EPA - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

06/15/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/15/2021 12:56

EPA Names Chicago and Bloomington 2021 Top Cities for ENERGY STAR Certified Buildings


CHICAGO (May 15, 2021) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing its annual 'Top Cities' list, spotlighting the cities with the largest number of ENERGY STAR certified commercial and multifamily buildings last year. Chicago was sixth on the list of top large cities and Bloomington, Illinois, was tenth on the list of top small cities for ENERGY STAR certified buildings.

'Cities and communities play an essential role in reducing energy use in commercial and multifamily buildings,' said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. 'With help from ENERGY STAR, city leaders and building owners are working together to strengthen their economies and reduce the emissions that lead to climate change.'

'Our city is committed to integrating sustainability in the places where residents live, work, learn and play because a healthy environment is a must when working to create a brighter, more resilient future,' said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. 'I am proud that Chicago is a part of the EPA's 'Top Cities' list, which demonstrates that our commitment to sustainability has resulted in measurable change. We look forward to expanding the presence of ENERGY STAR buildings and other sustainability initiatives in the future as well as working that much closer with the EPA to protect our planet.'

'Bloomington is honored to be ranked in EPA's 2021 Top Small Cities list,' said Mayor Mboka Mwilambwe. 'We are proud to be a national leader in supporting energy-efficiency among buildings. It is not an easy certification to achieve, and we applaud our community business partners that recognize the value of top-performing buildings as a key driver to economic competitiveness.'

Commercial buildings are responsible for 18 percent of the nation's energy use and cost more than $190 billion per year in energy bills. ENERGY STAR certified buildings use an average of 35 percent less energy and are responsible for 35 percent less carbon dioxide emissions than typical buildings.

First released in 2009, EPA's list of cities with the most ENERGY STAR certified buildings shows how buildings across America are embracing energy efficiency as a simple and effective way to save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To create the annual list, EPA tallies the number of ENERGY STAR certified buildings within each metropolitan area, as defined by the U.S. Census. These areas include the city itself as well as surrounding suburbs.

Across the country, nearly 6,500 commercial buildings earned the ENERGY STAR last year.

As of the end of 2020, over the lifetime of the program more than 37,000 buildings across America had earned EPA's ENERGY STAR certification. Together, these buildings have saved more than $5 billion on energy bills and prevented nearly 22 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions-equal to the annual emissions of more than 2.6 million homes.

To earn EPA's ENERGY STAR, a commercial building must earn an ENERGY STAR score of 75 or higher on EPA's 1 - 100 scale, indicating that it is more energy efficient than 75 percent of similar buildings nationwide. When calculating a building's ENERGY STAR score, ENERGY STAR takes into account multiple factors, including hours of operation, energy use, and occupancy. This means that, despite buildings operating differently during the COVID pandemic, ENERGY STAR scores and certification still reflect actual, measured energy efficiency.


ENERGY STAR® is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, providing simple, credible, and unbiased information that consumers and businesses rely on to make well-informed decisions. Thousands of industrial, commercial, utility, state, and local organizations-including nearly 40 percent of the Fortune 500 ®-rely on their partnership with EPA to deliver cost-saving energy efficiency solutions. Together, since 1992, ENERGY STAR and its partners have helped American families and businesses save 5 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity, avoid more than $450 billion in energy costs, and achieve 4 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions, all through voluntary action. Learn more about ENERGY STAR at

More on ENERGY STAR Top Cities, including the 2021 ranking of top small and mid-sized cities, as well as last year's rankings:

Search for ENERGY STAR certified buildings:

More about earning the ENERGY STAR certification for commercial buildings: