Atlanta Ranks Third on EPA’s Energy Star Top Cities List of Most Buildings in the U.S. March 30, 2015

Atlanta Ranks Third on EPA’s Energy Star Top Cities List of Most Buildings in the U.S.

ATLANTA –The Office of Sustainability today announced that the City of Atlanta and metropolitan region rank third on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) seventh-annual list of the top 25 U.S. metropolitan areas with the most Energy Star certified buildings in 2014. EPA’s Energy Star Top Cities list shows how cities across America, with help from Energy Star, are embracing energy efficiency as an effective way to save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that fuel climate change.

The 328 Energy Star labeled buildings in Atlanta achieved significant reductions in their energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions. These buildings represent more than 69 million square feet and will save more than $55 million annually in energy costs while preventing greenhouse gas emissions equal to the emissions of 48,700 homes a year. Energy Star buildings and plants are America’s energy all-stars – they save more, use less and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“The City of Atlanta is proud to be recognized for its commitment to green building practices through the Energy Star program, said Mayor Kasim Reed. “We strive to observe green building practices in our existing building assets and as a standard for any new developments, but more importantly, we applaud the development community for observing these same principles.”

“Cities across the country are saving billions every year through partnering with our Energy Star program and increasing energy efficiency, while doing their part to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions that fuel climate change,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “This is the type of leadership we need from city leaders and building owners who are demonstrating that increasing energy efficiency strengthens local economies, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and helps preserve a healthy planet for future generations.”

More than 25,000 buildings across America have earned EPA’s Energy Star certification since 1999. 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.

Energy use in commercial buildings accounts for 17 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion per year. Energy Star certified buildings are verified to perform better than 75 percent of similar buildings nationwide, and they use an average of 35 percent less energy and are responsible for 35 percent fewer emissions than typical buildings. Many common building types can earn the Energy Star, including office buildings, K-12 schools, hotels, and retail stores.

Under the leadership of Mayor Reed and his Office of Sustainability, the City of Atlanta has undertaken several efforts to promote energy efficiency. Major initiatives include:

  • The Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge, where more than 100 million square feet of commercial building space, including 73 city facilities, has been committed in an effort to reduce energy and water consumption by 20 percent by the year 2020,
  • A partnership with the Southface Energy Institute that will complete energy audits on all of the City’s fire stations and recreational centers, helping to identify energy conservation measures that will reduce their associated energy footprint. A sustainable design manual for future fire stations is being developed to ensure that energy and water efficiency
    best practices are observed all facilities,
  • A partnership with Georgia Power that will replace all outdoor lighting fixtures with LED bulbs by 2016.  The project is expected to reduce outdoor lighting electricity consumption by up to 50% and save the City up to $1.4M in annual electricity and maintenance costs, and
  • An LED lighting retrofit project in the North and South terminal parking decks at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
    that has saved more than $400,000 in annual electricity costs.

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, as defined by the U.S. Census. These areas include the city itself as well as surrounding towns and suburbs.

Energy Star is the simple choice for energy efficiency. For more than 20 years, people across America have looked to EPA’s Energy Star program for guidance on how to save energy, save money, and protect the environment. Behind each blue label is a product, building, or home that is independently certified to use less energy and cause fewer of the emissions that contribute to
climate change. Today, Energy Star is the most widely recognized symbol for energy efficiency in the world, helping families and businesses save $300 billion on utility bills, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by two billion metric tons since 1992. Join the millions who are already making a difference at energystar.gov.

More on the 2015 top cities: www.energystar.gov/topcities

Search for Energy Star certified buildings: www.energystar.gov/buildinglist

More about earning the Energy Star label for commercial buildings: www.energystar.gov/buildingcertification

About the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Sustainability: The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability is focused on embedding sustainability best practices into Atlanta city government and across the community.

For more information about Atlanta’s efforts to create a more sustainable city, please visit the Office of Sustainability’s page at http://p2catl.com.

Follow the Office of Sustainability on Facebook and  Twitter @ATLSustainable.

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For more information about the City of Atlanta, please visit http://www.atlantaga.gov or watch City Channel 26. Follow the City of Atlanta on Facebook and Twitter @CityofAtlanta.Follow Mayor Reed on Facebook and Twitter @Kasim Reed.

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