The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) manages the EnergyStar program, which provides energy efficiency ratings for everything from appliances to buildings. The organization recently released its second annual energy-efficient building rankings, and the Los Angeles, Calif., region comes out on top. The list compared major U.S. metropolitan areas and ranked these cities by the amount of EnergyStar buildings they had in 2009.

In 2009, the metropolitan Los Angeles area had 293 EnergyStar buildings. These buildings encompass 76 million square feet, and the energy efficiency upgrades have led to a nearly $94 million cost savings and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that is equal to the electricity use of 34,800 homes. The Los Angeles area also topped the 2008 list, which was the first year that the EPA released these rankings.

Washington, D.C., made a jump to second place in 2009, up from fourth place in 2008. The D.C. area has 204 EnergyStar buildings that account for 55.1 million square feet. Last year’s second place city, San Francisco, dropped to third with 173 buildings and 51.6 million square feet.

The rest of the top 10 list looks like this:

  • Denver, Colo. – 136 buildings and 31.5 million square feet
  • Chicago, Ill. – 134 buildings and 59.9 million square feet
  • Houston, Texas – 133 buildings and 64 million square feet
  • Lakeland, Fla. – 120 buildings and 11.5 million square feet
  • Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas – 113 buildings and 33.1 million square feet
  • Atlanta, Ga. – 102 buildings and 29.6 million square feet
  • New York, N.Y. – 90 buildings and 50.4 million square feet
In 1999, the EPA awarded the first building with an EnergyStar rating. At the end of 2009, this number topped the 9,000 building mark. EnergyStar-rated buildings are saving about $1.6 billion in utility bills each year.