Minneapolis Saint Paul ranks in top 10 areas in the nation for energy-efficient buildings

Minneapolis Saint Paul has ranked eighth on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) list of cities with the most ENERGY STAR qualified buildings in 2008. Buildings that have earned the ENERGY STAR must perform in the top 25 percent of energy efficiency for facilities nationwide. The top three cities in the EPA ranking are Los Angeles, San Francisco and Houston.

ENERGY STAR qualified buildings use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Minneapolis Saint Paul counts 102 ENERGY STAR qualified buildings within its greater metropolitan area. By strategically managing energy use and by making cost-effective improvements to their buildings, the organizations that own and operate these buildings have prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to the electricity use from 49,000 households for a year.

The City of Minneapolis has undertaken several efforts to promote energy efficiency. These include a policy that requires new or major renovations to municipal buildings to meet Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) silver level requirements, creating a green building Web presence on the City's website, lowering the City's carbon footprint by making the city more pedestrian- and bike-friendly, and creating partnerships for green jobs.

EPA’s national energy performance rating system provides a 1 to 100 scale that helps organizations assess how efficiently their buildings use energy compared to similar buildings nationwide. A building that scores a rating of 75 or higher is eligible for the ENERGY STAR. Commercial buildings that can earn the ENERGY STAR include offices, bank branches, financial centers, retail stores, courthouses, hospitals, hotels, K-12 schools, medical offices, supermarkets, dormitories and warehouses.

For more information about ENERGY STAR or to find out if your energy-efficiency improvements earn your building an ENERGY STAR rating, visit www.energystar.gov.

For more information about Minneapolis sustainability initiatives, visit Sustainability Initiatives.

Published Mar. 4, 2009