Minimum energy performance | U.S. Green Building Council
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LEED O+M: Existing Buildings | v4 - LEED v4

Minimum energy performance

Required

Projects teams may choose to comply with the LEED v4 requirement by utilizing a Third Party Data Source or a USGBC Approved Data Template. We will update this list as we enable support for additional data sources. USGBC currently accepts energy and water data in the following ways:

  • Third Party Data Source
    • Share data through the EPA’s ENERGY STAR's Portfolio Manager Tool by creating a portfolio in Portfolio Manager, adding your LEED building (if you have not done so already), and providing account access to “USGBC - LEED Performance Reporting”. For instructions on registering in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager or sharing access with an account, refer to the resource document entitled “Sharing with Accounts in Portfolio Manager” below or visit the ENERGY STAR website.
    • Coming Soon: Share data using one of USGBC’s App Lab partners. These apps are created by authorized partners and are designed to automate data submission into LEED Online. This option is not yet available from the partners on the site however please contact us to learn more about connecting with an existing data management system.
  • USGBC Approved Data Template

    Submit data via Hightail Dropbox. Download USGBC-Approved Data Template and upload to USGBC’s Dropbox. Projects that choose this option must be prepared to send it to USGBC within 2-weeks of the request; as a general rule, USGBC will aim to collect data two-times per year.

Submittal Tips (click to expand)
Keep these important GBCI reviewer tips in mind when preparing your submittal documentation and avoid some of the common issues reviewers see during the LEED review process.

EA Prerequisite: Minimum Energy Performance

All
  • Ensure that calibration report summaries are provided for energy meters owned by the building owner, management organization, or tenant, and that they confirm that the meters have been calibrated within the manufacturer's recommended interval. For more information, refer to the Meter Calibration header in the Further Explanation section of this prerequisite in the LEED O+M v4 Reference Guide.
Case 1. ENERGY STAR Rating, Recent Label
  • Ensure that the documentation provided confirms that the building earned the ENERGY STAR within the 12 months preceding the LEED O+M application date.
  • Ensure that the documentation provided clearly verifies the score associated with the ENERGY STAR certificate earned by the project building. To document a higher ENERGY STAR score than what was achieved in the ENERGY STAR certification, the No Recent Labels path must be pursued and all required documentation provided.
Case 1. ENERGY STAR Rating, No Recent Label
  • If sharing the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager account with the USGBC, ensure that the account has been shared with the GBCI Master Account ('LEED-EBOM GBCI Certification').

    To share the project building, follow the instructions detailed at this link: http://www.energystar.gov/buildings/tools-and-resources/how-share-data-o...

    When connecting to the GBCI Master Account, search for "LEED-EBOM" as the Name criteria, and connect with the account called "LEED-EBOM GBCI Certification." Note that the Master account "USGBC – LEED Performance Reporting" offered in EAp Building Level Energy Metering is not the same master account as offered in EAp Minimum Energy Performance.

  • Ensure that at least three months of energy bills have been provided for each energy source at the project building and that the energy bills provided correspond to the monthly energy use summaries entered into Portfolio Manager. Note that both the dates of the service period and the energy consumption values must be consistent.
  • Ensure that the building occupancy is reported consistently throughout the LEED application. Note that the Number of Workers on the Main Shift reported in Portfolio Manager (e.g., for offices, etc.) represents the number of workers who are present at the same time.
  • Ensure that the gross floor area is reported consistently throughout the LEED application. Additionally, ensure that the area reported meets the ENERGY STAR definition of gross floor area included in the Portfolio Manager glossary. For example, parking may not be included in the gross floor area and is reported separately in Portfolio Manager.
  • Ensure that the number of operating hours input into Portfolio Manager is comparable to that identified in other credits and prerequisites and that it only includes time when the majority of the regular building occupants are present. Additionally, ensure that any building spaces with weekly operating hours that differ by ten hours or more are listed separately within Portfolio Manager. Note that the operating hours must not include time when the facility is occupied only by cleaning, maintenance, security, or other support personnel. Additionally, note that operating hours generally differ from equipment run-time hours.
  • Ensure that all space types are categorized according to ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Guidance. For example, the gross floor area of the project’s office space should include all spaces within the building including offices, conference rooms and auditoriums, kitchens used by staff, lobbies, fitness areas for staff, storage areas, stairways, and elevator shafts. Restaurants, retail, or services (dry cleaners) should be included as part of the Office Property Use, unless it meets one of the 4 exceptions to the rule (https://portfoliomanager.energystar.gov/pm/glossary#Office).
  • Ensure that Retail spaces are categorized according to Portfolio Manager Guidance. Note that according to the ENERGY STAR definition (https://portfoliomanager.energystar.gov/pm/glossary#RetailStore), a space should be entered as Retail only if the retail space is a single store that is at least 5,000 square feet and has an exterior entrance to the public. Individual retail stores that are part of a larger non-mall building (i.e. office or hotel) are not eligible to receive an ENERGY STAR score and should be included as part of the main building space use type.
  • Note that according to the ENERGY STAR Buildings FAQs (https://portfoliomanager.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/211026688), EPA recommends you enter as few Property Uses as possible, as it does not increase your score to enter more space types and is consistent with the benchmark dataset. In fact, even if you enter multiple Uses separately, Portfolio Manager will add them back together into the Main Property Use before calculating your metrics. Also, entering one Property Use will simplify your property and make troubleshooting errors easier.
  • Ensure that third-party energy sub-meters serving spaces that are excluded from the Portfolio Manager documentation are included in the LEED form. Similarly, ensure that calibration report summaries are provided for sub-meters serving excluded spaces if the sub-meters are owned by the building owner, management organization, or tenant.
  • If any areas have been appropriately excluded from the Portfolio Manager documentation, ensure that summaries of monthly energy use for this area are provided. Additionally, ensure that at least three months of energy bills have been provided to verify this energy use. Refer to ENERGY STAR Buildings FAQs for more information on what may be excluded from Portfolio Manager (https://portfoliomanager.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/211028438-What-ca...).
  • If including a Data Center space within Portfolio Manager, ensure that the Data Center satisfies the ENERGY STAR definition of a data center space (https://portfoliomanager.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/211026598-What-is...). For office buildings, server rooms that do not meet the definition of a Data Center but have separate cooling systems and operating hours that differ from the rest of the building must be entered as a separate space in Portfolio Manager using the Office space type. In this space, enter the weekly operating hours, zero workers, and a number of PCs that approximates the number of servers in the space.
  • Ensure that the number of computers included for each space in the Portfolio Manager documentation represents the total number of computers, laptops, and data servers at the property. Ensure that this number does not include tablet computers, such as iPads, or any other types of office equipment.
  • If vacant space is at least 10% of the building's gross floor area (over 12 months), ensure that it is reported appropriately as a separate Property Use, as follows:
    • Property Type = Property Type that it would be if it was occupied (Office, Medical Office, etc).
    • Weekly Operating Hours = 0
    • Workers on Main Shift = 0
    • Number of Computers = 0
    • Percent Heated and Percent Cooled = Report conditioning as it occurs in the vacant space
    • For more information, refer to the Portfolio Manager Frequently Asked Question that addresses this issue: https://portfoliomanager.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/211026358-How-do-....

