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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a list of U.S. metropolitan areas with the most Energy Star-certified buildings in 2012.

Launched by the EPA in 1992, Energy Star is a market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency, and the agency says certified buildings typically use at least 35% less energy than average buildings.

"Through their partnership with EPA, the owners and managers of Energy Star-certified buildings are helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions while saving on utility bills,” says EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe. “With Energy Star, cities across America are helping achieve President Obama’s goal to cut in half the energy wasted by our businesses over the next 20 years.”

In 2012, the EPA says, more than 20,000 Energy Star-certified buildings across the U.S. helped save over $2.7 billion in annual utility bills. The cumulative number of Energy Star-certified buildings increased last year by more than 24% compared to 2011. In 2012 alone, more than 8,200 buildings earned the certification.

The EPA’s top 10 metropolitan areas with the most Energy Star-certified buildings in 2012 are as follows:

1. For the fifth year in a row, Los Angeles continues to hold on to first place, with 528 buildings.

2. Washington, D.C., with 462 buildings, is a competitive front-runner.

3. Chicago, with 353 buildings, has risen through the rankings each year, starting in sixth place in 2008 and increasing the number of buildings certified by an average of 32% each year.

4. New York City, which recently required its commercial buildings to publicly disclose their energy use, had 325 Energy Star-certified buildings.

5. Atlanta had 304 certified buildings.

6. San Francisco had 291 certified buildings.

7. Houston, with 241 buildings, is home to one in particular that stands out: Phoenix Tower, a 34-story office building, has earned EPA’s Energy Star 14 times - more than any other building in the U.S.

8. Dallas-Fort Worth had 214 certified buildings.

9. Phoenix broke into the top 10 for the first time, with 202 buildings.

10. Boston, a newcomer to the list last year, held on to 10th place with 188 buildings.

Over the past 20 years, with help from Energy Star, American families and businesses have saved more than $230 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.8 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the EPA.

For the agency’s complete list of top cities, click here.



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