The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Washington, D.C., recently released a list of U.S. metropolitan areas with the largest number of energy-efficient buildings in 2008 that have earned EPA’s Energy Star status — EPA’s label for high efficiency. The list is headed by Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Washington, D.C., Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis-St Paul, Atlanta, and Seattle.

“Energy Star buildings typically use 35% less energy and emit 35% less greenhouse gases than average buildings,” says EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “EPA commends all of these cities and all of the others, as well as countless individuals, who are now using more energy-efficient appliances and dwellings. They are saving energy, saving money and protecting our environment.”

In 2008, more than 3,300 commercial buildings and manufacturing plants earned the Energy Star status, representing savings of more than $1 billion in utility bills and more than 7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. These buildings include schools, hospitals, office buildings, courthouses, grocery stores, retail centers, and auto assembly plants. The total for Energy Star qualifying buildings and plants in America is now more than 6,200 with overall annual utility savings of more than $1.7 billion and the prevention of the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of more than 2 million cars a year.

To view a list of Energy Star buildings and plants, including those in the 2008 Top 25 Cities, visit the Energy Star Web site.