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L.A. ranks first for Energy Star buildings

City of Angels fares particularly well in Environmental Protection Agency's ranking of cities with the most Energy Star-rated buildings.

View of Los Angeles from the 6th Street Bridge. City of Los Angeles/Bureau of Street Lighting

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Tuesday that Los Angeles has more Energy Star-rated buildings than any other city in the U.S.

The news came as part of the EPA's release of a report ranking the top 25 U.S. cities by the number of Energy Star-labeled buildings within its borders. (PDF)

Los Angeles, notorious for its smog problem, remains in first place since last year with 293 Energy Star-labeled buildings, followed by Washington, D.C. (204), San Francisco (173), Denver (136), Chicago (134), Houston (133), Lakeland, Fla. (120), Dallas-Fort Worth (113), Atlanta (102), and New York (90).

The Energy Star label, a consumer guide to efficiency in electronics, appliances, and most recently enterprise servers, has been awarded to buildings since 1999, according to the EPA.

The EPA estimates that 17 percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. come from commercial buildings alone.

Just as Energy Star label requirements differ by appliance, so, too, do the requirements for Energy Star-labeled buildings. There are 13 different categories for commercial buildings that include: hospitals, retail stores, supermarkets, office buildings, and schools.

Using a tool on the EPA's Web site consumers can research and map Energy Star-labeled commercial buildings by state, Zip code, and type of building. While not included in the ranking, the EPA also rates industrial facilities by categories that include auto assembly plants and pharmaceutical plants. Those, too, can be found using the online tool.

Between 1999 and the end of 2009, more than 9,000 U.S. commercial buildings earned Energy Star labels. Over 3,900 of those were granted in 2009.