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2021 Top Cities for ENERGY STAR Certified Buildings

Jack Pufunt • 10/20/2021
In June 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its annual “Top Cities” list, presenting the cities with the largest number of ENERGY STAR® certified commercial and multifamily buildings in the past year. 


ENERGY STAR® is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, providing simple, credible, and unbiased information that consumers and businesses rely on to make well-informed decisions.  Buildings that earn ENERGY STAR® certification score a 75 or higher on the EPA’s 1 – 100 scale of efficiency meaning that these buildings perform among the top 25 percent of similar buildings nationwide.  On average, ENERGY STAR® certified buildings use 35 percent less energy and generate 35 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than their peers1.

Since commercial buildings are major contributors to the nation’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions1, releasing this annual list is a great opportunity to spotlight the cities that embrace ENERGY STAR’s® mission of helping businesses save money and protect our climate through superior energy efficiency.  Los Angeles topped the list, with 587 ENERGY STAR® certified buildings. Close behind was Washington, D.C., with 549 buildings, followed by San Francisco in third place.  Atlanta and New York round out the top five. 


These regions continue to demonstrate how implementing effective energy conservation measures can reduce energy use, energy spend, and emissions.  In fact, with nearly 6,500 buildings earning ENERGY STAR® certification in the past year, a total of $1.7 billion and more than 5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions were saved.  Efforts from these cities contribute to stronger economies, healthier communities, and cleaner air for all of us. 

Since 1992, ENERGY STAR® and its partners have helped save 5 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity, cut more than $450 billion from their utility bills, and achieve 4 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions3. The EPA’s “Top Cities” list tends to attract much excitement and attention from policymakers and the media each year.  Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks of the important role that energy-efficient cities have, saying “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,”4. Cushman & Wakefield’s Energy & Sustainability Services (ESS) team has contributed to the increasing number of ENERGY STAR® certified buildings in major markets throughout the nation by assisting property owners and managers with tracking building performance through ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager. 

In 2021, Cushman & Wakefield was proud to be named ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for the ninth consecutive year by the EPA and the Department of Energy for outstanding leadership in reducing energy consumption and tackling climate change5.  By using ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager, C&W’s ESS team is able to provide full project management oversight to help properties achieve ENERGY STAR certification, including the review of utility bill data and applicable building and environmental information, as well as application preparation and verification by a licensed Professional Engineer (PE). For those who are unable to attain certification, ESS can complete energy  assessments and work with property teams to develop operational and capital strategies with the end goal of achieving an eligible score for certification.


1 ENERGY STAR: About ENERGY STAR for Commercial Buildings.
2 ENERGY STAR: “NERGY STAR Program Updates for Service and Product Providers.
3 EPA: EPA Names 2021 Top Cities for ENERGY STAR Certified Buildings.

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