ATLANTA – Atlanta ranks fourth on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) annual list of U.S. metropolitan areas with the most ENERGY STAR certified buildings. EPA ranks cities according to how many buildings in their area earned ENERGY STAR certification in 2015.
To qualify for the ENERGY STAR certification, a building must earn an ENERGY STAR score of 75 or higher out of 100 percent. Out the top 25 U.S. metropolitan areas with the most Energy Star certified commercial buildings, Atlanta placed fourth on EPA’s list with 311 local buildings earning the ENERGY STAR in 2015.
“Atlanta is honored to be ranked fourth on EPA’s 2016 Top Cities list and to be recognized as a leader for showing the way forward for a more sustainable future,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “We are fully committed to working with local business leaders to reduce our carbon footprint, to spend less on energy and to push toward a stronger local economy and healthier community for all of us.”
Atlanta ranks only behind San Francisco, Los Angeles and No. 1 Washington D.C. and just ahead of New York in the cities with the most ENERGY STAR buildings.
Under Mayor Reed’s leadership, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability has made building energy and water efficiency a key priority with the City of Atlanta’s Commercial Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance which the Atlanta City Council passed unanimously in 2015. By the year 2030, this ordinance will result in a 50 percent reduction in CO2 emissions from commercial buildings, along with $1.1 billion in utility cost savings and $331 million in public health benefits. The City of Atlanta also leads the nation in participation in the Better Buildings Challenge, with more than 100 million square feet of commercial building space pledged to reduce energy and water consumption by 20 percent by 2020.
In addition, the City of Atlanta continues to provide building owners and managers with the technical guidance, best practices and training they need to make their buildings more energy efficient, save money and reduce carbon emissions.
“Atlanta boasts an impressive skyline of ENERGY STAR certified buildings, including the iconic Promenade Building, Buckhead Tower at Lenox Square and the Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School in Grant Park,” said Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, Director of Sustainability. “We will continue to partner with organizations to encourage practices which will reduce the carbon footprint in Atlanta and enable us to continue to be a top-tier city in sustainability.”
“EPA is pleased to recognize Atlanta among America’s top cities paving the path toward a more energy-efficient economy,” said Jean Lupinacci, Chief of the ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial program. “Atlanta and the other top cities continue to demonstrate the economic, public health and environmental benefits of simple, cost-effective reductions in energy use.”
More than 27,000 buildings across America earned EPA’s ENERGY STAR by the end of last year. These buildings saved more than $3.8 billion on utility bills and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to the annual electricity use of nearly 2.6 million homes.
Commercial buildings that apply for EPA’s ENERGY STAR must have their performance 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 typical buildings. Many types of commercial facilities can earn the ENERGY STAR, including office buildings, K-12 schools and retail stores.
Flip the e-page to see the Top Ten cities with the most ENERGY STAR buildings.