District energy system providers should employ a framework for quantifying the value they could give potential customers looking to use a platform, says Tim Griffin, principal and branch manager at engineering consulting firm RMF Engineering.
With building owners and property investors, the question has always been how much LEED points they would get if they connected with a DES, Griffin writes in a column for District Energy magazine.
“If your system does not have a model, you should consider having one built soon to determine where you stand with LEED, put the negotiating power back in your hands, prepare to answer customer inquiries and know where to invest your capital to improve your standing,” he said.
Griffin mentioned Veolia Energy as a case study, which takes into consideration how much it spends to run its system, the cost of electricity and the capabilities of the competition in order to determine which route is more efficient.
“As a district energy system owner, you will find this type of model is the best tool to address your system’s impact on your customers’ LEED applications,” Griffin said.
“If (you) find that tying in provides fewer points than the alternative, (you) now have a tool to help identify what investments in (your) system can turn that around the fastest,” he added.