Work and the Office

Published on April 1st, 2010 | by Jennifer Lance


EPA Ranks Cities by Energy Efficient Buildings

For the second year, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has compiled a list of cities with the “most energy efficient buildings”.  To qualify as an energy efficient building, the structure must earn the EPA’s Energy Star label. At the top of the list for the second time is Los Angeles, California with 293 Energy Star buildings.  Many cities made the list for the first time, like number 25 Louisville, Kentucky with 35 green buildings.

Photo by tom.arthur
EPA ranks cities by number of energy star buildings

EPA ranks cities by number of energy star buildings

The EPA explains the significance of the list:

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…

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.

Seven new cities made the list this year, including number seven Lakeland, Florida.  Portland, Oregon received special recognition for moving up six spots.

“Portland is leading the way in demonstrating how we can fight climate change in our urban landscapes,” said Dennis McLerran, the EPA Region 10 Administrator for the Pacific Northwest Region. “Every building that earns the Energy Star seal is making a direct impact in reducing our nation’s carbon footprint.”

Portland is home to 80 buildings including schools, office buildings and hotels with the Energy Star label. Last year, they saved $11.1 million in costs and prevented emissions equivalent to 7,600 homes’ electricity use.

From banks to supermarkets, commercial buildings can do their part and earn energy star labels similar to those found on appliances.  The diversity of US regions across the list is exciting to see, as well as the variety in city size.  Perhaps next year, even more cities will make the EPA’s list for the first time.

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