WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a list of United States metropolitan areas with the largest number of energy efficient buildings in 2008 that have earned EPA’s Energy Star rating.

The list is headed by Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Washington, D.C., Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis-St Paul, Atlanta, and Seattle.

“Energy Star buildings typically use 35 percent less energy and emit 35 percent less greenhouse gases than average buildings,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “EPA commends all of these cities and all of the others, as well as countless individuals, who are now using more energy efficient appliances and dwellings. They are saving energy, saving money, and protecting our environment.”

In 2008, more than 3,300 commercial buildings and manufacturing plants earned the Energy Star - EPA’s label for high efficiency - representing savings of more than $1 billion in utility bills and the reduction of more than 7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, said the agency. These buildings include schools, hospitals, office buildings, courthouses, grocery stores, retail centers, and auto assembly plants.

The total number of Energy Star qualifying buildings and plants in America is now more than 6,200.

According to EPA, energy use in commercial buildings and manufacturing plants accounts for nearly half of energy consumption nationwide and nearly half of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. For more than a decade, EPA has worked with businesses and organizations through this voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency.

To learn more about the Energy Star for buildings and manufacturing plants program, and to view the list of Top 25 U.S. cities with the most Energy Star buildings, visit http://energystar.gov/labeledbuildings.

Publication date:03/16/2009