Los Angeles is at the top of the Environmental Protection Agency’s ranking of cities with the most energy efficient buildings in the nation—it has 443 to be exact.
This is the agency’s sixth annual list of the top 25 U.S. metropolitan areas with the most Energy Star certified buildings. “The cities on this list demonstrate the economic and environmental benefits achieved by facility owners and managers when they apply a proven approach to energy efficiency to their buildings,” EPA said in last month’s release. The voluntary program was established by the EPA in 1992.
The Top 10 cities on the list are: Los Angeles; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; New York; San Francisco; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Philadelphia; and Houston.
The list was first released in 2008, and Los Angeles has resided in the top spot each year since then; Washington, D.C. has held second place for five straight years. Atlanta moved up from the number five to number three, and for the first time, Philadelphia entered the top 10.
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, according to the agency. “Energy Star certified office buildings cost 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. Many types of commercial buildings can earn the Energy Star, including office buildings, K-12 schools, hotels, and retail stores.
EPA’s data also shows that more than 23,000 buildings across America earned EPA’s Energy Star certification by the end of 2013, saving more than $3.1 billion on utility bills while preventing greenhouse gas emissions equal to the annual electricity use from 2.2 million homes. Last year, 7,000 buildings received Energy Stars, saving a total of $1.4 billion, or 7.3 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, EPA said.
The 2014 Energy Star Top 25 Cities are:
- Los Angeles
- Washington, DC
- New York
- San Francisco
- Dallas-Fort Worth
- Charlotte, N.C.
- San Diego
- Minneapolis-St. Paul
- 17. Sacramento, Calif.
- San Jose, Calif.
- Columbus, Ohio
- Riverside, Calif.
- Portland, Ore.
The list underscores the vital, leadership role that every city must play in reducing emissions and carbon pollution, and increasing energy efficiency to deal with climate change. It’s also great PR.
Image credit: Etched decal photo via EPA