Changes in Green Power Credit for LEED v4

Purchasing green power for a LEED project has traditionally been a great way to support renewable energy development while contributing to a project’s certification.  While this will continue to be the case under LEED v4, the green power credit has undergone some major changes related to contracting requirements, the scope of inputs for energy calculations, and the type of resources allowed for offsets.

Three notable changes include:

·      Required offsets have increased - now 50% = 1pt, 100% = 2pts (previously 35% and 70%)

·      Owner must commit to a 5-year contract (instead of 2-yr)

·      Energy metric is changing to total energy use including natural gas, propane, and steam (NOT just electricity)

Together, these are expected to increase the cost of this LEED credit as more energy is being offset.  However, the new rules allow Green Power AND/OR Carbon Offsets with the following guidance:

·      Both renewable energy credits (RECs) and verified emissions reductions (VERs) can be used for electricity offsets

·      Gas and other fuels MUST be offset with VERs only

Lastly, for projects located in the U.S., offsets need to be sourced from greenhouse gas emissions reduction programs within the United States.

Thank you to our friends at Renewable Choice for their helpful whitepaper.

Thinking about certifying your next project under LEED v4?  Contact us to explore your options.