State and Local Policy Database

Kansas City

City Scorecard Rank


Kansas City, MO

35.00Scored out of 100Updated 5/2015
Local Government Operations
Score: 4 out of 15 points
Local Government Summary List All

Kansas City’s Climate Protection Plan articulates the city’s energy-related goal for its internal government operations. The Office of Environmental Quality within the City Manager’s Office oversees implementation of the government operations goal and facilitates interdepartmental coordination.

Last updated: December 2014

Local Government Energy Efficiency Goals List All

The Climate Protection Plan of 2008 includes a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from local government operations 30% below 2000 levels by 2020. The city council formally adopted the plan and its goals in 2008 through Resolution 080754.

We did not find quantitative data indicating Kansas City was on track to achieve its local government energy use goal. The city is in the process of developing its Greenhouse Gas Inventory Update to evaluate its progress toward its goal.

Last updated: December 2014

Performance Management Strategies List All

We could not confirm if Kansas City has a dedicated funding source or budgeting mechanism for local government efficiency investments.

Kansas City produces annual sustainability reports that detail progress toward some of the city’s energy-related efforts and activities. We could not confirm if the city uses a third party consultant to evaluate, monitor, and verify progress toward its local government goal.

Kansas City has city staff dedicated to energy efficiency efforts within government operations. The city holds annual Environmental Achievement Awards to recognize city employees who make significant contributions to environmental quality in Kansas City.

Last updated: December 2014

Procurement and Construction List All

Vehicle Fleets and Infrastructure

Kansas City does not have specific fuel efficiency requirements for the city fleet, but the city has a right-typing policy included in its vehicle procurement policy and an anti-idling policy for municipal vehicles.

Note: For local fleet initiatives, policies listed must make a specific, mandatory requirement for increasing fleet efficiency. Local alternative-fuel vehicle procurement requirements that give a voluntary option to count efficient vehicles are thus not included.

Public Lighting

Kansas City has not adopted a policy requiring efficient outdoor lighting, such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance. Streetlights are scheduled, so they only operate when needed.

New Buildings and Equipment

In accordance with Ordinance 110235, all new municipal facilities and renovations impacting over 5,000 square feet of municipal space are required to meet LEED Gold standards. We could not confirm if the requirements specifically emphasized completion of the energy efficiency elements of the certification. Kansas City’s current procurement policy does not contain energy efficiency requirements.

Last updated: December 2014

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

Kansas City benchmarks between 25% and 49% of its public building square footage through Portfolio Manager and is in the process of extending an automated tracking and analysis system to all its buildings. We could not confirm if Kanas City has adopted a comprehensive retrofit strategy for its municipal buildings and we did not find information regarding efficiency improvements made thus far to Kansas City’s municipal building stock.

Sustainable Infrastructure Policies

We did not find information on the existence of sustainable infrastructure policies. According to the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget, the city has dedicated approximately $30.5 million out of $106.3 million in capital funds to maintenance, or 29%.

Public Employees

We could not confirm if Kansas City has policies to reduce the commutes of city workers, such as flex schedules and teleworking policies. The city’s employee bus pass program entitles municipal employees to unlimited rides on all Metro buses.

Last updated: December 2014

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 3 out of 10 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

Kansas City’s Office of Environmental Quality leads the city’s implementation of its community-wide energy efficiency initiatives.

Last updated: January 2017

Community-Wide Energy Efficiency GoalsList All

The Climate Protection Plan includes a goal to reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions 30% below 2000 levels by 2020 and 80% below 2000 levels by 2050. The plan also calls for a 50% reduction in energy use by 2050. The city council formally adopted the plan and its goals in 2008 through Resolution 080754. Kansas City engaged the Climate Protection Steering Committee, made up of community stakeholders, during the development of the plan.

The city reports on greenhouse gas emissions with periodic inventories. The most recent data indicates the city is not on track to achieve its greenhouse gas emissions goal. We also did not find quantitative data indicating the city was on track to achieve its citywide energy reduction goal.

Last updated: January 2017

Performance Management StrategiesList All

Kansas City releases annual progress reports on its sustainability efforts and provides monthly reports to the Environmental Management Commission on its efforts. The city is using a third party to compile its updated greenhouse gas inventory, but we could not confirm if the city regularly uses an independent third party to evaluate, monitor, and verify savings from community-wide efficiency projects. Kansas City has at least five municipal staff, including two in the City Manager’s Office, dedicated to community-wide energy efficiency strategies. Kansas City does not have a dedicated funding source or budgeting mechanism for community-wide energy management or efficiency investments.

Last updated: December 2014

Efficient Distributed Energy Systems - District Energy and Combined Heat and PowerList All

We did not find information on any programs or policies to plan for future district energy systems.   