  • Ensure that the number of computers included for each space in the Portfolio Manager documentation represents the total number of computers, laptops, and data servers at the property. Ensure that this number does not include tablet computers, such as iPads, or any other types of office equipment.
  • Ensure that energy generated by an on-site solar array is correctly reported in Portfolio Manager. Note that exported energy generated by the on-site solar array may not be identified as on-site renewable energy that is consumed on-site. This would not reflect the true energy efficiency of the building. Refer to the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Frequently Asked Questions for additional information (https://portfoliomanager.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/211027608). All energy that is consumed by the project building from the grid must be entered into Portfolio Manager, and any onsite renewable energy that is sold to the grid must be tracked separately as such in Portfolio Manager (see https://portfoliomanager.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/211027598).

    Portfolio Manager must accurately reflect the total amount of energy generated by the solar array and consumed onsite as well as grid-provided electricity that was consumed by the project building. For all onsite renewable energy that was generated, ensure that the energy meter in Portfolio Manager Accounts for this and select the proper options in Portfolio Manager designating whether any of the renewable energy is sold or whether it is all consumed onsite, as outlined in the Frequently Asked Questions for Portfolio Manager (https://portfoliomanager.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/211027598).

Case 2, Option 1. Projects Not Eligible for ENERGY STAR Rating, Benchmark Against Typical Buildings
  • Case 2, Option 2. Projects Not Eligible for ENERGY STAR Rating, Benchmark Against Historical Data
  • Case 2 - Option 1 or 2. Projects Not Eligible for ENERGY STAR Rating
    • Note that all buildings that are eligible to receive an ENERGY STAR rating based on their space types must follow Case 1. Only buildings that are not eligible for an ENERGY STAR Rating may pursue Case 2.
    • Ensure that the weather-normalized source energy use intensity from Portfolio Manager is input into the LEED form. Note that this value is different from the source energy use intensity and the site energy use intensity.
    • Ensure that the correct space types are input into Portfolio Manager and that they are based on the space use definitions utilized in the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey, as described on the ENERGY STAR website at https://www.energystar.gov/buildings/facility-owners-and-managers/existi....
    • For manufacturing projects, ensure that the energy consumption is normalized on a per production unit basis, as indicated in Table 4 under the Further Explanation section of this prerequisite in the LEED O+M v4. Provide a narrative summarizing how manufacturing output and process loads impact energy use at the project building. To normalize energy use, identify the most appropriate metric for determining the source energy use intensity for the remainder of the facility relative to the manufacturing process (e.g., Btu/pound, Btu/unit, etc.). Determine the energy use intensity for each historical year of data and for the current year of data based on this metric. Provide documentation demonstrating the normalization methodology used.
    • Ensure that the documentation provided for this prerequisite as well as the remainder of the LEED application demonstrates that the project includes a single building (i.e., not a portion of a building and not multiple buildings). For more information regarding this requirement, as well as its limited exceptions (e.g., hospitals, etc.), refer to the Minimum Program Requirements in the LEED O+M v4 Reference Guide, with Addenda. Additionally, refer to the Portfolio Manager guidance regarding what constitutes a single structure: https://portfoliomanager.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/211026838. If you have questions regarding whether your project constitutes a single building, please contact USGBC to discuss your project prior to proceeding at http://www.usgbc.org/contactus.