Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.64
Liaison Rachael Wein
Submission Date March 3, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Smith College
OP-6: Clean and Renewable Energy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.02 / 4.00 Matthew Pfannenstiel
Energy Manager
Facilities Management


Institution supports the development and use of clean and renewable energy sources, using any one or combination of the following options. 

                                 Option 1:                                                 

Generating electricity from clean and renewable energy sources on campus and retaining or retiring the rights to the environmental attributes of such electricity. (In other words, if the institution has sold Renewable Energy Credits for the clean and renewable energy it generated, it may not claim such energy here.) The on-site renewable energy generating devices may be owned and/or maintained by another party as long as the institution has contractual rights to the associated environmental attributes. 

Option 2:

Using renewable sources on-site to generate energy other than electricity, such as biomass for heating.  

Option 3:

Catalyzing the development of off-site clean and renewable energy sources (e.g. an off-campus wind farm that was designed and built to supply electricity to the institution) and retaining the environmental attributes of that energy.

Option 4:

Purchasing the environmental attributes of electricity in the form of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), Guarantees of Origin (GOs) or similar renewable energy products that are either Green-e Energy certified or meet Green-e Energy’s technical requirements (or local equivalents) and are verified as such by a third party, or purchasing renewable electricity through the institution’s electric utility through a certified green power purchasing option.  

Since this credit is intended to recognize institutions that are actively supporting the development and use of clean and renewable energy, neither the electric grid mix for the region in which the institution is located nor the grid mix reported by the electric utility that serves the institution (i.e. the utility’s standard or default product) count for this credit.  

The following renewable systems are eligible for this credit:

  • Concentrated solar thermal
  • Geothermal systems that generate electricity
  • Low-impact hydroelectric power
  • Solar photovoltaic
  • Wave and tidal power
  • Wind

 Biofuels from the following sources are eligible:

  • Agricultural crops
  • Agricultural waste
  • Animal waste
  • Landfill gas
  • Untreated wood waste
  • Other organic waste

Technologies that reduce the amount of energy used but do not generate renewable energy do not count for this credit (e.g. daylighting, passive solar design, ground-source heat pumps). The benefits of such strategies, as well as the improved efficiencies achieved through using cogeneration technologies, are captured by the Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Building Energy Consumption credits.

Transportation fuels, which are covered by the Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Campus Fleet credits, are not included.


This credit applies to all institutions. 


Institutions earn the maximum of 4 points for this credit by obtaining energy from clean and/or renewable sources (Options 1-3) and/or by purchasing RECs/GOs or green power from the electric utility (Option 4) equivalent to 100 percent of total campus energy consumption. Incremental points are awarded based on the amount of clean and renewable energy generated or purchased compared to total campus energy consumption. For example, an institution that obtained an amount of energy from clean and renewable sources equivalent to half of its total energy consumption would earn 2 points (half of the points available for this credit).

Points for this credit are calculated automatically in the STARS Reporting Tool as follows:

Clean and renewable energy option (see Criteria)



Energy generated or purchased that meets criteria (MMBtu)


Total energy consumption (MMBtu)


Points earned

Option 1








Option 2



Option 3



Option 4



Total points earned ->

Up to 4




Report the most recent data available from within the three years prior to the anticipated date of submission. Institutions may choose the annual start and end dates that work best with the data they have (e.g. fiscal or calendar year), as long as data are reported from a consecutive 12-month period.

Sampling and Data Standards

Report all on-site, stationary energy that was consumed by the institution (as the institution is defined in the overall STARS institutional boundary). Transportation fuels are excluded. Reporting on a sample or subset of energy generation and consumption is not allowed for this credit.

All reported energy figures should be based on site energy (the amount of energy consumed on campus) rather than source energy (the amount of energy consumed on campus plus the energy used off-site to generate and transport the energy to the institution).

Institutions that convert fuel on-site (e.g. on-campus cogeneration facilities and boilers) should report only the amount of fuel purchased/converted toward the total energy consumption figure, not the resulting heat, steam, hot/chilled water or electricity.

To aggregate energy consumption data from multiple sources, figures should be converted into MMBtu (one million British thermal units—a standard measure of energy) using the following equivalents: 

Energy Unit  MMBtu Equivalent 
1 kWh  0.003412 
1 MWh  3.412 
1 therm  0.1 
1 kBtu  0.001 
1 ton-hour  0.012 
1 MJ  0.000948 

 A unit conversion tool that includes more detailed conversion factors (e.g. for liquid fuels) is available in the online STARS Reporting Tool (.xls).

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.