MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis-St. Paul is making gains when it comes to the Environmental Protection Agency’s annual rankings on the nation’s Energy Star-certified buildings, ranking 15th in the nation for 2021.

Of the metro areas ranked at the top, the EPA reports that “these regions continue to make impressive strides in cutting American energy bills and pollution through energy efficiency. Their efforts contribute to stronger economies, healthier communities, and cleaner air for all of us.”

The metro area has risen from its 17th place ranking in 2019 and 19th in 2018.

Minneapolis-St. Paul has 133 buildings that have been certified, accounting for a total floor area of over 41 million square feet. The EPA says the certified buildings in the Twin Cities have prevented emissions equivalent to 226,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.

Click here to see which buildings were listed as Energy Star certified.

Los Angeles and Washington D.C. were the top two cities, with over 500 buildings in the certified category, followed by San Francisco, Atlanta, New York and Chicago.

Des Moines, Iowa was listed third on the EPA’s list of the best-performing mid-size cities; Milwaukee, Wisconsin landed seventh and Madison, Wisconsin tied for tenth. Sioux City, Iowa was ranked third among the nation’s small cities.

The EPA cites a number of trends in energy efficiency that have taken hold and helped cities’ rankings, including smart buildings, utility-provided benchmarking data, and the mainstreaming of LED lighting.

Commercial buildings are responsible for roughly one-fifth of the nation’s energy use, totaling more than $190 billion per year in energy bills. Buildings certified by Energy Star are believe to use an average of 35% less energy than other commercial buildings.