Press Release

Southern California Cities Lead Nation in ENERGY STAR Certified Buildings Rankings

  • Jun 16, 2021

LOS ANGELES – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing its annual “Top Cities” list, spotlighting the cities with the greatest number of ENERGY STAR certified commercial and multifamily buildings last year. Los Angeles leads the pack, with more than 580 ENERGY STAR certified buildings, with San Diego coming in at 164 buildings, and Riverside with 152. San Diego and Riverside rank in the top 15 nationwide.

"Cities like Los Angeles, San Diego, and Riverside are proving that Energy Star can help save money while protecting our environment at the same time,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Acting Regional Administrator Deborah Jordan. “By cutting energy costs, increasing efficiency, and reducing emissions, we can reduce carbon pollution and fight the effects of climate change.”

“Here in Los Angeles, sustainability isn’t just a buzzword we throw around lightly — it’s a lens through which we see every policy decision,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Year in and year out, Los Angeles finds itself at the head of the pack when it comes to energy efficiency — showing the world that going green is good for your bottom line.”

Commercial buildings are responsible for 18 percent of the nation’s energy use and cost more than $190 billion per year in energy bills. ENERGY STAR certified buildings use an average of 35 percent less energy and are responsible for 35 percent less carbon dioxide emissions than typical buildings. Across the country, nearly 6,500 commercial buildings earned the ENERGY STAR last year.

First released in 2009, EPA’s list of cities with the most ENERGY STAR certified buildings shows how buildings across America are embracing energy efficiency as a simple and effective way to save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To create the annual list, EPA tallies the number of ENERGY STAR certified buildings within each metropolitan area, as defined by the U.S. Census. These areas include the city itself as well as surrounding suburbs.

As of the end of 2020, over the lifetime of the program more than 37,000 buildings across America had earned EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification. Together, these buildings have saved more than $5 billion on energy bills and prevented nearly 22 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions—equal to the annual emissions of more than 2.6 million homes.

To earn EPA’s ENERGY STAR, a commercial building must earn an ENERGY STAR score of 75 or higher on EPA’s 1 – 100 scale, indicating that it is more energy efficient than 75 percent of similar buildings nationwide. When calculating a building’s ENERGY STAR score, ENERGY STAR takes into account multiple factors, including hours of operation, energy use, and occupancy. This means that, despite buildings operating differently during the COVID pandemic, ENERGY STAR scores and certification still reflect actual, measured energy efficiency.

More on ENERGY STAR Top Cities, including the 2020 ranking of top small and mid-sized cities, as well as last year’s rankings:

Search for ENERGY STAR certified buildings:

More about earning the ENERGY STAR certification for commercial buildings:

Learn more about EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. Connect with us on Facebook and on Twitter.