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SLC Ranks 8th in EPA’s Top Mid-sized Cities for ENERGY STAR buildings

Salt Lake City is known for many things- hosting the 2002 Winter Olympics, being the subject of several TV shows and films over the years (including an episode in the newest Stranger Things season), and poor air quality to name a few. However, we can also add ranking 8th in the EPA’s Top Mid-sized Cities with the most ENERGY STAR certified buildings in the previous year, to that list!

What makes ENERGY STAR buildings so special? They’re more efficient than their peers!

Over 75% more efficient than similar buildings nationwide, in fact. Due to their efficiency, these buildings use an average of 35% less energy than typical buildings. Nearly 39,000 diverse buildings have earned the ENERGY STAR since 1999, ranging from the Empire State Building to an elementary school in the mountains of Alaska. Together, these buildings have saved more than $5 billion on energy bills and prevented nearly 22 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions—equal to the annual emissions of more than 2.7 million homes. 

Salt Lake City boasts 26 ENERGY STAR certified buildings which prevented 31,500 metric tons of CO2 from being emitted last year! (That’s more than Utah’s other ENERGY STAR claim to fame, Provo, who placed second this year with 75 buildings. ;-p )

Unico Properties received the Salt Lake City Elevate Buildings Energy Management Award in 2019 in recognition for their work upgrading the HVAC and damper systems in the 250 Tower following a Rocky Mountain Power wattsmart Business audit.


One reason why is Salt Lake City’s Elevate Buildings program. This initiative started in 2014 as a voluntary program for building owners to improve the efficiency of their buildings and be recognized for their efforts.

Then in 2017, the City passed an ordinance requiring commercial buildings over 25,000 square feet to report their annual energy usage to the Sustainability Department. Measuring energy use helps building operators see the energy and dollar savings they could realize from making improvements. Poor performing buildings are connected with utility programs to reduce energy waste and pollution, and save money.

An ENERGY STAR score of 50 or greater means that a building performs better than at least 50% of its peers nationally. You can see the map of high-performing buildings in Salt Lake City with scores above 50 below and on this page.

We are honored to have made the list and appreciate all the hard work that’s gone in to making our city ever more sustainable!

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