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Energy Efficiency

Energy Star buildings across U.S. saving $2.3 billion in utility bills

The city of Los Angeles topped the list of cities with the most Energy Star-certified buildings for the fourth year in a row.

By last year, L.A. had a total of 659 Energy Star rated buildings. The figures have been steadily increasing ever since the Environmental Protection Agency started compiling its list of 25 cities with the most Energy Star buildings in 2008.

In total, by the end of 2011, there were around 16,500 Energy Star-certified buildings in America, helping in nearly $2.3 billion in savings out of annual utility bills and preventing greenhouse gas emissions equal to that of the annual energy use of more than 1.5 million homes.

According to the E.P.A., the list shows how cities across America are embracing energy efficiency as a simple and effective way to save money and prevent pollution.

Energy use in commercial buildings is said to account for nearly 20 percent of the United States greenhouse gas emissions, at a cost of more than $100 billion per year.

An Energy Star-certified building uses an average of 35 percent less energy and is thus responsible for 35 percent less carbon dioxide emissions compared with typical structures.

When the list started in 2008, L.A. had 262, a number that increased to 293 and 510 in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

The second place for the third year went to Washington, D.C. with 404 buildings. The national capital had 204 in 2009 and 301 in 2010.

San Francisco, which had been No. 2 in 2009 with 194 buildings, slipped to No. 5 this year with 270. Atlanta (359) and Chicago (294) ranked at No. 3 and 4, respectively.

After San Francisco came New York (261), Huston (231), Dallas-Fort Worth (178), Riverside (164), Boston (161), Sacramento (151), Phoenix (143), Minneapolis - St. Paul (142), Philadelphia (135), Seattle (133), Charlotte (130), Miami (110), San Diego (109), Detroit (102), San Jose (100), Tampa (87), Portland, Oregon (81), Colorado Springs (67), Salt Lake City (67) and Cincinnati (60). – EcoSeed Staff

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