On-site and off-site renewable energy | U.S. Green Building Council
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LEED O+M: Existing Buildings | v3 - LEED 2009

On-site and off-site renewable energy

EAc4 | Possible 6 points


To encourage and recognize increasing levels of on and off-site renewable energy to reduce environmental and economic impacts associated with fossil fuel energy use.


During the performance period, meet some or all of the building’s total energy use with on-site or off-site renewable energy systems. Points are earned according to the following table, which shows the percentages of building energy use met by renewable energy during the performance period.

Off-site renewable energy sources are defined by the Center for Resource Solutions Green-e Energy program’s products certification requirements, or the equivalent. Green power may be procured from a Green-e Energy-certified power marketer or a Green-e Energy-accredited utility program, or through Green-e Energy-certified tradable renewable energy certificates (RECs) or the equivalent [Europe ACP: Green-e Energy Equivalent] [India ACP: Green-e Energy Equivalent]. For on-site renewable energy that is claimed for LEED 2009 for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance credit, the associated environmental attributes must be retained or retired and cannot be sold.

If the green power is not Green-e Energy certified, equivalence must exist for both major Green-e Energy program criteria: 1) current green power performance standards, and 2) independent, third-party verification that those standards are being met by the green power supplier over time.

Up to the 6-point limit, any combinations of individual actions are awarded the sum of the points allocated to those individual actions. For example, 1 point would be awarded for implementing 3% of on-site renewable energy, and 3 additional points would be awarded for meeting 50% of the building’s energy load with renewable power or certificates during the performance period. Projects must submit proof of a contract to purchase RECs for a minimum of 2 years and must also make a commitment to purchase RECs on an ongoing basis beyond that.

On-site renewable energy Off-site renewable
energy certificates

3% or

25% 1
4.5% or




or 50%


or 62.5%




75% 5

12% or

100% 6

Alternative Compliance Paths (ACPs)

Europe ACP: Green-e Energy Equivalent

Projects in Europe may use the following approved standards in place of Green-e Energy:

  • EKOenergy
  • Guarantees of Origin (GOs) with additional parameters

India ACP: Green-e Energy Equivalent

Projects in India may use the Indian Central Electricity Regulatory Commission REC program with additional parameters in place of Green-e Energy.

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