Written by Phil Cerroni
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released its annual list of U.S. metropolitan areas with the most Energy Star certified buildings in 2012 and Dallas is again being recognized for its commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions and save money through energy efficiency.
This year, Dallas ranked eighth among the list of top 25 U.S. metropolitan areas. Dallas now has 214 Energy Star certified buildings, up from 178 last year. Thanks to these buildings’ owners and managers, Dallas is cutting greenhouse gas emissions equal to emissions from the annual electricity use of more than 48,400 homes and saving more than $47.3 million in annual utility bills.
The list is headed by Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Chicago, New York, Atlanta, San Francisco, Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, and Boston. By the end of 2012, the more than 20,000 Energy Star certified buildings in cities across America have helped save more than $2.7 billion in annual utility bills and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equal to emissions from the annual electricity use of more than two million homes.
“Through their partnership with EPA, the owners and managers of Energy Star certified buildings are helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions while saving on utility bills,” said EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe. “With Energy Star, cities across America are helping achieve President Obama’s goal to cut in half the energy wasted by our businesses over the next 20 years.”
Continuing the impressive growth of the past several years, in 2012, more than 8,200 buildings earned EPA’s Energy Star certification, signifying that they perform in the top 25 percent of similar buildings nationwide. For the fifth year in a row, Los Angeles holds on to first place, with 528 buildings, but Washington, D.C., with 462 buildings, is a competitive front-runner. Currently in third place with 353 buildings, Chicago has risen through the rankings each year, starting in sixth place in 2008 and growing by an average of 32 percent each year. New York, which recently required its commercial buildings to publicly disclose their energy use, secured fourth place. Phoenix broke into the top 10 for the first time, with 202 buildings. Boston—a newcomer to the list last year, held on to 10th place this year, but 11th-place Philadelphia is not far behind.
Seventh-place Houston, with 241 buildings, is home to one in particular that stands out: Phoenix Tower, a 34-story office building, has earned EPA’s Energy Star 14 times—more than any other building in America.
Energy use in commercial buildings accounts for 17 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion per year. Commercial buildings that earn EPA’s Energy Star must perform in the top 25 percent of similar buildings nationwide, as verified by a Professional Engineer or a Registered Architect. Energy Star certified buildings use an average of 35 percent less energy and are responsible for 35 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than average buildings. Fifteen types of commercial buildings can earn the Energy Star, including office buildings, K-12 schools, and retail stores.
Launched in 1992 by EPA, Energy Star is a market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Over the past 20 years, with help from Energy Star, American families and businesses have saved about $230 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.7 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
Source: Environmental Protection Agency