State and Local Policy Database

Kansas City

City Scorecard Rank


Kansas City, MO

44.50Scored out of 100Updated 8/2019
Local Government Score:
4.5 out of 9 points
Local Government Climate and Energy Goals List All

Kansas City’s Resolution No. 170586 established many of the city government’s municipal climate and energy goals. The city’s 2008 Climate Action Plan also includes relevant municipal goals. Kansas City Resolution No. 080754 formally adopted the goals recommended by the 2008 Climate Action Plan.

Climate Mitigation Goal

The 2008 Climate Action Plan includes a greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal of 30% below 2000 levels by 2020. To meet this goal, the city must reduce per capita emissions by 2% annually. Kansas City is on track to meet its municipal emissions reduction goal.

Energy Reduction Goal

Kansas City aims to reduce local governement energy use 50% by 2050. The Resolution includes a goal to achieve ENERGY STAR certification for 90% of municipal buildings over 25,000 square feet.

Renewable Energy Goal

The Resolution commits the city to procuring 100% of electricity from renewable energy resources by 2020.

Last updated: June 2019

Procurement and Construction List All

Fleet Policies and Composition

Kansas City began developing a new fleet administrative regulation in 2018. The regulation states that the City will purchase alternative fuel vehicles when available to displace conventionally fueled vehicles. When conventionally fueled vehicles must be purchased, the City will use idle-reduction and speed limiting technologies to reduce fuel consumption. We were unable to find data regarding fleet composition.

Public Lighting

Kansas City has not adopted a policy requiring efficient outdoor lighting, such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance. However, there are outdoor lighting standards in place intended to protect the public health and general welfare by controlling the adverse impacts of glare and light trespass associated with poorly shielded or inappropriately directed lighting fixtures. Although Kansas City does not have a written policy for outdoor lighting replacement or upgrade, the City has converted one hundred percent (100%) of Traffic Signals to LED. The City is now working on street light conversion to LED. Streetlights are scheduled, so they only operate when needed.

Green Building Requirements 

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. Kansas City’s current procurement policy does not contain energy efficiency requirements.

Last updated: June 2019

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

Kansas City benchmarks approximately 80% of its public building square footage through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and is in the process of extending an automated tracking and analysis system to all its buildings. Although we could not confirm if Kanas City has adopted a comprehensive retrofit strategy for its municipal buildings, this City has implemented retrofits in several public buildings. While data on funding invested in this retrofits is not readily available, energy costs avoided is reported at almost $1.5 million over a 3-year period. Overall, the city has reduced its electricity usage by 21%, including all uses, between 2000 and 2013.

Public Workforce Commuting

Kansas City has established a Personal Alternative Work Schedule. 

Last updated: June 2019

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 7 out of 16 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

Kansas City formally adopted its Climate Protection Plan in 2008.

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

Last updated: June 2019

Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

The Climate Protection Plan includes a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30% below 2000 levels by 2020 and 80% below 2000 levels by 2050. ACEEE does not project the city will achieve its community-wide GHG emissions reduction goal. 

The city has released multiple greenhouse gas inventories.

Energy Reduction Goal

The Climate Protection Plan includes a goal to reduce community-wide energy use 50% by 2050.

Renewable Energy Goal

The Climate Protection Plan also includes a goal to use renewable energy to power 50% of community demand by 2050.  

Energy Data Reporting

The city’s greenhouse gas inventories include community energy data.  

Last updated: June 2019

Equity-Driven Approaches to Clean Energy Planning, Implementation, and EvaluationList All

Equity-Driven Community Engagement

We were unable to determine whether permanent city staff have taken a unique and expanded approach in conducting outreach for multiple clean energy initiatives to marginalized groups compared with outreach to other city constituencies.

Equity-Driven Decision-Making

We were unable to determine if the city has created a formal role for marginalized community residents or local organizations representing those communities to participate in decision-making that affects the creation or implementation of a local energy, sustainability, or climate action plan.

Accountability to Equity

We were unable to determine whether the city has adopted specific goals, metrics, or protocols to track how multiple energy, sustainability, or climate action initiatives are affecting local marginalized groups. 

Last updated: June 2019

Clean Distributed Energy SystemsList All

Kansas City has installed solar on 58 city-owned buildings.

Last updated: June 2019

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 adopted the Envision Green Infrastructure Rating System as an integral part of its municipal Green and Sustainable Procurement Policy.

