LEED, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the largest driving force behind the increased development of green buildings in the world. One of the most important factors that LEED uses in their certification process is energy consumption and the owner’s ability to track usage and identify potential savings. While most conventional buildings have simple meters provided by the utility company for billing purposes, the advanced standards for LEED certification require more robust and more precise monitoring capability.
Benefits of LEED certification
Beyond the face-value benefits of sustainability and environmental consciousness, LEED certification presents many other tangible advantages for building owners:
- State and local tax incentives, credits, and rebates
- Lower insurance premiums
- Higher property values
- Enhance a company’s public reputation
- Saves money on utility costs
Base Building Metering
Any commercial building that is newly constructed or being significantly renovated wishing to become LEED BD+C v4 certified must “install new or use existing base building-level energy meters, or submeters that can be aggregated to provide base building-level data representing total building energy consumption.”
In addition, building owner must commit to sharing their monthly usage data to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). To meet the minimum certification threshold, a facility manager could manually log data from the utility’s meter every month. However, in order to meet the next level of advanced certification and qualify for additional incentives, building operators must be able to segment and monitor many more energy usage parameters.
Advanced Energy Metering
In addition to the basic requirements listed above, LEED’s advanced energy metering requirements demand added specificity beyond what can be manually observed from the utility’s billing meter. In addition, individual end uses must be submetered if they make up 10% or more of the building’s total energy consumption for the year.
In order to meet the advanced energy metering requirements, user-owned power meters must possess the following qualities and capabilities:
- Must be permanently installed, record at intervals of one hour or less, and transmit data to a remote location.
- Electricity meters must record both consumption and demand. Whole-building electricity meters should record the power factor, if appropriate.
- The data collection system must use a local area network, building automation system, wireless network, or comparable communication infrastructure.
- The system must be capable of storing all meter data for at least 36 months.
- The data must be remotely accessible.
- All meters in the system must be capable of reporting hourly, daily, monthly, and annual energy use.
Not sure where to start? CLICK HERE to learn how to select the right kind of power meter for your next project.