EPA Names the 2021 Top Cities for ENERGY STAR Certified Buildings

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced its annual “Top Cities” list, spotlighting the cities with the largest number of ENERGY STAR certified commercial and multifamily buildings last year. Los Angeles leads the pack, with more than 580 ENERGY STAR certified buildings. Close behind is Washington, D.C., with nearly 550 buildings, followed by San Francisco in third place. Atlanta and New York round out the top five.

“Cities and communities play an essential role in reducing energy use in commercial and multifamily buildings,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan.With help from ENERGY STAR, city leaders and building owners are working together to strengthen their economies and reduce the emissions that lead to climate change.”

Commercial buildings are responsible for 18 percent of the nation’s energy use and cost more than $190 billion per year in energy bills. 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.

First released in 2009, EPA’s list of cities with the most ENERGY STAR certified buildings shows how buildings across America are embracing energy efficiency as a simple and effective way to save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To create the annual list, EPA tallies the number of ENERGY STAR certified buildings within each metropolitan area, as defined by the U.S. Census. These areas include the city itself as well as surrounding suburbs. This year’s Top Cities are:

Rank Metro Area Building Count Last Year’s Rank
1 Los Angeles 587 1
2 Washington, DC 549 2
3 San Francisco 341 6
4 Atlanta 329 4
5 New York 276 5
6 Chicago 237 7
7 Houston 195 10
8 Dallas 194 3
9 Boston 193 11
10 Denver 186 9
11 Seattle 165 13
12 San Diego 164 13
13 Riverside, Calif. 152 12
13 Tampa 152 16
15 Minneapolis 133 19
16 Phoenix 119 8
17 Austin 107 17
18 San Jose 104 18
19 Charlotte 103 23
20 Miami 87 21
20 Philadelphia 87 15
22 Sacramento 77 22
23 Portland 65 n/a
24 Raleigh 54 n/a
25 San Antonio 42 n/a

Across the country, nearly 6,500 commercial buildings earned the ENERGY STAR last year.

As of the end of 2020, over the lifetime of the program more than 37,000 buildings across America had earned EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification. Together, these buildings have saved more than $5 billion on energy bills and prevented nearly 22 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions—equal to the annual emissions of more than 2.6 million homes.

To earn EPA’s ENERGY STAR, a commercial building must earn an ENERGY STAR score of 75 or higher on EPA’s 1–100 scale, indicating that it is more energy efficient than 75 percent of similar buildings nationwide. When calculating a building’s ENERGY STAR score, ENERGY STAR takes into account multiple factors, including hours of operation, energy use, and occupancy. This means that, despite buildings operating differently during the COVID pandemic, ENERGY STAR scores and certification still reflect actual, measured energy efficiency.

Source: U.S. EPA

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