Philly's green buildings rise to 11th on US list

Just how green do Philly's green buildings make the city?

Mayor Nutter says he wants to make the city the greenest in the nation. But a national ranking of cities, according to how many greenbuildings they have, places Philadelphia at No. 11.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has just released a list of the cities with the most buildings that are certified as Energy Star buildings -- meaning they meet certain energy efficiency requirements -- as of 2012.

Los Angeles tops the list -- for the fifth year in a row -- with 528 buildings.

Philadelphia comes in at 11th place, with 174 buildings.

Philly's green buildings have 33.3 million square feet of space and they saved $26.7 million in energy costs in 2012. 

Philadelphia's ranking has been rising. In 2011, the city ranked 15th in the nation. In 2009, it ranked 24th.

Fifteen types of buildings can earn Energy Star rank, including office buildings, K-12 schools, and retail stores.

"The owners and managers of Energy Star certified buildings are helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions while saving on utility bills,” said EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe in a press release announcing the rankings.

Energy use in commercial buildings accounts for 17 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion per year.

In 2012, more than 20,000 Energy Star certified buildings across America helped save more than $2.7 billion in annual utility bills while preventing greenhouse gas emissions equal to emissions from the annual electricity use of more than two million homes, the EPA said.