Its been what seems to me like forever since I posted to BeGreenMinded but I am thrilled to be easing back into my regular posting position with some great news for some major U.S. cities. Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency annouced the top 25 cities that are home to the most buildings certified as ENERGY STAR energy efficient. Nationwide there are more than 3,200 buildings, representing 750 million square feet.
ENERGY STAR certified buildings help reduce our nation’s reliance on carbon-based fossil fuels – energy sources which contribute to global climate change. In 2008 alone, ENERGY STAR buildings and plants across the country have saved more than $1.1 billion in energy costs and reduced more than 7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions-savings equal to the emissions associated with the electricity use of more than 1 million homes for a year.
2008 showed an increase of 130% from the number of ENERGY STAR buildings built the year before. With the passage of a “green” economic stimulus package in Congress which includes incentives for the construction of energy efficient buildings, it’s likely that in 2009 and 2010 we will see an even greater bump in the number of ENERGY STAR buildings.
And what is good for the environment, is good for the economy too. Building energy efficient buildings reduces the amount of energy the building will use over the life of the structure. ENERGY STAR qualified office buildings cost $0.50 cents per square foot less to operate than average office buildings. Even better, ENERGY STAR qualified office buildings consume nearly 2x less energy per square foot as average buildings.
While the buildings included in this latest announcement are commercial in their use, everyone can take a lesson in energy efficiency. Check out ways you can incorporate energy efficiency and ENERGY STAR into your home.
Have a tip that you think others can use to improve their home’s energy efficiency? Share it below in the comments.