What it means to be LEED-certified and why it’s important

Construction Contractors building a new home

What is LEED?

Being LEED-certified is a phrase we hear often–generally as bragging rights–for businesses, homes, schools, government buildings and others. But what, exactly, does it mean?

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a rating system created by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) in 1998 to assess the environmental performance of a building and encourage a shift towards more sustainable designs. The certification operates on credits, meaning projects earn points for eco-friendly processes during building, such as energy efficiency, water conservation and using sustainable resources, among others. Certification isn’t the same across all businesses and homes, though. Depending on the project and industry sector, LEED credits are earned differently.

How does it work?

As mentioned above, LEED operates on a point system. There are prerequisites to receiving the certification, which do not count towards the 100-point total. After fulfilling these, businesses and homes receive points for green choices. The level of certification is dependent on points accumulated.

Levels of certification:

  • Certified: 40-49 points
  • Silver: 50-59 points
  • Gold: 60-79 points
  • Platinum: 80-100 points

Man in a suit and a worker in overalls

Why is it important?

Becoming LEED certified is important for a number of reasons. Your business or home is helping a larger effort to move the global scale towards a more environmentally friendly and efficient society; but it’s also important for financial reasons. PSEG Long Island makes it easy for local businesses across Long Island and the Rockaways to work towards their LEED certification with these programs:

Prime Efficiency Partners:

This program includes vetted contractors, distributors, suppliers and manufacturers of energy efficient equipment available to work with our customers.

Download the Prime Partner List here. Interested in becoming a Prime Efficiency Partner? Fill out an application here.

Technical Assistance Efficiency Partners:

Our Technical Assistance (TA) partners help businesses minimize their energy usage while maximizing profits. TA partners work with customers to acquire LEED or ENERGY STAR certifications, create energy models, and study new energy efficient technologies. Our program will fund up to 70 percent of study costs in an effort to determine the energy savings potential for a project. These savings can then be further rebated by our Commercial Efficiency Program (CEP) rebates.

Visit here for a list of TA partners. To become a partner, fill out an application here.

Other financial incentives:

Additionally, New York State and the federal government offer some monetary incentives to receiving the certification, largely dependent on how many points a project has accumulated. Depending on the type and location of a project, visit here for important resources to see how LEED can help you and your business save money.

For more information on how to become energy efficient, and save money, follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram!

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