EPA Lauds Chicago's Energy Efficiency

Chicago 5th on list of city with the most energy efficient buildings

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    CHICAGO - JUNE 07: The Chicago skyline with Lake Michigan in the background are visible from atop the Sears Tower Skydeck observation deck June 7, 2006 in Chicago, Illinois. Completed in 1973, the Sears Tower at 1,450 feet tall is the tallest building in the US and a popular location for tourists. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

    When it comes to saving energy, Chicago buildings top a national list.

    That’s according to the second annual ranking of cities by the U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency.  Out of the 25 cities the EPA rated, Chicago came in 5th for having the most number of energy efficient buildings in the country - that's a step up from it's number six spot on the list last  year.

    The EPA issues the ranking by calculating how many commercial structures in 2009 were Energy Star Leaders.   According to an EPA statement that means buildings reduced energy use by 10 percent and they performed “in the top 25 percent of similar buildings nationwide.”

    Topping the list was Los Angeles followed by Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and Denver.

    “These cities see the importance of taking action on climate change,” said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation in a press release about the rankings.  “Communities from Los Angeles to Louisville are reducing greenhouse gases and cutting energy bills with buildings that have earned the EPA’s Energy Star.”

    Chicago got the 5th spot because it has 134 energy efficient buildings with the Energy Star label.   The EPA estimates that in 2009 those buildings saved $50.2 million in energy costs.