The Environmental Protection Agency recently disclosed what it considers the nation’s most energy efficient cities. The 2016 ENERGY STAR® Top Cities rankings reflect how a city’s buildings contribute to “stronger economies, healthier communities, and cleaner air for all of us.”
For the second year in a row, Washington, D.C., took the top honor as the city with the most ENERGY STAR buildings for 2015. It was followed by Los Angeles and San Francisco. Atlanta and NYC rounded out the top five.
On a side note, The Washington Post reported Boston as the “top city in the country for saving energy” in 2015, based on the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) City Scorecard. The ACEEE placed the nation’s capital in third place.
The Ranking Process
The ENERGY STAR survey ranked each city on the energy efficiency of its buildings. The top cities’ energy savings added up to millions of dollars, while also sparing the environment. The EPA claims that city buildings consume over two-thirds of the world’s energy, even while taking up just two percent of the global landmass.
What’s at Stake?
By reducing emissions via energy efficiency, ENERGY STAR rated buildings have saved more than $3.8 billion since 1999. The EPA explains, it would take roughly 2.6 million homes to prevent the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions.
Healthier Environment, Healthier Economy
Energy efficiency in city buildings not only contributes to cleaner air and healthier communities, it also improves the economy. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy explains, “Money saved on energy bills can boost the bottom line and be reinvested.”
On a Smaller Scale
It’s not just the major metro areas making an energy impact. Smaller cities are doing their part, too. San Jose, Honolulu, and Virginia Beach took top honors for mid-size cities. Midland, Texas, Sioux City, Iowa, and Martinsville, Virginia, were the top three small cities.
See where your city ranks in the 2016 ENERGY STAR Top Cities.