Energy Star Buildings See Strong Growth

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), energy use in commercial buildings accounts for nearly 20 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, costing more than $100 billion on an annual basis. Over the last year, the number of such buildings that have been certified for energy efficiency via the EPA’s Energy Star program rose to more than 12,600, which has prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to the carbon footprint of nearly 1.3 million homes a year.

For the third straight year, Los Angeles leads the charge with commercial buildings certified by Energy Star, followed by Washington, D.C.; San Francisco; Chicago; New York; Atlanta; Houston; Sacramento; Detroit; and Dallas-Fort Worth.

DOE Awards

image via U.S. Department of Energy

In 2010, more than 6,200 commercial buildings earned Energy Star certification, an increase of nearly 60 percent over 2009.

“When it’s more important than ever to cut energy costs and reduce pollution in our communities, organizations across America are making their buildings more efficient, raising the bar in energy efficiency and lowering the amount of carbon pollution and other emissions in the air we breathe,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, in a statement. She goes on to note that cities across the country, by partnering with Energy Star, are now saving a combined $1.9 billion in energy costs each year while keeping greehouse gases out of the atmosphere.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.