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Five EPA Region 9 Metro Area Cities Rank Among Top 25 in Nation for Most Energy Efficient Buildings

Release Date: 03/24/2010
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SAN FRANCISCO - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a list of U.S. metropolitan areas with the largest number of energy efficient buildings that earned EPA’s Energy Star in 2009. The list is headed by Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, Houston, Lakeland, Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta and New York. Five of the cities ranked on the list are located in EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. Energy efficiency saves building owners money and fights climate change.

"These cities see the importance of taking action on climate change and are working with EPA to fight back," said Gina McCarthy, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation. “Communities from Los Angeles to Louisville are reducing greenhouse gases and cutting energy bills with buildings that have earned EPA's ENERGY STAR."

EPA first issued its ranking of cities with the most Energy Star labeled buildings last year. This year, Los Angeles remains in first place; the District of Columbia picks up second; Denver and Chicago move into the top five; and Lakeland and New York City are new to the top 10.

Continuing the impressive growth of the past several years, in 2009 nearly 3,900 commercial buildings earned the Energy Star, representing annual savings of more than $900 million in utility bills and more than 4.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Since EPA awarded the first Energy Star to a building in 1999, nearly 9,000 buildings across America have earned the Energy Star as of the end of 2009, representing more than a 40 percent increase over last year’s total. Overall annual utility savings have climbed to nearly $1.6 billion and greenhouse gas emissions equal to the emissions of more than 1 million homes a year have been prevented.

EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region features five of the twenty five top cities, including first place Los Angeles, as well as San Francisco, Sacramento, CA, San Diego, CA and Phoenix.

“These cities and Energy Star buildings are shining examples of leadership in the fight against global warming,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest Region. “We applaud these facilities for making significant contributions to reduce their footprint through energy conservation in the workplace.”

Southern California, including both Los Angeles and San Diego, has a list of approximately 296 energy efficient buildings which includes the Arena Corporate Center in Anaheim, Maguire Properties Lantana West in Santa Monica, Legacy Oceangate Tower in Long Beach, the office building located at 501 W. Broadway in San Diego, and the Trident Center in Los Angeles.

In the Bay Area the Hotel Nikko, One Embarcadero Center, Marin Montessori School and Parc 55 Hotel are just a few of the 173 commercial buildings that helped the metro area remain near the top of the list. In total, the buildings saved more the $69 million in energy costs and cut emissions equal to taking about 36,000 cars off the road for one year.

Sacramento’s Cal/EPA Headquarters' Building, One Carnegie Plaza I, Capitol Place, and Exposition Building are just a few of the 61 commercial buildings that have been Energy Star certified by the EPA.

Phoenix also made the top 25 list, moving up two spots from number 22 in 2008 to number 20 in 2009. There are currently 52 Energy Star buildings in Phoenix, which creates an $11.4 million dollar cost savings and an electricity savings equal to 9,900 homes’ energy use.

Energy use in commercial buildings accounts for 17 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of over $100 billion per year. EPA awards the Energy Star to commercial buildings that perform in the top 25 percent of buildings nationwide compared to similar buildings. Thirteen types of buildings can earn the Energy Star, including schools, hospitals, office buildings, retail stores and supermarkets.

View a list of the Top 25 Cities in 2009 with Energy Star labeled buildings:

Access EPA’s real-time registry of all Energy Star labeled buildings 1999-present:

Learn more about earning the Energy Star for commercial buildings: