The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced the top American cities with the most Energy Star certified energy efficient buildings within their boundaries. Topping the list for 2009 was Los Angeles, followed by Washington D.C. and San Francisco. The EPA said that last year “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.”
The EPA kicked off Energy Star commercial building certification in 1999, and since then this program has labeled nearly 9,000 buildings across the country. It is said that 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. Los Angeles, in leading this list of cities, sports an impressive 293 Energy Star labeled buildings, offering a cost savings of $93.9 million and preventing emissions equal to the electricity usage of 34,800 homes.
Energy use in commercial buildings, said the EPA, accounts for 17 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of over $100 billion per year. Thirteen types of buildings can earn the Energy Star, including schools, hospitals, office buildings, retail stores and supermarkets. This is the second such annual ranking of Energy Star commercial buildings done by the EPA – Los Angeles was also first last year.
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