WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its sixth annual list of the 25 U.S. metropolitan areas with the most ENERGY STAR certified buildings in 2013. The list demonstrates the economic and environmental benefits achieved by facility owners and managers in America’s leading cities when they apply a proven approach to energy efficiency to their buildings.
Leading the list are Los Angeles; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; New York; San Francisco; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Philadelphia; and Houston.
In addition to listing the top cities with the most ENERGY STAR buildings, this year’s data revealed that more than 23,000 buildings across America earned EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification by the end of last year. These buildings saved more than $3.1 billion on utility bills and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to the emissions from 3.3 million vehicles annually.
First released in 2008, the list of cities with the most ENERGY STAR certified buildings continues to show how cities across America, with help from ENERGY STAR, are embracing energy efficiency as a simple and effective way to save money and prevent pollution. Los Angeles has remained the top city since 2008 while Washington, D.C. continues to hold onto second place for the fifth consecutive year. Atlanta moved up from the number five to number three. For the first time, Philadelphia entered the top 10, ranking ninth.
Energy use in commercial buildings accounts for 17 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion per year. ENERGY STAR certified office buildings cost $0.50 cents less per square foot to operate than average office buildings, and use nearly two times less energy per square foot than average office buildings. Commercial buildings that earn EPA’s ENERGY STAR must perform in the top 25 percent of similar buildings nationwide and must be independently verified by a licensed professional engineer or a registered architect. ENERGY STAR certified buildings use an average of 35 percent less energy and are responsible for 35 percent less carbon dioxide emissions than typical buildings. Twenty types of commercial buildings can earn the ENERGY STAR, including office buildings, K-12 schools, hotels, and retail stores.
EPA introduced ENERGY STAR in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the ENERGY STAR label can be found on more than 70 different kinds of products, 1.4 million new homes, and 20,000 commercial buildings and industrial plants that meet strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the EPA. Over the past 20 years, American families and businesses have saved more than $239 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.9 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions with help from ENERGY STAR.
More on the 2013 top cities: www.energystar.gov/topcities
More on ENERGY STAR certified buildings: www.energystar.gov/buildinglist
More about earning the ENERGY STAR for commercial buildings: www.energystar.gov/labeledbuildings