Sep 20 2012
On the road to qualify our building for LEED-EB Gold, we recently passed a significant milestone – Energy Star certification. We’re justifiably proud that our headquarters now meets the standards for efficiency that qualify it for Energy Star status.
Now, how does that fit into LEED certification? An Energy Star rating of 69 is a prerequisite for points in the LEED Energy & Atmosphere category. As many as 18 points can be earned for Credit 1, Optimize Energy Efficiency Performance, in the category. To get the maximum, we would have needed to achieve an Energy Star rating of 89. When we started out, the building was rated at 68, which was better than the estimated national average score of 50 for similar facilities. We decided a realistic goal was to boost that to 81, the equivalent of 10 LEED points. Ultimately, our efforts reduced our energy use by more than 190,918 kWh/year and achieved a rating of 76, which should give us eight LEED points in the category.
Among the big contributors to achieving the Energy Star was our major lighting project, which we detailed here some months ago. The other significant project that helped us garner points was the installation of a sub-meter to track energy usage in ASCE’s computer server rooms. These rooms demand their own power source and AC unit, which require monitoring. Installing the sub-meter allows us to track the energy usage of our servers and other equipment.
We won’t know for certain if we achieved those eight LEED points until our application is reviewed by USGBC, but we feel hopeful. LEED-EB Gold certification requires 60-79 points, and we expect all of our efforts to total about 65 points.
Our energy efficiency efforts in pursuit of LEED have had a great fringe benefit: a fat rebate from our local electric utility. Dominion sent us a check for $23,462, 64 percent more than the $15,000 we anticipated.
Got any questions about our Energy Star achievement and how we did it? Have you worked on a similar project? Share your views in the comments.
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