There are few people in the electrical contracting profession who aren't familiar with LEED, the building rating system created by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), part of which involves the power and electrical systems of buildings. However, Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), the certifying body for LEED and other green business programs, is introducing a new rating system modeled after USGBC's LEED—one that few people seem to be aware of.
Introduced and piloted in April 2015, Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal (PEER), focuses specifically on the certification of sustainable, resilient and reliable power systems and electricity infrastructure.
In April 2018, GBCI announced updated criteria for achieving PEER certification.
PEER certification is open to owners of utility-based microgrids, including investor-owned utilities, municipal utilities and electrical cooperatives. It is also open to owners of private microgrids and campuses, such as universities, manufacturing plants, distribution centers and corporate campuses. Finally, it is open to owners of critical infrastructure facilities, such as military installations, hospitals, airports, transit systems and data centers.
“It does not matter if you live in a small village in India or a major city like New York, when power systems fail, whether it is a downed power line or a natural disaster, it puts our safety and economic prosperity at risk,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of the USGBC and GBCI. “Through PEER, we are recognizing industry performance and driving the adoption of strategies and practices that help improve our quality of life. With PEER, we see a huge market transformation opportunity for the power sector.”
The PEER rating system consisted of four credit categories: reliability and resiliency, energy efficiency and environment, operational effectiveness, and customer contribution.
Now, the rating system consists of six credit categories: reliability and resiliency; energy efficiency and environment; operations, management and safety; grid services; regional priority; and innovation and exemplary performance.
Based on the points earned across all credit categories, a project can achieve certification at one of four levels: Certified (40–49 points), Silver (50–59 points), Gold (60–79 points), and Platinum (80–110 points).
For more information, go to peer.gbci.org.