Energy Star Buildings Chalk Up a Decade of Savings

Energy Star Buildings Chalk Up a Decade of Savings

After a decade of operation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star program for commercial buildings has helped prevent almost 120 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

Observing the 10th anniversary of the program, agency officials yesterday detailed the program's contributions toward reduction of emissions in the built environment.

Almost 9,000 buildings have earned an Energy Star for outstanding energy efficiency.

The program that started with the single Energy Star building in 1999 now has specific parameters for 13 types of structures, including retail stores, hotels, schools and supermarkets.

Energy Star buildings typically use 35 percent less energy and emit 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than average buildings.

The EPA also offered particulars on some of the more notable buildings that have earned the Energy Star:

  • The oldest building to earn the Energy Star: Cambridge Savings Bank in Cambridge, Mass., constructed in 1820.
  • The tallest building to earn the Energy Star: Aon Center in Chicago, stands 1,136 feet high.
  • The largest building to earn the Energy Star: USAA McDermott Building in San Antonio, Texas. USAA headquarters occupies 4.5 million square feet.

Details on other Energy Star buildings and photos of some of the more prominent structures are available in the EPA's report, "Celebrating a Decade of Energy Star Buildings." It can be downloaded at