State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Minneapolis, MN

67.00Scored out of 100Updated 5/2015
Local Government Operations
Score: 10 out of 15 points
Local Government Summary List All

Greenprint, a subset of the Minneapolis Sustainability Indicators, is Minneapolis’s framework for sustainability and tracks progress in several policy areas such as transportation alternatives, waste and recycling, climate change, and renewable energy. In recent years, Minneapolis’s program for making its local government operations more energy efficient has been varied and has included strategies for public buildings, procurement, and the city-owned fleet.

Last updated: December 2014

Local Government Energy Efficiency Goals List All

Greenprint includes a goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from municipal operations by 1.5% annually. The city council formally approved the Sustainability Indicators, including those for Greenprint, in January 2012.

According to data in Minneapolis’ Sustainability Indicators, the city reduced it greenhouse gas emissions from its local government operations by 18% between 2008 and 2012, which is an average annual reduction of over 4%. The city is currently on track for its local government goal.

Last updated: December 2014

Performance Management Strategies List All

We do not know if Minneapolis has a dedicated funding source or budgeting mechanism for local government efficiency investments.

Sustainability reports and greenhouse gas inventories are released annually, but are not verified by a third party. The city also reports to the community on some of its local government operations initiatives through its performance evaluation system, Results Minneapolis.

The city has dedicated staff for energy management and implementation of energy efficiency goals, but we could not confirm the total number of fulltime employees working on these initiatives. We could not confirm if Minneapolis offers financial or non-financial incentives for energy efficiency actions to departments or individual staff.

Last updated: February 2015

Procurement and Construction List All

Vehicle Fleets and Infrastructure

The Green Fleet Policy requires the city to make every effort to obtain the vehicles that are the most efficient and emit the lowest levels of pollutants possible as measured by available emissions certification standards and standards published by manufacturers. The City of Minneapolis has an anti-idling policy that includes city fleets. In addition, the city’s Green Fleets Policy includes policies for optimizing city fleet size. 

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

Although the City of Minneapolis does not have an efficiency requirement in place, the city has begun significant outdoor lighting replacement and upgrade programs. In the 4th quarter of 2014, the City of Minneapolis purchased 1000 LED outdoor street light fixtures for replacing the fixtures on 1000 “cobra” head style existing HID street lights. City-owned various parking ramps have also been updated. In addition, Property Services is beginning a program to replace over 325 outdoor HID ”wall-pack” fixtures and outdoor incandescent with LED “wall-packs” and lamps. Most streetlights operate on photo sensors.

New Buildings and Equipment

Resolution 2006R-381 calls for the city to utilize LEED standards in the planning, design, construction, and commissioning of municipal facilities financed by the city and utilized by the city’s charter departments. All new or significantly renovated municipal facilities (financed by the City of Minneapolis and utilized by the city’s Charter Departments) of 5,000 square feet or greater should be built to a LEED Silver standards with emphasis in LEED points in the category of Energy and Atmosphere. Requirements do not apply to publicly funded projects. The city’s Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy calls for procurement of ENERGY STAR appliances where available.

Last updated: December 2014

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

Minneapolis Ordinance 47-190 requires benchmarking of city buildings of 25,000 square feet or more. 80% of the 12 million square feet of City-owned buildings and parking ramps is benchmarked in the Minnesota B3 database through the end of 2013. The utility data through the end of 2014 was made available in March 2015. In 2013 and 2014, the City of Minneapolis invested in energy efficiency by completely remodeling 3 fire stations and one office building, replacing all interior lights with LED or high efficiency fluorescent fixtures and entire 4 HVAC system replacements totaling 51 tons of high efficiency cooling equipment. In addition, the Minneapolis Convention Center has made significant energy efficiency investments, resulting in an annual energy reduction of 8.17% since 2009.

Sustainable Infrastructure Policies

We did not find information on the existence of sustainable infrastructure policies.

Public Employees

The city’s telework policy authorizes departments to consider alternative work schedules. Minneapolis offers a discounted membership fee to city employees for the city’s bikeshare program, Nice Ride, and offers a transportation benefit for vanpool and MetroPass.

