March 14, 2011- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ranked Philadelphia 14th in its 2010 list of U.S. cities with the most ENERGY STAR certified buildings. Buildings that earn the EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification perform in the top 25 percent for energy efficiency when compared to similar buildings nationwide. ENERGY STAR certified buildings use an average of 35 percent less energy than other buildings and include buildings such as commercial offices and warehouses. This ranking further contributes to the City’s Greenworks Philadelphia commitments to lower citywide building energy consumption by 10 percent by 2015. Philadelphia’s certification rate has risen to a 14th place ranking up from 23rd place ranking in 2009.
“I am thrilled that the City was named by the EPA as one of the top 25 U.S. cities with ENERGY STAR certifications. For three years, the City Administration worked hard with stakeholders and governmental partners to encourage energy efficiency through Greenworks Philadelphia and our many groundbreaking initiatives and partnerships. I will continue to advocate for energy savings as part of our effort to make Philadelphia the greenest city in the United States,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter.
Philadelphia has undertaken several efforts to promote energy efficiency as part of Greenworks Philadelphia. In November, Mayor Nutter and the Metropolitan Caucus launched EnergyWorks, a comprehensive, regional energy solutions program that encourages individuals and businesses to make energy investments by offering low-interest loans to pay for energy efficiency improvements. This innovative and nationally recognized program is supported by a $25 million US Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Program fund.
Additionally, Mayor Nutter was appointed by U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Dr. Steven Chu to serve as a member of the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Advisory Committee (ERAC). The Committee’s role is to advise the Secretary of Energy on issues related to energy efficiency and renewable energy, and to provide recommendations on long-term planning, priorities, strategy and funding.
“It’s gratifying to see that building owners in the region are increasingly taking advantage of the Energy Star program, which helps to promote the smart steps they are taking to save on energy use and costs,” said Katherine Gajewski, City of Philadelphia Director of Sustainability.
EPA’s ENERGY STAR performance scale was introduced in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce the consumption of greenhouse gas emissions through energy conservancy. Buildings ranked with 75 points or above on a 100 point scale are eligible for ENERGY STAR certification. Commercial buildings that can earn ENERGY STAR certification include office buildings, bank branches, medical offices, supermarkets, retail stores and warehouses. For more information, please visit http://www.energystar.gov.
Greenworks Philadelphia sets goals in five areas—energy, environment, equity, economy, and engagement—and its work encompasses more than 150 initiatives. The initiatives are intended to reduce the city’s vulnerability to rising energy prices, to limit its environmental footprint, and to reposition its workforce to build upon Philadelphia’s competitive advantages in the emerging green economy. For more information, please visit www.phila.gov/green/.