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District Is Nation’s Top City for ENERGY STAR Buildings

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Media Contact: Alan Heymann (202) 741-2136

(Washington, DC) – With 11 ENERGY STAR® buildings for every 100,000 residents, the District of Columbia leads the nation’s cities in the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s latest list.

“The District’s strong showing in ENERGY STAR buildings is a terrific example of how we’re one of the nation’s greenest cities,” said DDOE director George S. Hawkins. “With both our national and local administrations focused on energy efficiency, I have no doubt the list will grow by leaps and bounds in the years to come.”

EPA announced yesterday that 136 buildings in the District’s metro area achieved the prestigious ENERGY STAR efficiency label in 2008.  ENERGY STAR buildings are the top 25 percent of facilities nationwide for energy performance. The metro area ranks fourth in the nation for the total number of ENERGY STAR buildings in 2008.

Included in the DC metro-area ENERGY STAR buildings are office buildings, schools, retail centers, hospitals, hotels, and even an embassy. In 2008 nationally, 3,300 buildings were granted the ENERGY STAR for superior energy and environmental performance, 130 percent more than in 2007. That increase is the greatest since Energy Star ratings for commercial buildings began in 1999.

"The increase in buildings earning ENERGY STAR is important and very positive" said EPA Acting Regional Administrator William T. Wisniewski. "Making more efficient use of energy is a first step to being green and reducing pollution. By adopting energy efficient technology, techniques and planning, building owners are realizing that they can reduce energy costs without sacrificing comfort or service."

The ENERGY STAR buildings in the District metro area save an estimated $42.2 million annually in lower energy bills.  ENERGY STAR-qualified buildings use up to 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and generate 35 percent less carbon dioxide, while providing the required comfort and services. These buildings also are preventing greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to 30,700 households' electricity use.

Among the 2008 ENERGY STAR buildings in the District are:

  • office building owned by TIAA-Cref at 1900 K Street, NW.
  • office building owned by NAHB - National Housing Center, 1201 15th Street, NW.
  • the Embassy of Finland, 3301 Massachusetts Ave, NW.

The owners and operators of these facilities have achieved energy efficiency milestones in buildings they own and manage. The owners conserve energy by using more efficient lighting, better maintaining heating and air-conditioning systems, installing programmable thermostats and informing tenants and guests of conservation measures.

Upgrading to ENERGY STAR energy efficiency levels has been facilitated by EPA's Portfolio Manager, an interactive on-line energy management tool that allows property managers to track and assess energy use as well as greenhouse gas emissions.  Portfolio Manager helps set investment priorities, identify under-performing buildings, and verify efficiency improvements.

Commercial and industrial facilities account for half of all energy consumption in the U.S. at a cost of over $200 billion per year, more than any other sector of the economy. These facilities are also responsible for nearly half of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to climate change.

ENERGY STAR became known as a way to identify energy efficient products, and now the program has been extended to 50 product categories and has expanded to housing and twelve types of commercial buildings and five types of manufacturing facilities.

To view a list of the top 25 cities earning the ENERGY STAR buildings and plants, see  To learn how to become an ENERGY STAR building or plant, see

Some interesting national statistics:

  • ENERGY STAR qualified office buildings cost $0.50 cents less persquare foot to operate than average office buildings.
  • ENERGY STAR qualified office buildings consume nearly 2x less energy per square foot than average office buildings.
  • Nearly 600 ENERGY STAR buildings use 50 percent less energy than average buildings.