Los Angeles is known for being home to a number of stars, but it’s also the city with the most Energy Star certified buildings in the nation, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA recently released its annual list of cities with the most buildings to hold the certification.
Holding the top spot isn’t a new thing for LA, mind you; this is the fourth year in a row it’s topped the list, and it figures to retain its lofty standing in the coming years: Its total of 659 Energy Star certified buildings is 255 buildings more than second-place Washington, D.C. Los Angeles has a total of 130.8 million square feet of energy-efficient goodness, which accounted for $149.8 million in energy savings in 2011, the EPA said.
After D.C., which had 404 Energy Star certified buildings, came Atlanta (359), Chicago (294) and San Francisco (270). Altogether, the annual report said there are 16,500 Energy Star certified buildings across the country. The energy efficiency measures in those buildings accounted for $2.3 billion in annual utility bill savings, and the prevention of greenhouse gas emissions equal to emissions from more than 1.5 million homes, according to the EPA.
Commercial buildings are known for being the biggest energy hogs, accounting for almost 20 percent of the United State’s greenhouse gas emissions. Buildings certified through the EPA’s Energy Star certification must perform in the top 25 percent of similar buildings nationwide and must be independently verified by a licensed professional engineer or a registered architect. On average, Energy Star certified buildings use 35 percent less energy and are responsible for 35 percent less carbon dioxide emissions than typical buildings. Fifteen types of commercial buildings can earn the Energy Star, including office buildings, K-12 schools and retail stores.