Unlocking LEED v4.1 Points with EV Charging

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In our previous chat, we dived into how embracing electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) can be a game-changer for snagging those coveted Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) credits. Now, let’s fast-forward to the latest buzz in the green accreditation scene: LEED v4.1. Here, we’ll explore how integrating EVSE can jazz up your LEED certification in this fresh version.

LEED EV Charging Infrastructure BD+C: New Construction

In the BD+C realm of LEED, bagging a LEED point in the Location and Transportation subcategory is a breeze. How? By either tossing in EV charging infrastructure or prepping parking spots to welcome EV chargers in the future.

Option 1: The EV Charger Showdown

Planning to deck out your new construction project with EV chargers? Snatch a point by ticking these boxes:

  • Plant charging stations at 5% of all project parking spaces or a minimum of two spaces—whichever is the bigger number.
  • Clearly mark and set aside these parking spots exclusively for EVs on a charging mission.
  • Make sure your gear aligns with local safety standards; safety first, always.
  • Ensure your chargers deliver a minimum Level 2 charging capability at 208–240 volts or higher for each parking space.
  • Bonus: These chargers should flaunt ENERGY STAR certified credentials and be savvy enough to dance to the time-of-use market signals—cue in the demand response-ready equipment.

Option 2: Future-Proofing with EVSE Infrastructure

Not quite ready to welcome EV chargers with open arms? No worries—LEED still hands out a point for playing the long game. Here’s the deal:

  • Ready 10% of all parking spots or a neat half a dozen spaces for the EVSE future—whichever number wins.
  • To prep these parking spots for EV chargers, each one needs a dedicated electrical circuit flexing enough muscle to handle a charger.
  • Each circuit should sport a conduit and wiring dapper enough to deliver at least Level 2 charging capability, reaching an electrical box or enclosure cozied up near the soon-to-be EV charging spots.

Psst, here’s a little extra: Architects and engineers can sprinkle some magic by weaving their EVSE into LEED Grid Harmonization, unlocking even more points. Stay tuned for more on that.

Unlock LEED Points with Grid Harmonization in BD+C and O+M

Looking to boost your BD+C project’s LEED score? Grid Harmonization in the Earth and Atmosphere category could net you up to two LEED points.

The aim of Grid Harmonization is clear: to encourage participation in demand response technologies, making energy systems more cost-effective, efficient, and eco-friendly. To snag these LEED points, your building must dive into demand response programs involving electrical load shedding or shifting.

Demand response, simply put, uses perks to cut electricity load or switch to an alternative power source. The International Energy Agency breaks it down into two mechanisms: price-based programs, using tariffs to incentivize consumers, and incentive-based programs, offering direct payments for shifting demand.

Now, here’s the roadmap to earning Grid Harmonization LEED points:

Case 1: Demand Response Program Available and Participation (2 points)

Bag two points by participating in an existing demand response program and meeting all requirements. Here’s the drill:

  • Design a system capable of real-time, fully-automated DR, with the option for semi-automation.
  • Enroll for a minimum one-year commitment with a qualified DR program provider, covering at least 10% of annual on-peak electricity demand.
  • Develop a solid plan for meeting the commitment during a Demand Response event.
  • Integrate DR processes into the commissioning authority’s scope of work, including participation in a full DR plan test.
  • Document the DR program and technologies in the building systems manual or facilities requirements and operations plan.

Case 2: Demand Response Capable Building (1 point)

Not ready for a demand response program? Grab one point by prepping your building for the future:

  • Install interval recording meters and equipment ready for an external signal.
  • Craft a plan to shed at least 10% of annual on-peak electricity demand.
  • Integrate DR processes into the commissioning authority’s scope of work, including a full DR plan test.
  • Document the DR program and installed tech in the building systems manual or facilities requirements and operations plan.
  • Reach out to local utility reps for potential participation in future DR programs.

Case 3: Boosting Load Efficiency (1-2 points)

Consider Case 3 either as a supplement to joining a demand response program or as an independent strategy.

Here’s what you need to do:

Understand Your Building’s Energy Usage:

Examine your building’s yearly energy consumption pattern and peak load. Compare it with the regional power grid to pinpoint effective load management strategies.

Implement Load Flexibility Techniques:

Deploy one or more load flexibility strategies. Equip your building with interval recording meters and gear capable of receiving external signals.

Peak Load Optimization:

Prove that your strategy minimizes on-peak load by at least 10%, in contrast to the ASHRAE 90.1-2016 compliant case (1 point).

On-site Storage Solutions:

Show that your on-site thermal or electricity storage method cuts on-peak load by at least 10%.

Document Your Tech:

Include the installed technology in the commissioning authority’s scope of work. Ensure that load flexibility strategies and technologies are part of the building systems manual.

Connect with Local Utilities:

Reach out to local utility representatives. Discuss potential participation in future demand response programs and enlighten them about your building’s load flexibility and management strategies.

Grid Harmony for Existing Buildings:

Note that Grid Harmonization criteria for O+M align with BD+C. Check the LEED O+M: Existing Buildings Grid Harmonization page for details.

Tie-in for EV Charging Points:

For buildings claiming points for EV charging and grid harmonization, integrate Electric Vehicle Service Equipment (EVSE) into the demand response program or load flexibility strategies.

Understanding LEED Certification:

LEED offers four certification levels based on points earned:

  • Platinum: 80+
  • Gold: 60-79
  • Silver: 50-59
  • Certified: 40-49

Enhance LEED Points with EVSE:

Install Electric Vehicle Service Equipment (EVSE) in your new or existing project. By incorporating EV charging into a demand response program, you could earn up to three points for LEED certification.

Apart from environmental benefits, LEED-certified buildings boast higher resale values and lower operational costs. According to the US Green Building Council, integrating electric vehicle chargers into your parking lot is an accessible way to score a crucial point for certification. It signals to stakeholders that your business is committed to sustainability.

Ready to start EVSE installation? Reach out to Anfu Charging today.

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