Dollars and Sense

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Remember, LEED is about the DOLLARS saved. So, if you for instance have solar energy, and you are in a location that has programs that buy green power at an inflated rate, make sure you sell the green power instead of using it!

 

For instance, if 1 kw-hr of power-plant electricity costs 10 cents, but the utility company will pay 30 cents per kw-hr for solar energy, a solar plant that produces 1/3 of the buildings power could completely offset the buildings cost.

Does this sound a like cheating? It is not! USGBC uses this method to get many of its buildings a platinum rating!!!!

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Also, remember to consider using the EIA rates if the actual rate sells "bulk" electricity. For instance, if electricity gets less expensive when using more, the EIA rates will yield bigger savings.

 

However, if electricity increases in cost, or if there are significant demand charges/ratchets, it is usually better to use the actual rate structure. 

 

REMEMBER, rate structures are about 1% of the work in a  model and yet they can have a 20% or more impact. Don't skimp on rate structures!

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