Last updated: June 2019

Buildings Policies
Score: 19 out of 30 points
Buildings Summary List All

Kansas City adopted the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) with amendments. The city requires benchmarking and disclosure for commercial, public, and multifamily buildings. Kansas City also offers incentives for energy efficiency upgrades.

Last updated: March 2019

Building Energy Code AdoptionList 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 building or energy 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. The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code is 50.1.


Kansas City has the authority to set its own building codes. The city council adopted the 2012 IECC with amendments. The city’s zEPI score for their residential energy code is 54.4.

Solar- and EV-ready

The city does not have a policy mandating new developments be solar- and/or EV-ready.

Last updated: March 2019

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

Kansas City has two full-time employees solely dedicated to energy code compliance. The city requires building code officials to complete energy code training. Kansas City requires a portion of new one and two family buildings to undergo third party building envelope and duct tightness. The city offers upfront support to developers and owners through trainings about energy code compliance.

Last updated: March 2019

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All

Commercial and multifamily

Kansas City passed an energy benchmarking/rating and transparency policy for commercial, public, and multifamily residential buildings through the Energy Empowerment Program. The program requires public buildings greater than 10,000 square feet and commercial and multifamily buildings greater than 50,000 square feet to benchmark energy data. The policy covers 70% of commercial buildings and 83% of multifamily buildings in the city. 


The city does not have a single-family benchmarking and disclosure ordinance.

Last Updated: January 2017

Incentives and Financing for Efficient Buildings and Renewable EnergyList All

Kansas City offers three incentives and financings programs for energy efficiency improvements.

Homeowners may apply for property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for energy-efficient and water-saving home through the HERO Program. Kansas City's energyworks loan program provides low-interest loans to home and business owners to make energy efficiency upgrades to their buildings.

Please note that each incentive/program is tallied based on the building types and energy resources eligible for award. For example, a PACE financing program that offers energy efficiency and renewable energy financing to both residential and commercial property owners is counted as four incentives.

Last updated: March 2019

Required Energy ActionsList All

All new and gut rehabilition residential buildings that receive city incentives must be designed to meet the standard for ENERGY STAR qualified new homes.

Last updated: May 2019

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workforce DevelopmentList All

Kansas City has negotiated with PACE programs to encourage increased contracting of MBEs and WBEs. 

Last updated: July 2019

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 5.5 out of 15 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. Spire Missouri, 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: March 2019

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs and SavingsList All

In 2017, according to EIA, KCP&L achieved 147,818 MWh in net incremental savings, representing 1.78% of retail sales. In 2017, Spire Missouri reported savings of 1.75 MMtherms from natural gas efficiency programs, representing 0.18% of its retail sales. These savings figures cover the entire Missouri service territory, not just Kansas City. KCP&L offers electric efficiency incentives to residential and commercial customers. Spire Missouri Energy similarly offers natural gas efficiency programs to residential and commercial customers.

Last Updated: April 2019

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

KCP&L partners with Spire Missouri to jointly offer the Income-Eligible Weatherization Program for both single- and multifamily low-income residential customers. This program is intended to assist customers in reducing their energy usage by weatherizing their homes. In order to qualify, customers must meet income eligibility guidelines, consume more than 3,000 kWh per year, and have received service from KCP&L for a minimum of one year. Mandatory measures for the single-family program include attic, duct, floor, and wall insulation; furnace tune-ups; high-efficiency boilers and furnaces; heat pump replacement; lighting retrofits- heating system replacements; and water pipe insulation. Additional measures may be included on a case-by-case basis. The multifamily program includes direct install measures such as lighting, water efficiency measures, and smart power strips. Both programs include health and safety measures and target high energy users, elderly households, and customers enrolled in the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Emergency Response Preparedness Program (ERPP). The program is administered by Missouri-based social service agencies. The program partners with community action agencies and other nonprofits, and they leverage Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds and Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) funds to address some health and safety issues.

In 2017 according to KCP&L, it achieved 4,180 MWh savings from its low-income programs. Information on the number of low-income customers served was not available. In 2017, according to Spire Missouri, it achieved 0.19 MMtherms savings from its low-income programs, while serving 3,142 customers.

Multifamily Programs

KCP&L and Spire Missouri jointly offer an Income-Eligible Multi-Family Program. This program offers no-cost in-unit direct install of energy efficient equipment for properties with low-income residents. Property owners are also eligible for incentives for installation of energy-efficient equipment in common areas. We were unable to confirm savings data for KCP&L’s low-income program in 2017. In 2017, according to Spire Missouri, it served 1,000 households. We could not verify savings from Spire’s 2017 multifamily program.

