The Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) announced today that, for the second year in a row, the District of Columbia metropolitan area has earned the #1 ranking in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) annual list of U.S. metropolitan areas with the most ENERGY STAR® certified buildings. This is the second year in a row the District has received the recognition.
“The District is honored to top EPA’s 2016 Top Cities list,” said DC Mayor Muriel Bowser. “We continue to be a national leader in energy efficiency and green building – and these efforts by the private sector are critical to achieving our goal of cutting carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. Building a sustainable and equitable city are a core values of the District. We remain committed to lowering our energy costs, creating healthier neighborhoods, and giving more DC residents a fair shot through good-paying jobs in the green economy.”
“EPA is pleased to recognize Washington, DC among America’s top cities paving the path toward a more energy-efficient economy,” said Jean Lupinacci, Chief of the ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial program. “DC and the other top cities continue to demonstrate the economic, public health, and environmental benefits of simple, cost-effective reductions in energy use.”
The Top Cities list ranks metropolitan areas according to the number of buildings earning ENERGY STAR certification in 2015. To qualify, a building must outperform 75 percent of similar buildings nationwide by earning an ENERGY STAR score of 75 or higher on a 100-point scale. Since 2009, Los Angeles, California held the number one spot until the District took the title last year. The DC area boasts 686 local buildings that earned an ENERGY STAR rating in 2015, an increase of 200 buildings more than 2014. Last year, DC’s ENERGY STAR buildings helped the District save $179 million in total energy costs.
“As the first jurisdiction in the nation to pass a benchmarking law, we recognize the importance of performance data as the foundation for all energy efficiency,” said DOEE Director Tommy Wells. “Buildings consume the most energy and are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the District, but as property owners continue to track their energy and water use, they are taking steps to reduce energy consumption. Through innovative regulatory policies, renewable energy programs, and incentives, we will continue to push the envelope on energy efficiency and green building.”
District of Columbia law requires buildings over 50,000 gross square feet to annually measure and report their energy and water performance for public disclosure; key data for each building is then published online. 2014 benchmarking data for 1,500 public and private buildings is now available on DOEE’s website and on the District’s open data portal.
As of December 2015, more than 27,000 buildings in the United States have earned EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification. Together, these buildings saved more than $3.8 billion and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to the annual energy consumption of nearly 2.6 million homes. For more information about the 2016 ENERGY STAR Top Cities list, visit www.energystar.gov/TopCities. For more information about the District’s energy benchmarking program, visit http://doee.dc.gov/energybenchmarking.