The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Washington, has released a list of U.S. metropolitan areas with the most Energy-Star-rated buildings in 2012, highlighting how owners and managers of commercial buildings across the country are taking action on climate change while delivering real financial savings to the bottom line. Los Angeles ranks first for the fifth consecutive year with more than 528 Energy-Star buildings. Washington landed in second place with 462 buildings. Chicago has risen through the rankings each year, increasing the number of buildings certified by an average of 32% annually. Phoenix broke into the top 10 for the first time.
Nationally, more than 20,000 Energy-Star-rated buildings across America helped save more than $2.7 billion in annual utility bills while preventing greenhouse-gas emissions equal to those from the annual electricity use of more than two million homes in 2012. Energy use in commercial buildings accounts for 17% of U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion each year.
Commercial buildings that earn EPA’s Energy Star must perform in the top 25% of similar buildings nationwide. Energy-Star buildings use an average of 35% less energy and are responsible for 35% fewer greenhouse-gas emissions than traditional buildings.