D.C. Heads EPA’s 2015 Energy Star Top Cities List

On Wednesday, March 25, the US Environmental Protection Agency released its 2015 list of top 25 US metropolitan areas with the most ENERGY STAR certified buildings. Washington, D.C., is number one on the list. The nation’s capital has managed to knock Los Angeles out of the top spot for the

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

Washington, D.C., took the lead on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2015 list of top 25 U.S. metropolitan areas with the most ENERGY STAR certified buildings. The nation’s capital knocked Los Angeles out of the top spot for the first time since 2009, when the program began.

To create the list, released on March 25, the EPA looked at how many buildings achieved ENERGY STAR certification in each metropolitan area in 2014.  The Washington, D.C., metro area had 480 buildings earn ENERGY STAR certification last year. That’s five more buildings than L.A., and 152 more than third place Atlanta. (View the full ranking.)

In a news release, District officials highlighted the importance of the achievement by saying that buildings account for 75 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions from the city. Washington, D.C., was the first jurisdiction in the United States to pass a law requiring large private buildings to measure and report their energy and water performance each year for public disclosure. The measurement is done using the EPA ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool. As a result of this law, but also because of federal government leasing requirements and private market pressure for more efficient buildings, the District has experienced an increase in ENERGY STAR certified buildings in the past few years.

On Wednesday, at the Building Energy Summit, EPA Regional Administrator Shawn Garvin presented the District of Columbia with a certificate commemorating this important achievement. Washington, D.C., is committed to becoming the the greenest and most livable city in the nation. It also leads all cities in the U.S. in the total number of LEED-certified projects, and last year, it passed new construction codes to help the city become a global sustainability leader.

Most recently, Dunbar High School, in the city’s Truxton Circle neighborhood, received LEED Platinum certification, the highest distinction awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council, becoming the greenest school in the world.

Photo credit: www.energystar.gov