PHILADELPHIA -- Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its annual list of U.S. metropolitan areas with the most ENERGY STAR certified buildings. For the third year in a row, the District of Columbia metropolitan area has the second highest number of commercial energy-efficient buildings earning EPA’s ENERGY STAR.
“Commercial building owners in D.C. are making great strides in measuring their energy use and are identifying ways become more energy efficient, which can bring substantial savings,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “The increasing number of energy efficient buildings moves us closer to creating cleaner and healthier communities and a more sustainable future for our nation.”
The District of Columbia recently adopted a mandatory energy analysis and disclosure law, which includes using EPA’s ENERGY STAR benchmarking tool. Commercial property owners generate an energy efficiency ‘score’ and provide that information to the District Department of the Environment. This local requirement is helping the D.C. area maintain its position as a leader in energy efficiency. Since 2008, the number of ENERGY STAR certified buildings in the D.C. area has increased by almost one hundred buildings each year.
Currently, there are 404 ENERGY STAR certified buildings in the D.C. area which have prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to the emissions from the energy use of 12,500 homes a year, protecting people’s health, and saving $118.6 million on energy bills.
By the end of 2011, nationwide 16,500 buildings earned the ENERGY STAR label. These buildings use 35 percent less energy and emit 35 percent less carbon dioxide than average buildings. Through energy efficiency, they have saved nearly $1.5 billion in annual utility bills, a savings equal to the emissions associated with the electricity use of more than 920,000 homes for a year.
To earn an ENERGY STAR, commercial buildings must perform in the top 25 percent
of buildings nationwide compared to similar buildings and be independently verified by a licensed professional engineer or registered architect. There are fifteen types of commercial buildings that can earn the ENERGY STAR, including office buildings, college and university residence halls, K-12 schools, and retail stores.
Energy use in commercial buildings accounts for nearly 20 percent of the U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion per year.
More information on the top cities in 2011 with ENERGY STAR certified buildings:
More information on EPA’s real-time registry of all ENERGY STAR certified buildings:
More information about earning the ENERGY STAR for commercial buildings: