Coming in at first place for the fourth year in a row, Los Angeles is the top city on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) annual “Top Cities” list, with nearly 750 ENERGY STAR certified buildings.
In second place is Washington, DC with 555 buildings, followed by Atlanta in third place with 376 buildings. The list spotlights the cities with the greatest number of ENERGY STAR certified commercial and multifamily buildings in 2022.
“In many cities, a majority of greenhouse gas emissions results from the energy used by buildings,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “I applaud this year’s top cities, as well as the owners and managers of each ENERGY STAR certified building in them, for taking real action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help America address the climate crisis.”
Commercial buildings are responsible for 16% of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions and spend more than $190 billion per year on energy. In many cities, buildings are the largest contributor of emissions — responsible for 30% to more than 70% of a city’s total emissions. ENERGY STAR certified buildings use an average of 35% less energy and are responsible for 35% less carbon dioxide emissions than typical buildings.
In many cities, buildings are the largest contributor of emissions — responsible for 30% to more than 70% of a city’s total emissions.
First released in 2009, EPA’s list of cities with the most ENERGY STAR certified buildings shows how buildings across America are embracing energy efficiency as a simple and effective way to save money and reduce greenhouse gas 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, which includes the city itself as well as surrounding suburbs. EPA creates separate rankings for mid-sized and small cities. This year’s list includes buildings that earned EPA’s ENERGY STAR during the year 2022.
Across the country, more than 7,000 commercial buildings earned the EPA’s ENERGY STAR last year. As of the end of 2022, nearly 41,000 buildings across America have earned ENERGY STAR certification. Together, these buildings have saved $5.4 billion on energy bills and prevented more than 22 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions — equal to the annual emissions of more than 2.7 million homes.
To earn the ENERGY STAR, a commercial building must achieve an ENERGY STAR score of 75 or higher on EPA’s 1 – 100 scale, indicating that it is more energy efficient than 75% of similar buildings nationwide. A building’s ENERGY STAR score is calculated based on a number of factors, including energy use, hours of operation, and a variety of other operating characteristics.