EPA Announces 25 Cities with the Most Energy Star Certified Buildings

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a list of 25 U.S. metropolitan areas with the most Energy Star certified buildings in 2012, highlighting how owners and managers of commercial buildings across the country are taking action on climate change while delivering real financial savings to the bottom line. California leads with six cities on this top 25 list, more than any other state. For the fifth year in a row, Los Angeles holds onto first place, with 528 buildings. San Francisco ranks No. 6 with 291 Energy Star buildings; San Jose, 16th with 114 buildings; and Sacramento, 20th with 97.

In Northern California, the more than 500 Energy Star-certified buildings have helped save nearly $140 million in annual utility bills while preventing greenhouse-gas emissions equal to emissions from the annual electricity use of more than 50,000 homes. Los Angeles, San Diego and Riverside also made this year’s top 25.

“Through their partnership with EPA, the owners and managers of Energy Star-certified buildings are helping reduce greenhouse-gas emissions while saving on utility bills,” says EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe. “With Energy Star, cities across America are helping achieve President Obama’s goal to cut in half the energy wasted by our businesses over the next 20 years.”

Nationally, more than 20,000 Energy Star certified buildings across America helped save more than $2.7 billion in annual utility bills while preventing greenhouse-gas emissions equal to emissions from the annual electricity use of more than 2 million homes in 2012.

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. EPA continues to see an increase in buildings applying for and earning Energy Star certification each year. The cumulative number of Energy Star-certified buildings has increased by more than 24 percent compared to last year, representing more than 3 billion square feet of floorspace nationwide. In 2012 alone, more than 8,200 buildings earned EPA’s Energy Star certification.

Also on this list is Washington, D.C., landing in second place with 462 buildings. In third place, with 353 buildings, Chicago has risen through the rankings each year, starting in sixth place in 2008 and increasing the number of buildings certified by an average of 32 percent each year. Phoenix broke into the top 10 for the first time, with 202 buildings.

Commercial buildings that earn EPA’s Energy Star must perform in the top 25 percent of similar buildings nationwide, as verified by a professional engineer or a registered architect. Energy Star-certified buildings use an average of 35 percent less energy and are responsible for 35 percent fewer greenhouse-gas emissions than average buildings. Fifteen types of commercial buildings can earn the Energy Star, including office buildings, K-12 schools and retail stores.

Launched in 1992 by EPA, Energy Star is a market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions through energy efficiency. During the past 20 years, with help from Energy Star, American families and businesses have saved more than $230 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.8 billion metric tons of greenhouse-gas emissions. Today, the Energy Star label can be found on more than 65 different product categories and more than 1.4 million new homes, in addition to the more than 20,000 commercial buildings.

View the complete list of Top Cities.

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