ATLANTA, GA – March 14, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — The metropolitan Atlanta area ranks fifth on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2012 list of cities with the most Energy Star certified buildings. Buildings earning Energy Star certification use an average of 35 percent less energy and are responsible for 35 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than typical buildings.
“This ranking underscores the commitment of property owners, elected officials, civic leaders, and our community to make Atlanta a top-tier sustainable city. The commercial buildings that makeup our skyline play a critical role in helping to reduce our carbon footprint, while delivering both economic and environmental benefits to our city,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “We are proud to join other leading cities with this distinction.”
The metropolitan Atlanta area has 304 Energy Star certified buildings on the list. According to the EPA, through energy efficiency measures implemented in these buildings, the region is cutting greenhouse gas emissions equal to emissions from the annual electricity use of more than 55,465 homes and saving more than $52 million in annual utility bills.
Under the leadership of Mayor Reed, the City of Atlanta has undertaken several efforts to promote energy efficiency in government operations and throughout the community. Major initiatives include:
• The Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge where more than 50 million square feet of commercial building space, including 10 city facilities, have been committed in an effort to reduce energy and water consumption by 20 percent by the year 2020.
• The combined heat and power project at the RM Clayton Water Reclamation Center, which will produce up to 20 percent of the plants electricity needs and save more than $1 million annually.
• An LED lighting retrofit project in the North and South terminal parking decks of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport that will save more than $400,000 in energy costs per year.
• The completion of energy efficiency upgrades at the Atlanta Civic Center where energy savings over 2009 baseline are 20 percent and utility savings average over $100,000 annually.
Energy use in commercial buildings accounts for 17 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion per year. Fifteen types of commercial buildings can earn the Energy Star, including office buildings, K-12 schools, and retail stores.
Launched in 1992 by the EPA, Energy Star is a market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Over the past 20 years, with help from Energy Star, American families and businesses have saved about $230 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.7 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Today, the Energy Star label can be found on more than 65 different kinds of products, more than 1.3 million new homes, and more than 20,000 buildings and plants.
See the full list of top cities: http://energystar.gov/topcities
Take an in-depth look at the data behind Energy Star certified buildings: http://energystar.gov/datatrends
More about earning the Energy Star for commercial buildings: http://energystar.gov/labeledbuildings
About the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Sustainability
The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability is focused on instituting environmental protection practices into Atlanta city government. For more information about Atlanta’s efforts to create a more sustainable city, please visit the Office of Sustainability’s page at www.atlantaga.gov/sustainability.
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For more information about the City of Atlanta, please visit http://www.atlantaga.gov or watch City Channel 26. Follow the City of Atlanta on Facebook and Twitter @City_of_Atlanta. Follow Mayor Reed on Facebook and Twitter @Kasim Reed
Aaron Bastian, Communications and Project Manager
Mayor’s Office of Sustainability
Sonji Jacobs, Director