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Greg Zimmerman May 16, 2018 -
Los Angeles is the top Energy Star city, with 716 buildings encompassing 145.3 million square feet of space certified in 2017. That’s 185 more buildings than LA certified in 2016. Washington, D.C., which had been first in 2016, dropped to second with 661 buildings certified. And Dallas moved up to third from sixth in 2016. In total, last year, more than 9,500 buildings earned Energy Star certification, saving $2.2 billion and 8.9 metric tons of greenhouse gasses. In explaining the rankings, EPA said, “we can’t pinpoint specific reasons why more than 700 L.A.-are buildings applied for and earned Energy Star. However, a relatively new law in Los Angeles may be worth noting. It requires commercial and multi-family buildings greater than 100,000 square feet to track and report their annual energy and water use using EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager tool. The law also requires that energy utilities provide aggregated energy consumption data, which makes it easier for these buildings to track and measure—and therefore manage—their energy use.” Like many other cities on the Top 10 list — San Francisco (No. 6) and Chicago (No 7), for instance — a benchmarking ordinance has spurred growth in Energy Star certifications and a reduction in energy use. An EPA study shows that buildings save an average of 7 percent over the course of three years just from using Portfolio Manager. This Building Operating Management story explains how just understanding energy use and setting a baseline is the first step to reducing energy. Once you know how much energy you’re using, you can prioritize steps to reducing it, the story says. This Quick Read was submitted by Greg Zimmerman, executive editor, Building Operating Management. Read his cover story profiling Northwestern University’s vice president of facilities management, John D’Angelo.