ATLANTA -- Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its sixth annual list of the 25 U.S. metropolitan areas with the most ENERGY STAR certified buildings and the city of Atlanta is third. The list demonstrates the economic and environmental benefits achieved by facility owners and managers in America’s leading cities when they apply a proven approach to energy efficiency to their buildings.
Energy Star labeled buildings in Atlanta achieved significant reductions in their energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions. These buildings represent more than 70 million square feet and will save more than $53 million annually in energy costs while preventing greenhouse gas emissions equal to the emissions of 52,500 homes a year. Energy Star buildings and plants are America’s energy all-stars – they save more, use less and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
'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.”
Energy use in commercial buildings accounts for 17 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion per year. ENERGY STAR certified office buildings cost $0.50 less per square foot to operate than average office buildings, and use nearly two times less energy per square foot than average office buildings.
The data also show that more than 23,000 buildings across America earned EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification by the end of 2013. These buildings saved more than $3.1 billion on utility bills and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to the annual electricity use from 2.2 million homes.
First released in 2008, the list of cities with the most ENERGY STAR certified buildings continues to demonstrate how cities across America, with help from ENERGY STAR, are embracing energy efficiency as a simple and effective way to save money and prevent pollution. Los Angeles has remained the top city since 2008 while Washington, D.C. continues to hold onto second place for the fifth consecutive year. Atlanta moved up from the number five to number three. For the first time, Philadelphia entered the top 10, ranking ninth.
Commercial buildings that earn EPA’s ENERGY STAR 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. ENERGY STAR certified buildings use an average of 35 percent less energy and are responsible for 35 percent less carbon dioxide emissions than typical buildings. Many types of commercial buildings can earn the ENERGY STAR, including office buildings, K-12 schools, hotels, and retail stores.
Products, homes and buildings that earn the ENERGY STAR label prevent greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict energy efficiency requirements set by the U.S. EPA. In 2013 alone, Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved an estimated $30 billion on their utility bills and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to the annual electricity use of more than 38 million homes. From the first ENERGY STAR qualified computer in 1992, the ENERGY STAR label can now be found on products in more than 70 different categories, with more than 4.5 billion sold. Over 1.5 million new homes and 23,000 commercial buildings and industrial plants have earned the ENERGY STAR label.
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