reductions” (VERs). Per the results of a recent CIR, this is the case for all LEED EB projects (2.0, OM, and OM 2009).
What role does the eac4 (Energy and Atmosphere Credit 4) play in LEED certification?
Visit our ea 4 FAQ page.
How does the eac6 (Energy and Atmosphere Credit 6) help with LEED certification?
Visit our LEED Green Power Credit eac6 FAQ page.