On Thursday, April 10, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the top 25 metropolitan areas in the nation with the most Energy Star certified buildings. The rankings were based on economic and environmental benefits achieved by applying energy efficiency to buildings.
Two of the top five were cities in California, which also placed a total of six in the top 25. Unfortunately, none of the cities in the San Joaquin Valley, including Bakersfield and Fresno, for example, made the list.
According to the announcement, Energy Star certified office buildings use almost two times less energy per square foot than average buildings, resulting in savings of about $0.50 per square foot. That's a lot of money when considering that the energy cost for commercial buildings in the United States is more than $100 billion per year. This energy usage also accounts for about 17 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the country as well.
"Not only are the Energy Star top 25 cities saving money on energy costs and increasing energy efficiency, but they are promoting public health by decreasing greenhouse gas emissions from commercial buildings,” said Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Every city has an important role to play in reducing emissions and carbon pollution, and increasing energy efficiency to combat the impacts of our changing climate.”
The entire Top 25 list can be seen at this link: 2014 Energy Star Cities. In the meantime, view the photos below to see the Top 5 Energy Star certified metropolitan areas for 2014.
Topping the list for the 7th consecutive year, Los Angeles has remained the top Energy Star certified city since 2008. In order to earn EPA’s Energy Star, buildings must be in the top 25 percent of similar buildings nationwide as verified by independent, licensed professional engineers or registered architects.
Placing number 2 on the list this year for the fifth consecutive year is Washington, D.C., our nation's capital. Energy Star certified buildings use an average of 35 percent less energy, which results in 35 percent less CO2 emissions than typical buildings.
Atlanta is third on this year's list, moving up two spots from number five last year. The Energy Star award process includes different types of structures, including office buildings, K-12 schools, hotels, and retail stores.
New York City
Number 4 on the Energy Star list this year is New York City, which also happens to be the 4th largest metropolitan area in the world. Earning the Energy Star label demonstrates a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict energy efficiency requirements set by EPA.
Rounding out the Top 5 this year is San Francisco, the Golden Gate City. Just in 2013 alone, the Energy Star program has helped Americans save about $30 billion on their utility bills and prevented greenhouse gas emissions otherwise attributable to more than 38 million homes.