Posted on 05/08/2018

EPA report shows Los Angeles has the most sustainable buildings of any U.S. city

LOS ANGELES - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that Los Angeles has the largest number of commercial buildings with an ENERGY STAR certification in the United States — a total of 716 across the City. This is the seventh time Los Angeles has topped the list since the rankings were first released in 2009.

“Reducing the environmental impact of buildings is both an environmental imperative and an economic opportunity,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “The City of Los Angeles is helping property owners cut consumption and reduce costs at the same time — and showing the world that going green doesn't have to take away from your bottom line.”

To receive the EPA ENERGY STAR certification, a commercial building — which includes office buildings, schools, hospitals, and retail stores — must use 35 percent less energy and produce 35 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than a typical building of the same classification.

Buildings are Los Angeles’ largest consumer of electricity and a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. To help save money and energy, Mayor Garcetti made building-efficiency a focal point of his Sustainable City pLAn — calling for a 30 percent reduction of building energy use by 2035. The progress demonstrated in the ENERGY STAR report shows that Los Angeles is aggressively working to meet its long term goals.

To help building owners make the transition to more energy-efficient practices, Mayor Garcetti championed a program to boost energy and water efficiency in the city’s existing building stock. The Existing Building Energy and Water Efficiency Ordinance — which took effect in 2017 — requires owners of buildings larger than 20,000 square feet to track annual energy and water consumption data, making tenants more cognizant of energy use and allowing the City and LADWP to tailor incentive programs for maximum effectiveness and economic feasibility.

“Utilities are the largest controllable expense in a building, and data shows that ENERGY STAR certified buildings continue to outperform non-certified buildings in terms of rent and occupancy,” says David Hodgins, Executive Director of the LA Better Buildings Challenge. “I’m proud of our partners’ contributions to helping LA take back the #1 spot.”    

Tenants who have sought out the ENERGY STAR certification have also seen significant cost savings associated with the reduction in energy usage. By 2025, it’s estimated that this ordinance alone will save Angelenos $368 million on their annual utility bills. 

“Brookfield Properties utilizes benchmarking as the foundation of effective energy management,” said Brian Pagac, Vice President of Brookfield Properties. “The ENERGY STAR program for commercial buildings provides the tools and resources for us to accomplish and sustain our energy efficiency goals.”