Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Energy Smart Cities

Look for this logo when considering your new r...Image via WikipediaThe EPA recently announced its third annual list of cities with the most amount of Energy Star certified buildings. The good news is that dramatic gains have been made in energy efficiency and savings as indicated in its press release below. 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing a list of U.S. metropolitan areas with the greatest number of energy-efficient buildings that earned EPA’s Energy Star certification in 2010. The list of 25 cities is headed by Los Angeles; Washington, D.C.; San Francisco; Chicago; New York; Atlanta; Houston; Sacramento; Detroit; and Dallas-Fort Worth. The growth in Energy Star certified buildings across the country has prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to the emissions from the energy use of nearly 1.3 million homes a year, protecting people’s health, while saving more than $1.9 billion.

"When it's more important than ever to cut energy costs and reduce pollution in our communities, organizations across America are making their buildings more efficient, raising the bar in energy efficiency and lowering the amount of carbon pollution and other emissions in the air we breathe," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. "Through their partnership with Energy Star, metropolitan areas across the U.S. are saving a combined $1.9 billion in energy costs every year while developing new ways to shrink energy bills and keep our air clean."

EPA debuted its list of cities with the most Energy Star certified buildings in 2008. Los Angeles remains in first place for the third year; the District of Columbia and San Francisco hold second and third respectively for the second year; and Detroit and Sacramento are new to the top ten. New York City climbed five spots to claim fifth in the rankings and California boasts more cities on EPA’s list than any other state in the country with a total of five.

Surpassing the growth of the past several years, in 2010 more than 6,200 commercial buildings earned the Energy Star, an increase of nearly 60 percent compared to 2009. Since EPA awarded the first Energy Star to a building in 1999, more than 12,600 buildings across America have earned the Energy Star as of the end of 2010.

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Energy use in commercial buildings accounts for nearly 20 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion per year. Commercial buildings that earn the Energy Star must perform in the top 25 percent of buildings nationwide compared to similar buildings and be independently verified by a licensed professional engineer or registered architect each year. Energy Star certified buildings use 35 percent less energy and emit 35 percent less carbon dioxide than average buildings. Fourteen types of commercial buildings can earn the Energy Star, including office buildings, K-12 schools, and retail stores.

More information on the top US cities in 2010 with Energy Star certified buildings:


Philadelphia Ranks 14th in Cities with Energy Star Rated Buildings
Up from 23rd in the year prior. Article via the City of Phila website.

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PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ranked Philadelphia 14th in its 2010 list of US cities with the most Energy Star certified buildings. Buildings that earn the EPA’s Energy Star certification perform in the top 25 percent for energy efficiency when compared to similar buildings nationwide. Energy Star certified buildings use an average of 35 percent less energy than other buildings and include buildings such as commercial offices and warehouses. This ranking further contributes to the City’s Greenwork's Philadelphia commitments to lower citywide building energy consumption by 10 percent by 2015. Philadelphia’s certification rate has risen to a 14th place ranking up from 23rd place ranking in 2009.

“I am thrilled that the City was named by the EPA as one of the top 25 U.S. cities with Energy Star certifications. For three years, the City Administration worked hard with stakeholders and governmental partners to encourage energy efficiency through Greenworks Philadelphia and our many groundbreaking initiatives and partnerships. I will continue to advocate for energy savings as part of our effort to make Philadelphia the greenest city in the United States,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter.  READ MORE


Better Homes, Better Buildings, Better Communities
Sourced from the Department of Energy's weblog.

Martha Stewart created an empire by inviting Americans into her home to show how one small improvement could dramatically transform a room or how tweaking an old recipe could surprise your palette. Martha Stewart, however, is not an engineer – so why would she take a personal interest in BetterBuildings, a U.S. Department of Energy program to reduce energy waste in homes and businesses?

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Stewart’s attendance at the BetterBuildings program launch in Bedford, NY earlier this year actually makes perfect sense. BetterBuildings programs are based on the same basic notion as Martha Stewart’s work - that a small change can make a huge difference in your home. Stewart and BetterBuildings share a common goal: improving quality of life. By saving energy, families can save money and live in more comfortable homes.

The 41 grant recipients of the BetterBuildings program were awarded a total of $508 million in federal funding to improve the energy efficiency of buildings and they're already passionately bringing about change in their communities. These projects are creating jobs, boosting local economies and helping consumers save money on their energy bills. By the end of March, almost all program recipients will be offering energy upgrades for homes and businesses throughout the country. For example, this week Clean Energy Works of Oregon is expanding their Portland pilot program to 17 communities throughout the state. Other programs scheduled to launch soon include Connecticut, Wisconsin, and Camden, NJ. The program is ramping up fast and soon all BetterBuildings communities will realize its benefits.

East coast rowhomes.

However, BetterBuildings is not simply about making buildings better – it’s about improving communities. The program’s mission is to create a self-sustaining market for building upgrades. BetterBuildings aims to ultimately save Americans approximately $50 million annually and create or retain 30,000 jobs. Reducing energy waste in buildings is an important element in creating a clean energy future as buildings currently consume 40% of all energy in the U.S. and are responsible for 38% of our carbon emissions. BetterBuildings strives to overcome barriers to improving building energy efficiency by improving financing, growing energy efficiency awareness and demand, increasing consumer confidence and supporting job growth.  READ MORE
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