Revealing 2021 top cities for Energy Star certified buildings

Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Atlanta, and New York take top five spots in ‘Top Cities’ for Energy Star certified buildings in 2021. Photo ©
Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Atlanta, and New York take top five spots in ‘Top Cities’ for Energy Star certified buildings in 2021.
Photo ©

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revealed 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 Michael S. Regan, EPA administrator. “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 country’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 (CO2) emissions than typical buildings.

“Here in Los Angeles, sustainability is not just a buzzword we throw around lightly—it is a lens through which we see every policy decision,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Year in and year out, Los Angeles finds itself at the head of the pack when it comes to energy efficiency—showing the world that going green is good for your bottom line.”

First released in 2009, EPA’s list of cities with the most Energy Star certified buildings shows how buildings across the country are embracing energy efficiency to save money and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) 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 and surrounding suburbs.

Across the country, nearly 6500 commercial buildings earned the Energy Star last year.

As of the end of 2020, more than 37,000 buildings across the United States earned Energy Star certification over the lifetime of the program.

To earn Energy Star certification, a commercial building must earn a score of 75 or higher on EPA’s 1 to 100 scale, indicating it is more energy efficient than 75 percent of similar buildings nationwide. When calculating a building’s Energy Star score, the certification program considers multiple factors, including hours of operation, energy use, and occupancy. This means, despite buildings operating differently during the COVID-19 pandemic, Energy Star scores and certification still reflect actual, measured energy efficiency.

Click here to see the full list of this year’s Top Cities.

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