Atlanta Ranks Third on EPA’s Energy Star Top Cities List of Most Buildings in the U.S.
NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 30, 2015
Metropolitan Atlanta moves from fifth to third place in one year as the commercial building community embraces green building and maintenance practices
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 save more, use less and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“I am proud that the City of Atlanta and the metropolitan region rank third in the nation for the highest number of Energy Star certified buildings,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “We strive to observe the best, most efficient practices in our existing buildings and in new developments to save money, water, and energy. Our commitment is matched by our partners in the development community and by property owners who see the value and opportunities in green building practices and the Energy Star program.”
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.
“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.”
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-owned facilities, have 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 the facilities’ energy footprint. A sustainable design manual for future fire stations is being developed to ensure that energy and water efficiency best practices are observed.
- 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.
- 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 surrounding towns and suburbs.
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
SOURCE: City of Atlanta, GA Press Releases, http://www.atlantaga.gov/index.aspx?page=672&recordid=3447