Energy Star-certified buildings now save $1.9 million in energy costs and prevent emissions equal to powering 1.3 million homes every year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which this week released its annual list of the 25 cities with the most Energy Star buildings.
More than 12,600 commercial buildings across the country earned the agency’s Energy Star rating as of 2010. Los Angeles, Washington and San Francisco topped the list with the most properties and highest cost savings.
Energy Star buildings in Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Houston, however, prevented the most emissions.
Commercial buildings are responsible for about 20 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, the EPA reports. Properties such as office buildings, schools and retail stores that earn the Energy Star certification must use 35 percent less energy and emit 35 percent less CO2 than average buildings.