Philadelphia, April 10, 2014– In a list released this morning by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the Philadelphia region was ranked 9th in the U.S. list of the top 25 U.S. metropolitan areas with the most ENERGY STAR certified buildings. The ranking underscores Philadelphia’s commitment to providing building owners and managers with the technical guidance, best practices and training needed to make their buildings more energy efficient, save money and reduce carbon emissions.
“Our administration is committed to making Philadelphia a smarter, safer, cleaner and greener city. Our Greenworks plan will position the City as a national leader when it comes to energy efficient buildings,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “We are fully committed to becoming a more sustainable city, and we are honored to be among the top ten cities on the EPA’s top cities list.”
Cities on the EPA list are ranked according to how many buildings in their area achieved ENERGY STAR certification in 2013. To qualify for the ENERGY STAR certification, a building must earn a 1 – 100 ENERGY STAR score of 75 or higher, indicating that it outperforms 75 percent of similar buildings nationwide, as verified by a professional engineer or a registered architect. The Philadelphia region had 210 buildings earning the ENERGY STAR certification in 2013.
This ranking reflects the City of Philadelphia’s recent commitment to improving energy efficiency in large commercial buildings. Last year, 1,700 facilities participated in the first year of the citywide energy and water benchmarking initiative. This program requires non-residential facilities 50,000 square feet or larger to report their utility data in Portfolio Manager, the EPA tool used to achieve ENERGY STAR certification. This summer, energy ratings for the benchmark initiative buildings—including schools, churches, office towers and municipal buildings—will be available.
“Philadelphia’s ENERGY STAR ranking continues to improve, and the number of buildings tracking energy performance in the city has grown exponentially,” said Alex Dews, Policy and Program Manager in the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “The City’s benchmarking initiative helps building owners and managers to see how they compare to similar buildings, plan improvements, and track the value of investments over time.”
Jean Lupinacci, Chief of the ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial program added, “Philadelphia’s ranking shows how America’s leading cities are embracing efforts to protect the environment and fight climate change. This partnership between cities and business leaders demonstrates the tangible benefits that result from embracing energy efficiency as a simple and effective way to save money, reduce emissions, and protect the environment.”
Launched in 1992 by the EPA, ENERGY STAR is a market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Last year, with help from ENERGY STAR, American families and businesses saved $30 billion on utility bills and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to the annual electricity use of more than 38 million homes. ENERGY STAR certified buildings use an average of 35 percent less energy and are responsible for 35 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than typical buildings. Many types of commercial facilities can earn the ENERGY STAR, including office buildings, K-12 schools and retail stores. Today, the ENERGY STAR label can be found on more than 70 different product categories, 1.5 million new homes and 23,000 commercial buildings and industrial plants.
For more information about the City of Philadelphia benchmarking initiative, visit www.phila.gov/benchmarking.
For more information about the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, visit www.phila.gov/green/.
For more information about the 2014 ENERGY STAR Top Cities list, visit www.energystar.gov/TopCities.
For more information about ENERGY STAR visit www.energystar.gov/buildings.