Good schools, high employment and low crime used to be the bragging (or shame) points for city mayors. Now green and clean energy also tops the list. This week the Environmental Protection Agency offered up another metric for mayors to consider when comparing their energy performance to others: How many Energy Star buildings are within your borders?
Among large cities, Washington, D.C. topped the 2015 list with 480 Energy Star buildings, followed close behind by Los Angeles with 475 buildings and then Atlanta with 328 buildings. (Scroll to full list below.)
Among mid-sized cities, the top three were in Virgina Beach/Norfolk/Newport News, Virginia with 81 buildings; San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara, California with 70 buildings; and then Austin/Round Rock, Texas with 65 buildings.
Odessa, Texas was number one for small cities, with 31 buildings. All of the Energy Star buildings in Odessa are schools and school administration offices. They total 3.1 million square feet, and have saved $2.4 million in energy costs, the equivalent of the annual electricity use of 1,800 homes.
Number two for small cities was Daphne/Fairhope/Foley, Alabama with 27 buildlings. Third place went to Sioux City, Iowa with 24 buildings.
In all, 25,000 buildings across America have won Energy Star designations since 1999. The EPA says that the buildings have saved nearly $3.4 billion on utility bills and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to the emissions from the annual electricity use of nearly 2.4 million homes.
The federal government has been putting a lot of effort into decreasaing energy use in commercial buildings because they account for 17 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion per year, according to the EPA. Energy Star buildings use an average of 35 percent less energy and are responsible for 35 percent fewer emissions than typical buildings.
To create the annual top cities list, EPA tallies the number of Energy Star certified buildings for the end of the previous year within each metropolitan area. These areas include surrounding towns and suburbs.
Below is a list of the top 25 cities. See the mid-size and small city list here.
TOP 25 CITIES
|Rank||Metro area||Building Count||Total Floor Area (Million Sq ft)||Cost savings (million $)||Equivalent Homes’ Electricity Use for 1 Year||2014 rank||2013 rank||2012 rank||2011 rank||2010 rank||2009 rank|
|25||Salt Lake City||55||6.1||6.3||4,500||24|