Last updated: December 2014

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 8 out of 10 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

Minneapolis’ community initiatives related to energy efficiency are primarily led by the city’s Sustainability Office.

Last updated: January 2017

Community-Wide Energy Efficiency GoalsList All

Minneapolis has set goals to reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 30% under 2006 levels by 2025 and 80% under 2006 levels by 2050. These goals have been formally adopted as part of the city’s Climate Action Plan. The city has not adopted a quantitative energy goal.

The city regularly releases updates on progress towards its climate goals in periodic greenhouse gas inventories. Per data presented in the 2014 Greenhouse Gas Inventory, the city reduced its community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 17% between 2006 and 2014. The city is currently on track to achieve its 2025 goal.

Last updated: January 2017

Performance Management StrategiesList All

The city reports annually on greenhouse gas reduction goals in GreenPrint progress reports and the city’s Sustainability Indicators Dashboard reports on several efficiency-related metrics. Two staff members are dedicated to community-wide sustainability initiatives and many others across departments work on related initiatives. We did not find information regarding the use of third party evaluation for progress toward the city’s goals and we did not find information regarding dedicated funding for implementation efforts.

Last updated: December 2014

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

The city has identified high-priority areas for potential new district energy systems. The Warehouse District Heritage Street Plan incorporated plans for the use of additional waste heat from the Hennepin Energy Recovery Center to melt snow on roads and sidewalks. The city is also an active partner in Towerside, a plan that envisions using heat from wastewater for buildings in an eco-district.

Last updated: January 2017

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

The Minneapolis City Council adopted two quantitative urban heat island mitigation goals: Maintain the city’s 31% tree canopy level through 2015, and plant at least 6,000 trees annually on public land by 2015.

Minneapolis has adopted land conservation requirements which mandate that real estate developers permanently preserve open space if a residential development results in a net increase of residential dwellings for the city. The city has not adopted a private tree protection ordinance or policies that require or incentivize low impact development (LID).

Last updated: January 2017

Buildings Policies
Score: 16.5 out of 29 points
Buildings Summary List All

Minneapolis has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including density bonuses, energy rating and disclosure requirements and incentives for efficient building. The Department of Construction Code Services manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Minneapolis.

Last Updated: December 2014

Stringency of Energy CodesList All

The State of Minnesota currently requires local jurisdictions to comply with the 2015 Minnesota Energy Code. The 2015 Minnesota Energy code is based on the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for both residential and commercial codes. To learn more about the Minnesota building energy code requirements, please visit the State Policy Database.


Minneapolis adopted the 2015 Minnesota Energy Code effective June 2015. Minneapolis does not have the authority to set building energy codes, but is actively lobbying the state Department of Commerce to increase the stringency of the building energy codes.


Minneapolis has adopted the 2015 Minnesota Energy Code. Minneapolis does not have the authority to set building energy codes, but is actively lobbying the state Department of Commerce to increase the stringency of the building energy codes. 

Last Updated: January 2017

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

Minneapolis reported a budget of $13,200,000 for the building code department in 2013. This level of spending normalizes to $25 per $1,000 of residential construction spending for the city.

Minnesota has a third-party compliance requirements that applies to both residential and commercial buildings. The Minnesota Residential Energy Code (adopted in 2014) requires blower door testing by a third-party. The city requires building code officials to complete energy code training. As an example, we have a new energy code coming up with the anticipated adoption/enforcement of the 2015 MN Codes. The state Department of Labor and Industry as well as local building official chapters provide training. 

Last Updated: March 2015


Requirements and Incentives for Efficient Buildings List All

Building Energy Savings Goals

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

Green Building Requirements

RESOLUTION 2006R-381 calls for the city to utilize the LEED standards in the planning, design, construction, and commissioning of municipal facilities financed by the City of Minneapolis and utilized by the city’s Charter Departments. All new or significantly renovated municipal of 5,000 square feet or greater, should be built to a LEED Silver level of quality with emphasis in LEED points related to "Energy and Atmosphere." Privately-funded commercial and residential buildings are not subject to green building requirements.

