Green Building Certification Now Includes Smart Grid Credit

To encourage widespread use of demand response programs – a key factor in developing a smart grid – green building projects can now earn a LEED credit for participating in those programs.

Green building projects that want US Green Building Council LEED certification can either participate in existing utility-sponsored demand response programs or put the infrastructure in place so they can participate when it becomes available in their region.

Facilities must demonstrate they can shift energy consumption away from peak energy periods by 10% to obtain the credit.

The LEED Demand Response Pilot Credit was originally launched in 2010, but has been revised with the help of industry experts from the Demand Response Research Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL), Schneider Electric and Skipping Stone.

The credit revision includes the option for semi- or fully-automated demand response capabilities that will allow facilities to take advantage of real-time energy pricing made possible by new smart grid developments.

USGBC is finalizing plans for the implementation of a concentrated market test of the pilot credit. The market test will be launched in select utility territories to promote the credit and widespread adoption of demand response within the building community.

The program will also include an education and market feedback mechanism to foster knowledge sharing and measure the impact the building community can have on the grid and the environment.

“Demand response is unique,” says Mark MacCracken, USGBC board chair. “To achieve success, this LEED credit requires coordination between the building community, utilities and wholesale power market operators with qualified programs. We believe that the new requirements create a straightforward framework for LEED teams to implement demand response, while delivering benefits to both the power grid and to the environment.”

Documentation of the Demand Response Pilot Credit requirements and related information is available here:

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