Energy Star vs. LEED
DEDC understands the differences between LEED and ENERGY STAR and can advise each client on the best approach for their specific project and business objective.
ENERGY STAR is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program that focuses on improving energy performance in buildings as a method of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a green building certification offered by the non-profit U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
ENERGY STAR is a technical assistance and recognition program that offers owners and managers of all buildings access to free tools and resources to help them evaluate their energy performance and reduce energy use and GHG emissions. Organizations are encouraged to begin by benchmarking the performance of their buildings using ENERGY STAR’s Portfolio Manager online energy tracking tool. For certain types of buildings that perform in the top 25% compared to their peers nationwide, the ENERGY STAR label is available as an indicator of superior energy performance. Buildings carrying the ENERGY STAR label consume on average about 35% less energy than their non-ENERGY STAR counterparts.
LEED is a building certification process that looks at various aspects of “green building” and awards recognition to buildings that meet certain standards. Users of the LEED process earn credits in several categories associated with green buildings. These differ by the type of LEED certification, but generally include: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy & atmosphere, materials & resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation. While each category may have required prerequisites that must be met, for the bulk of the credits required for certification users can choose in which categories they wish to focus based on their own priorities. Energy efficiency may or may not be one of those priorities, depending on the user.
EPA believes that energy efficiency is the first step to green, and that all green buildings should be energy efficient. Using ENERGY STAR tools and resources, and ENERGY STAR recognition where available, will ensure that your green buildings (whether certified by LEED or another system) are truly energy efficient.
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