Energy Audit and Retrofit Requirements

Minneapolis 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

Minneapolis offers density bonuses to residential and commercial construction which aim to achieve a 35% above code energy rating. Minneapolis offers PACE financing to commercial buildings for solar and energy efficiency improvements. The city offers a two percent loan program that can be used for energy efficiency improvements. Minneapolis also offers a Commercial Energy Efficiency Loan program. 

Last Updated: March 2015

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All


The Commercial Building Rating and Disclosure Ordinance, passed January 2013 and requires benchmarking of commercial buildings greater than 50,000 SF. Benchmarking results are available to the public annually. If a building owner does not comply with the ordinance, the action may result in loss of business license.


The MLS that serves the Minneapolis region includes fields for energy efficiency features.

Last Updated: December 2014

Comprehensive Efficiency Services List All

Removed from 2017 Scorecard

A Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program is provided by Xcel and is available to all homeowners in Minneapolis.

Last Updated: December 2014

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 15 out of 18 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

Xcel Northern States Power (Xcel), an investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary electric utility serving the City of Minneapolis. CenterPoint Energy, an IOU, is Minneapolis’s primary natural gas utility. The City of Minneapolis is an active promoter of electric and gas efficiency programs. The State of Minnesota requires spending and savings targets for its utilities through an EERS. Utilities are also required to file IRPs to the Public Utilities Commission identifying how known resources will meet consumer need in future years. This includes energy efficiency as a significant resource. To learn more about the state-requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the Minnesota page of the State Database. On the state level, Minnesota strongly advocates for additional spending requirements for energy efficiency projects for all of its utilities.

The Water Treatment and Distribution service within the Minneapolis Department of Public Works services Minneapolis with drinking water. Environmental Services within the Metropolitan Council treats Minneapolis’s wastewater. The Surface Water and Sewers service within the Department of Public Works manages the city’s stormwater.

Last Updated: December 2014

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs, Spending & SavingsList All

In 2013, according to Xcel, they spent $73,489,000 on electric efficiency programs, representing 2.62% of its annual revenue. Due to these programs, Xcel reported a net incremental electricity savings of 460,438MWh, representing 1.59% of its retail sales. In the same year, CenterPoint Energy reported spending $22,830,000 on natural gas efficiency programs. The expenditures normalize to $30.49 per residential customer. Due to these programs, CenterPoint Energy reported a net incremental savings of 15.80MMTherms, representing 1.14% of its retail sales. Spending on electricity and natural gas represented in this section covers the entire Minnesota service territory, not just Minneapolis. Xcel offers electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and commercial/industrial customers. CenterPoint Energy similarly offers natural gas efficiency programs to residential and business customers.

The City of Minneapolis promotes and partially funds the Xcel and CenterPoint program, Home Energy Squad, which provides a free assessment of a customer’s home energy use and an energy efficiency kit for just $70. A full home audit is offered at a subsidized rate through the Home Energy Audit program. On-site energy audits are available for businesses in Minneapolis, as well. A series of rebates are available for both residential and business customers.

Last Updated: February 2015

Energy Efficiency Targets & Funding Agreements List All

There is no local energy efficiency target established for Xcel, instead the state target applies. Minneapolis has advocated to the state for legislature to allow the city to use franchise agreements with the local utilities to achieve local goals for energy efficiency. In 2014, the City of Minneapolis entered a unique partnership with Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy, the city’s two largest utilities. The Memorandum of Understanding, referred to as the Clean Energy Partnership, expanded the conditions of the franchise agreement to include an active role for the utilities in the city’s achievement of its energy goals. This agreement follows the city’s adoption of its Climate Action Plan which seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15% by 2015, 30% by 2025, and 80% by 2050.

Last Updated: February 2015

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

In order for customers to access their own energy data, Xcel has implemented the Green Button data sharing platform for its customers. In order to assist large building managers with accessing aggregated energy data for building benchmarking, Xcel and CenterPoint provide technical assistance for using Portfolio Manager, by providing an ENERGY STAR Evaluation Worksheet. Xcel and CenterPoint do not support automated benchmarking. Community-wide aggregated data is provided annually to the City of Minneapolis from the utilities and is included in the annual greenhouse gas inventory process. The City of Minneapolis advocates for polices requiring utilities to expand the availability and granularity of energy usage data through involvement in PUC comment periods as part of a group process. Xcel and CenterPoint Energy have signed on with the City of Minneapolis to 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

Though no official water efficiency target has been established, residential water use is included in the Home Energy Squad Program, which the city partially funds, including a water conservation component (replacing shower and sink aerators).

