EPA has released a list of U.S. metropolitan areas with the largest number of energy efficient buildings that earned EPA’s Energy Star in 2009.
The list is headed by Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, Houston, Lakeland, Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta and New York. Energy efficiency saves building owners money and fights climate change.
EPA first issued its ranking of cities with the most Energy Star labeled buildings last year. This year, Los Angeles remains in first place; the District of Columbia picks up second; Denver and Chicago move into the top five; and Lakeland and New York City are new to the top 10.
Continuing the impressive growth of the past several years, in 2009 nearly 3,900 commercial buildings earned the Energy Star, representing annual savings of more than $900 million in utility bills and more than 4.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
Since EPA awarded the first Energy Star to a building in 1999, nearly 9,000 buildings across America have earned the Energy Star as of the end of 2009, representing more than a 40 percent increase over last year’s total. Overall annual utility savings have climbed to nearly $1.6 billion and greenhouse gas emissions equal to the emissions of more than 1 million homes a year have been prevented.
Energy use in commercial buildings accounts for 17 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of over $100 billion per year. EPA awards the Energy Star to commercial buildings that perform in the top 25 percent of buildings nationwide compared to similar buildings. Thirteen types of buildings can earn the Energy Star, including schools, hospitals, office buildings, retail stores and supermarkets.