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LA Tops Energy Star Building Rankings, Joined by Detroit, Sacramento; Denver Drops

Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco top an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ranking of the cities with the most Energy Star-rated buildings.

The EPA’s rankings show two new cities, Detroit and Sacramento, have joined the top ten this year, up from 15th and 16th place respectively. Denver drops from 4th to 11th, and New York Cities climbed five spots to number five.

Los Angeles retains the top place in the rankings for the third straight year, while D.C. and San Francisco hold onto their spots for the second year in a row.

Energy Star certified buildings use 35 percent less energy and emit 35 percent less carbon dioxide than average buildings. To earn the Energy Star, buildings must perform in the top 25 percent of buildings nationwide and have their performance independently verified by a licensed professional engineer or registered architect.

Certification is open to 14 types of commercial buildings, including offices, retail and schools.

Energy use in commercial buildings accounts for nearly 20 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and costs over $100 billion per year, the EPA says. It adds that the Energy Star program has prevented greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to that from almost 1.3 million homes a year, and has saved more than $1.9 billion.

More than 6,200 commercial buildings earned the Energy Star in 2010, a nearly 60 percent increase compared to 2009, the EPA said. Over 12,600 buildings have earned the rating since it began in 1999.

In March the U.S. Green Building Council announced that D.C. came first in its rankings of the top states by LEED-certified commercial and institutional green buildings per capita, followed by Nevada, New Mexico and New Hampshire.

More information on the top cities in 2010 with Energy Star certified buildings is available here.

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