Energy Efficiency and Self-Generation

Minneapolis’s Water Works (a city water park) is included in the 1.5% annual goal to reduce energy use in city facilities. Metropolitan Council Environmental Services is 76% of the way toward meeting its 2015 energy goal of reducing energy purchases by 25%. This has been accomplished through fuel switching to natural gas, and implementing a anaerobic digester on-site.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

The costs of providing stormwater management are listed as a separate line item on the city’s utility bills. The city has a stormwater utility credit that can be applied for if a project demonstrates the ability to handle a ten-year or 100-year rain event on-site.

Last Updated: December 2014

Score: 17.5 out of 28 points
Transportation Summary List All

The transportation authority serving the City of Minneapolis is Metro Transit. Metro Transit provides the public transportation for the city and the broader metropolitan area, including train, bus, light rail, and public bike service. The Metropolitan Council is the MPO in charge of conducting metropolitan transportation planning. Its area of jurisdiction encompasses the Twin Cities region. The Minneapolis Department of Public Works, is the city agency charged with managing the city’s transportation network.

Last updated: December 2014

Location Efficiency List All

Minneapolis’ Title 20 zoning code includes a series of pedestrian and downtown development overlays to encourage the creation of walkable neighborhoods. Minneapolis requires one parking space per dwelling on average, and has eradicated parking minimums for downtown zones. Minneapolis has not yet written or codified a Complete Streets Policy. As an incentive to promote location-efficient real estate development, Chapters 548 and 549 of the zoning code include floor-to-area ratio premiums for development projects in downtown zoning districts and density bonuses for commercial districts.

Last updated: February 2015

Mode Shift List All

Transportation and Land Use Planning

To improve integration of transportation and land use planning, Minneapolis’ Climate Action Plan, adopted in June 2013, includes a detailed plan to hold VMT flat and has specific targets for a bicycle mode share of 7% by 2014.

Car and Bicycle Sharing

There are five car sharing programs currently available to the residents and visitors of Minneapolis is hOourcar, ZipCar, enterprise CarShare, and Car2Go. The city is served by a bikesharing program, Nice Ride Minnesota, with 170 stations across the Twin Cities area, operable in late spring, summer, and early fall.

Transportation Demand Management Programs

To reduce the frequency of single-occupancy trips, Minneapolis partially funds the Minneapolis Downtown TMO, which provides commuter programs to Minneapolis workers.

Last updated: December 2014

Transit List All

The Metro Transit system that serves Minneapolis received $858,201,266 in total funding in 2012. This funding level is $475.21 per resident in the service territory of the agency. In comparison, 2011 spending on roads and parking by the city was $125,366,166, or $319.19 per city resident. This results in a ratio of per capita regional transit funding to per capita city highway and parking funding of 1.49 to 1. 

The Transit Connectivity Index measures how many transit rides are available per week within walking distance from the average household. The City of Minneapolis Transit Connectivity Index value is 84,743, putting it in the highest possible category (>50,000) available in the City Scorecard.

Last updated: December 2014

Efficient Vehicles and Driver Behavior List All

At this time, Minneapolis 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 made 36 EV charging station available for public use. 

Minneapolis prohibits idling of longer than 5 minutes for any vehicle except busses, which may idle for a maximum of 15 minutes. Title 3, Chapter 58 of the Municipal Code puts this rule in place. Minneapolis is an active participant of the Twin Cities Clean Cities Coalition

Last updated: February 2015

Freight List All

There are 19 intermodal freight facilities within the City of Minneapolis’s boundaries, 16 of which we classify as efficient because they are port- or rail-capable. Minneapolis’s share of regional freight traffic in 2012, normalized by population, is 19,134 ton-miles. As a result there are 0.836 efficient intermodal facilities per thousand ton-miles of freight traffic, putting the city in the middle category for this metric (0.5-0.999) available in the City Scorecard.

Last updated: December 2014