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California leads the nation in ENERGY STAR buildings

Release Date: 02/14/2008
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, 415-947-4227,smith.bonnie@epa.gov

1.6 billion pounds of greenhouse gases prevented

(San Francisco, Calif.- -2/14/2008) Finding energy efficient schools, supermarkets, offices and other facilities throughout the country has become even easier for Americans interested in being green. Now we can find the ENERGY STAR not only where we live but where we work, shop, learn and play. The number of commercial buildings and manufacturing plants to earn the ENERGY STAR for superior energy efficiency is up by more than 25 percent in the past year, and the amount of carbon dioxide emissions reduced has reached an all-time high of more than 25 billion pounds.

California is home to 917 ENERGY STAR-qualified buildings representing approximately 177 million square feet of space and saving an estimated $199 million annually in lower energy bills, while meeting industry standards for comfort and indoor air quality. These buildings also prevent 1.6 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to the emissions from more than 135,000 vehicles.

"Building owners in California are taking important steps to reduce their carbon footprint by creating ENERGY STAR buildings,” said Wayne Nastri, EPA administrator for the Pacific Southwest region. “They realize they can reduce energy costs without sacrificing comfort or tenant satisfaction."

In the U.S., 4,056 office buildings, schools, hospitals, and public buildings have earned the U.S. EPA's ENERGY STAR for superior energy and environmental performance, including 1,400 in 2007 alone.

Commercial buildings that have earned the ENERGY STAR use nearly 40 percent less energy than average buildings and emit 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. About 500 ENERGY STAR buildings use 50 percent less energy than average buildings. Many of these buildings excel due to good energy management practices such as routine energy efficiency benchmarking.

Energy use in commercial buildings and manufacturing plants account for nearly half of the total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and nearly 50 percent of energy consumption nationwide. For more than a decade, EPA has worked with businesses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through strategic energy management practices. There are ENERGY STAR qualified facilities across the country. To qualify for the ENERGY STAR, a building or manufacturing plant must score in the top 25 percent using EPA’s National Energy Performance Rating System.

ENERGY STAR was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. In 2006, Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved about $14 billion on their energy bills and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 25 million vehicles.

To learn more about ENERGY STAR visit: http://www.energystar.gov/buildings. To see a complete list of California ENERGY STAR buildings, visit: http://www.energystar.gov/LabeledList .