Los Angeles Has Most Energy Efficient Buildings: EPA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its list of the Top 25 cities with the most Energy Star-rated buildings this week, and Los Angeles, with 293 such structures, took top prize. Washington D.C., top-heavy with energy-efficient government-built buildings, came in second at 204. San Francisco garnered third with 173.

Per-capita however, D.C. and S.F. beat the pants off Los Angeles, since both cities have less than one-eighth the population. New York, America’s biggest city (with some of its oldest building stock) round out the top 10 with a mere 90 of the super-efficient buildings.

This is the second year the EPA has come out with its Top 25.

Millions saved, billions to go

In 2009 nearly 3,900 commercial buildings earned the Energy Star rating, according to Energy Star’s press release, saving more than $900 million in utility bills and 4.7 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. The number of these efficiency-rated buildings grew 40 percent last year, to a total of nearly 9000 certified nationwide since the program’s inception in 1999.

Energy use in commercial buildings accounts for about 17 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and energy efficiency in such buildings has been viewed as a low, or lower-hanging fruit in the fight to push down America’s carbon footprint.

Buildings can earn an Energy Star rating by finishing in the top 25 percent on the program’s Energy Performance Indicator for each building type.

BC (Ben) Upham is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles. He has written for the New York Times, and was a writer and editor for News Communications, Inc., a local paper consortium serving Manhattan. When he's not blogging on green issues -- and especially renewable energy -- he's hiking in the Angeles Mountains or hanging out at El Matador.