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 zone.
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 energy 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.