The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a list of U.S. cities with the most Energy Star certified buildings in 2012. The news highlights how owners and managers of commercial buildings across the country are taking action on climate change while delivering real financial savings to their business bottom line.
Last year, there were more than 20,000 Energy Star certified buildings that saved more than $2.7 billion in annual utility bills while preventing greenhouse emissions equal to emissions from the annual electricity use of more than two million homes. In 2012 alone, more than 8,200 buildings earned EPA's Energy Star certification.
"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."
Major metropolitan cities top the list including Los Angeles, that come in first for the fifth year in a row with 528 certified buildings. Washington, D.C. has 462 buildings, and Chicago comes in third with 353 buildings. Other cities include Phoenix, Boston, Philadelphia, and Houston. Kansas City ranks 23rd in the list with 82 certified 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.
Energy Star was launched in 1992 by the EPA in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Over the past 20 years, Energy Star has saved American families and businesses more than $230 billion on utility bills.
Read the list of Top Cities with the most Energy Star Certified Buildings in 2012.