Los Angeles comes in first in this years EPA Energy Star ranking for buildings.

Washington, D.C., is next with 435 buildings that meet EPA's Energy Star criteria.

3: Atlanta, with 318 buildings.

4: New York, with 303 buildings.

5: San Francisco

6: Chicago

7: Dallas-Fort Worth

8: Denver

9: Philadelphia

10: Houston

2014-05-23

Co.Exist

The Cities With The Most Energy-Efficient Buildings

Buildings account for most of the energy use in cities. Here are the urban centers that are wasting the least.

Energy used by buildings accounts for most of a city's carbon emissions--as much as 80% in New York's case, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The good news is that more cities are getting this message and encouraging owners and real estate developers to make buildings less wasteful. Since 1999, 23,000 commercial buildings have earned the EPA’s Energy Star rating, a measure of efficiency relative to similar buildings around the country. (To qualify, buildings are ranked on a 100 point scale, with 50 being average, and above-75 winning an Energy Star).

The agency recently produced a ranking of cities with the most certified buildings in 2013. Los Angeles comes top with 443 buildings, followed by Washington, D.C., with 435, and Atlanta with 318. New York came fourth with 303.

It's the sixth year in a row that L.A. has come first, reflecting the large levels of state incentives for developers. Buildings owned by the likes of FedEx, Hertz, Johnson & Johnson all qualified last year. In total, 7,000 got Energy Stars in 2013, saving a total of $1.4 billion, or 7.3 million metric tons of greenhouse gases.

"On average, Energy Star-certified buildings generate 35% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than typical buildings, are less expensive to operate, and are more attractive to tenants," the EPA said in a statement.

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4 Comments

  • Dylan Fischer

    This seems like a completely meaningless method of ranking. Sure, it's great that so many buildings are becoming Energy Star-certified, but how much energy are those buildings actually saving? Let's instead look at this from a "which city has the most efficient buildings" standpoint, which is the more important question. That Top 10?

    1. Minneapolis-St. Paul - emissions of 1,251.8 homes prevented per 1 million square feet
    2. Phoenix - 1,231.4
    3. Denver - 1,154
    4. Detroit - 1,051
    5. Louisville - 1,030.8
    6. Columbus - 991.8
    7. Chicago - 911.4
    8. Miami - 819.8
    9. Cincinnati - 790.7
    10. Houston - 745.7

    Los Angeles? 23rd at 439.1

    A little different, no?

  • None of these methods are effective because what's needed is a per capita assessment of energy saved or used adjusted for the annual variation of temperature in that city - Counting the number of buildings will help those with higher number of buildings or larger geographic area whereas counting the emissions prevented per millions square feet will skew in favor of locations that have a wider but non-contiguous spread of habitation as well as lower population density.