Last updated: January 2017

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

The city’s Climate Protection Plan contains an urban heat island mitigation goal to increase urban tree canopy to 40% of the city’s land cover. The city does allow for open space and conservation developments that encourage the permanent protection of land alongside dense residential development patterns. The city has not adopted a private tree protection ordinance. We did not find information on any policies that require or incentivize low impact development (LID).

Last updated: January 2017

Buildings Policies
Score: 9.5 out of 29 points
Buildings Summary List All

Kansas City has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including upfront code support and incentives for energy efficiency building improvements. Deveopment Services manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for Kansas City.

Last Updated: December 2014

Stringency of Energy CodesList All

The State of Missouri is home-ruled and allows local jurisdictions to set their own building codes. The State of Missouri has not adopted statewide energy codes or statewide building codes. To learn more about Missouri’s building energy codes, please visit the State Policy Database.


Kansas City has the authority to set its own building codes. The city council adopted the 2012 IECC with amendments


Kansas City has the authority to set its own building codes. The city council adopted the 2012 IECC with amendments. 

Last Updated: January 2017

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

Kansas City reported a budget of $3,718,000 for the building code department in 2013. This level of spending normalizes to $20 per $1,000 of residential construction spending for the city. Kanas City requires a portion of the new one and two family building stock in the city to undergo building envelope and duct tightness testing that is performed by a third party.The city also offers upfront support to developers and owners in the form of trainings for building energy code compliance.

Last Updated: December 2014

Requirements and Incentives for Efficient Buildings List All

Building Energy Savings Goals

Kansas City has not yet published an energy-intensity reduction target for its private buildings.

Green Building Requirements

In accordance with Ordinance 080543, residential buildings up to three stories tall that used public funds need to meet the standard for Energy Star Qualified New Homes (achieving a rating less than or equal to 85 on the Home Energy Rating System Rating Scale).

Energy Audit and Retrofit Requirements

Kansas City does not yet require commercial or residential buildings to take energy efficiency actions such as energy audits or retro-commissioning.

Incentives and Financing for Efficient Buildings

Through EnergyWorks KC (EWKC), Kansas City offers residents, small businesses, churches, schools, and non-profit organizations loans from a revolving loan fund for energy efficiency improvements and an interest buy-down fund for efficiency upgrades.

Last Updated: December 2014

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All

Kansas City does not have mandatory or voluntary programs to encourage building benchmarking in any sector. The MLS service that serves the Kansas City area includes fields for energy-efficient measures.

Last Updated: December 2014

Comprehensive Efficiency Services List All

The Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program is available to all homeowners in Kansas City through the Department of Natural Resources and KCP&L.

Last Updated: December 2014

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 5 out of 18 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L), an investor-owned utility (IOU) and subsidiary to Great Plains Energy, is the primary electric utility serving Kansas City. Missouri Gas Energy, an IOU, is Kansas City’s primary natural gas utility. To learn more about the state requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the Missouri page of the State Database.

Kansas City Water Services (KC Water) is the municipally-run utility responsible for providing drinking water, treating wastewater, and managing stormwater for Kansas City.

Last Updated: December 2014

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs, Spending & SavingsList All

According to EIA, in 2012, KCP&L spent $6,035,000 on electric efficiency programs, representing 0.79% of its annual revenue. Due to these programs, KCP&L’s net incremental electricity savings was 33,943MWh, representing 0.42% of its retail sales. In the same year, Missouri Gas Energy reported spending $2,112,000 on natural gas efficiency programs. The expenditures normalize to $4.27 per residential customer. They did not report gas savings resulting from these programs for this year. Spending on electricity and natural gas represented in this section covers the entire Missouri service territory, not just Kansas City. KCP&L offers electric efficiency incentives to residential and commercial customers.

The city administers a low-income weatherization assistance program and provides rebates for energy efficiency improvements that were designed in conjunction with KCP&L. In total, the utilities in Kansas City have funded efficiency programs in excess of $5 million and the city has funded programs in excess of $3.2 million. We could not confirm if Kansas City has begun advocating to the state for increased spending and savings requirements for the electric utility.

Last Updated: December 2014

Energy Efficiency Targets & Funding Agreements List All

There are no local energy savings targets set for Kansas City. Kansas City does not have a franchise agreement or municipal aggregation contract in place to ensure energy efficiency while powering city operations.

Last Updated: December 2014

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

KCP&L has not yet committed to providing the Green Button data sharing platform to its customers, but does use a similar online service, Home Energy Analyzer, that provides energy consumption data to utility customers in a common, downloadable format. KCP&L does not provide building managers or owners with automatic whole-building benchmarking data for input into Portfolio Manager, but aggregated data is available upon request. KCP&L makes community-wide energy data available for energy planning at the sector level. Kansas City and KCP&L also partner on the Department of Energy's Better Buildings Initiative, Energy Data Accelerator, to facilitate better access to energy usage data.

