ATLANTA -- Today, the city of Atlanta was listed as 1 of 25 cities with the greatest number of energy-efficient buildings that earned the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Energy Star certification in 2011.
Energy Star labeled buildings in Atlanta achieved significant reductions in their energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions. These buildings represent more than 78 million square feet and will save $55 million annually in energy costs while preventing greenhouse gas emissions equal to the emissions of 9,700 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.
By the end of 2011, the nearly 16,500 Energy Star certified buildings across America have helped save nearly $2.3 billion in annual utility bills and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equal to emissions from the annual energy use of more than 1.5 million homes.
First released in 2008, the list of cities with the most Energy Star certified buildings continues to show 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 third year in a row. Atlanta moved up from the number six spot in 2010 to third place this year and Boston and Riverside broke into the top ten. Tampa, Fla., Colorado Springs, Colo. and Salt Lake City all are new to the list in 2011. California has six cities on the 2011 list—more than any other state.
Energy use in commercial buildings accounts for nearly 20 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion per year. 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. Fifteen types of commercial buildings can earn the Energy Star, including office buildings, K-12 schools, and retail stores.
Launched in 1992 by EPA, Energy Star is a market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. This year marks Energy Star's 20th anniversary. Over the past 20 years, with help from Energy Star, American families and businesses have saved about $230 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.7 billion metric tons of carbon pollution. Today, the Energy Star label can be found on more than 60 different kinds of products and more than 1.3 million new homes.
More on the 2011 top cities: http://www.energystar.gov/TopCities
More on Energy Star certified buildings: http://energystar.gov/buildinglist
More about earning the Energy Star for commercial buildings: http://energystar.gov/labeledbuildings