Des Moines Earns Recognition From EPA

DES MOINES, IOWA — Tuesday, June 22, 2021 —The City of Des Moines recently earned a top-three ranking on the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2021 list of mid-size cities with the most ENERGY STAR-certified buildings. 

ENERGY STAR certified buildings are recognized for both their cost efficiency and their sustainability. These buildings use an average of 35% less energy than similar buildings, emit 35% fewer greenhouse gases and are more energy-efficient than 75% of similar buildings nationwide.

The EPA recognized the City of Des Moines as having 48 total ENERGY STAR buildings. These buildings covered more than 5.6 million square feet in total floor area, curtailed the emission of 18,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide and saved building owners more than $2.2 million in energy costs. 

Mayor Frank Cownie said this award is yet another example of the City’s commitment to sustainability and the success of its programs. He also emphasized that it is a great step toward the City’s ultimate goal to achieve 100 percent carbon-free electricity by the year 2035.

“The tools and resources available through Energy Star continue to help position the City of Des Moines as a leader in energy and water efficiency,” said Mayor Cownie. “We’ve made excellent progress in recent years, and will continue to leverage this program and others to identify further savings opportunities in City facilities and reduce costs.” 

A key factor in helping the City achieve this honor is the implementation of the Energy and Water Benchmarking Program. Within this program, owners of buildings 25,000 square feet or larger are required to record their energy and water usage annually and submit it to the City of Des Moines. 

“The Energy and Water Benchmarking Program is a first step in helping even more property owners identify savings opportunities and earn ENERGY STAR certification, a proven way to distinguish themselves in the marketplace,” Sustainability Program Manager Jeremy Caron said.

In addition to Des Moines’ abundance of ENERGY STAR buildings, the City also maintains six LEED certified buildings, including one silver and two platinum. LEED is a rigorous sustainable design certification that extends beyond just energy use and ensures the City continues to build and operate buildings that are healthy for occupants, source environmentally preferable materials and are affordable to operate and maintain.

To learn more about the City’s sustainability efforts, visit

Al Setka
Chief Communications Officer, City Manager’s Office
(515) 283-4057

About the City of Des Moines
The City of Des Moines: Iowa’s capital city and local government servicing more than 217,000 residents, 51+ neighborhoods, over 4,000 acres of parkland and 81 miles of trails. The City of Des Moines stands to be a financially strong city with exceptional city services, fostering an involved community in a customer friendly atmosphere. Visit DSM.cityFacebook and Twitter for more information.