Last Updated: December 2014

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Water Efficiency

KC Water has not yet established a water efficiency goal. Although KC Water has funded water efficiency rebates in the past through WaterWorks, we could not confirm if the utility still funds programs to help customers save water.

Energy Efficiency and Self-Generation

KC Water is pursing energy efficiency initiatives in accordance with Kansas City’s Climate Protection Plan, but a specific energy efficiency goal for operations is not in place. The city’s water system does not self-generate its own energy on a regular basis.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

Kansas City’s consent decree with the EPA gives the city 25 years to develop systems that will capture and treat 88 percent of combined sewer overflows and eliminate sanitary sewer overflows during a five-year rain event. In response, the city developed an Overflow Control Plan and Program, a 25-year plan beginning in 2010. The plan outlines the implementation of green infrastructure projects and postpones the construction of huge underground rainwater detention systems for about 14 years. In 2011, the city started with an $80 million investment in green infrastructure that included the construction of 64 rain gardens, 30 bio-retention cells, 36 curb extensions, five cascade rain gardens, four permeable paver sidewalks, and 23 porous pavement sidewalks, among other green solutions. 

KC Water also releases educational resources regarding green infrastructure, including guides on how to construct rain barrels and rain gardens.

Last Updated: December 2014

Score: 13.5 out of 28 points
Transportation Summary List All

The transportation authority serving Kansas City is the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (ATA). ATA provides the public transportation for the city and broader metropolitan area, including bus and vanpool services. The Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) is the MPO in charge of conducting metropolitan transportation planning. Its area of jurisdiction encompasses Kansas City and surrounding jurisdictions, including five counties in Missouri and four in Kansas. The Kansas City Department of Transportation is charged with managing the city’s transportation network.

Last updated: December 2014

Location Efficiency List All

Kansas City has had a form-based code for its downtown area since 2007. The city also has a traditional neighborhood design district (TND) to create a mixed-use environment with walking as the predominant form of transportation. In addition, the zoning code requires short-term and long-term bike parking for commercial and industrial developments and any residential development in excess of 12 units. One parking space is generally required per single-family residential unit and 4 spaces per multifamily unit. There are exemptions and reductions for locations within the downtown area, along the proposed streetcar route, within the Crossroads, and in Westport. Kansas City passed its Complete Streets Ordinance (Resolution 22-11) in 2011, yet this policy is not yet recognized by the National Complete Street Coalition. There are no incentives available through the city to promote location efficiency.

Last updated: December 2014

Mode Shift List All

Transportation and Land Use Planning

Kansas City’s Climate Protection Plan, adopted in 2013, has a goal to reduce citywide VMTs 20% below 2000 levels by 2020 and 30% below 2000 levels by 2030. However, the city is not actively implementing a plan to achieve its target.

Car and Bicycle Sharing

There is not a car sharing program available to the residents and visitors of Kansas City. The city is served by a bikesharing program, Kansas City B-cycle.

Transportation Demand Management Programs

MARC’s Rideshare Program provides commuter resources to both individuals and employers in the Kansas City metropolitan area. The program promotes a variety of TDM strategies including telecommuting, carpooling/vanpooling, and alternative work hours.

Last updated: December 2014

Transit List All

The ATA transit system that serves Kansas City received $90,641,962 in total funding in 2012. This funding level is $121.11 per resident in the service territory of the agency. In comparison, 2011 spending on roads and parking by the city was $241,085,507 or $519.25 per city resident. This results in a ratio of per capita regional transit funding to per capita city highway and parking funding of 0.23 to 1.

The Transit Connectivity Index measures how many transit rides are available per week within walking distance from the average household. Kansas City’s Transit Connectivity Index value is 22,173.76, putting it in the second-highest category (20,000 - 50,000) available in the City Scorecard.

Last updated: December 2014

Efficient Vehicles and Driver Behavior List All

At this time, Kansas City does not offer incentives for citizens to purchase hybrid, plug-in, or EV vehicles. There are no incentives available for the construction of commercial or private EV charging infrastructure. The local government has not yet made any EV charging station available for public use. 

Kansas City’s idling restriction, Resolution 100245, prohibits vehicles from idling longer than two minutes. Municipal staff engage with the Kansas City Regional Clean Cities Coalition, which works to reduce petroleum use in transportation.

Last updated: February 2015

Freight List All

There are 64 intermodal freight facilities within Kansas City’s boundaries, 57 of which we classify as efficient because they are port- or rail-capable. Kansas City’s share of regional freight traffic in 2011, normalized by population, is 8,744 ton-miles. As a result, there are 6.519 efficient intermodal facilities per thousand ton-miles of freight traffic, putting the city in the highest category for this metric (2+) available in the City Scorecard.

Last updated: December 2014