Last Updated: March 2019

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Neither KCP&L nor Spire Missouri provides building managers or owners with automatic whole-building benchmarking data for input into ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. Kansas City and KCP&L partnered on the Department of Energy's Better Buildings Initiative, Energy Data Accelerator, to facilitate better access to energy usage data.

Last Updated: March 2019

Renewable Energy Efforts of Energy UtilitiesList All

Renewable Energy Incentives

In 2017, KCP&L provided $637,245 in incentives for the installation of 1,448 kW of new distributed solar systems, equating to $440/kW installed. KCP&L’s Solar Power Rebate program provides $0.50 per watt to qualified residential and commercial customers. 

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

To our knowledge, Kansas City does not participate in activities or strategies to help spur or encourage more utility-scale or distributed renewable energy generation from its local electric utility, such as testifying in public utility commission proceedings related to renewable energy, creating a formal partnership with the electric utility on renewable generation, or participating in utility planning efforts to increase renewable generation.

Last Updated: March 2019

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

City-wide water efficiency and goals

Although there is active cooperation between the energy and water utilities, the efforts are performed individually and supportively, while not jointly. 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. KC Water has established a non-revenue water (NRW) goal to reduce commercial and actual NRW, or water loss from leakage, metering inaccuracies, unseen line losses, and theft.

Water plant efficiency and self-generation

The Wastewater Treatment Division of Kansas City is currently working to reduce energy usage by 1% per year and assure all new equipment is as energy efficient as reasonably possible, within the context of the overall lifecycle cost of the asset, consistent with the Green and Sustainable Procurement Policy. The City’s water system does not self-generate its own energy.

Last Updated: March 2019

Score: 8.5 out of 30 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: January 2017

Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

Kansas City has a Livable Streets plan that encourages active living, including utilization of walking and biking as transportation alternatives.

VMT/GHG Target and Stringency

At this time, the City does not have a codified vehicle miles traveled (VMT) reduction target. The City does have codified GHG reduction targets for the transportation sector within its Climate Protection Plan.

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

We could not determine if the City tracks VMT or GHG numbers.

Last Updated: March 2019

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning Codes

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. The Main Street Overlay was adopted in early 2018 and requires transit-oriented development along the Main Street corridor to correspond with the proposed extension of the Streetcar. Other similar overlays are in place for the Troost Corridor and the Independence Avenue Corridor. The City also has provisions for pedestrian oriented/mixed use development in the Downtown area, exemptions from parking requirements in the Streetcar area, and reduced parking requirements in areas near transit.

Residential Parking Policies

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.

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

There are no incentives available through the City to promote location efficiency.

Last Updated: March 2019

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

Both the Climate Action Plan (2008) and the forthcoming Bike KC Master Plan set a mode shift goal target, specifically moving the number of cyclists from 0.3% to over 5%.

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

The City tracks mode shift through the American Community Survey (trips to/from work). Additionally, the City can track the number of miles ridden on dockless scooters and bicycles in the market with the assistance of each individual provider. No measured shift has occurred to date.

Complete Streets

Kansas City passed its Complete Streets Ordinance (Resolution 22-11) in 2011.

Car Sharing

Kansas City is served by zipcar. The City has made accommodations for rideshare vehicle parking on City streets and is currently exploring additional areas for rideshare operations in the downtown area. The City is also working on developing a policy to allow and encourage free-floating car share operations in the City.

Bike Sharing

The City has a bike sharing program, Kansas City B-cycle, which has a 24/7 public dock-based bike share system. They have 41 stations serving Downtown, North Kansas City, Westport, the Country Club Plaza, KCAI and The Nelson-Atkins Museum, 18th & Vine Jazz District, and the Trolley Track Trail. The City has partnered with the Blue Cross/Blue Shield BikeShare program and is expanding the number of available bicycles for far greater coverage and impact.

Last Updated: May 2019

Transit List All

Transportation Funding

The ATA transit system that serves Kansas City has received $75,798,286.80 in average annual funding from 2013-2017. This funding level is $36.29 per resident in the service territory of the agency, putting the city in the second lowest category ($20-49) available in transit funding.

Access to Transit Services

The Transit Connectivity Index measures transit service levels. It is based on the number of bus routes and train stations within walking distance for households scaled by frequency of service. Kansas City’s Transit Connectivity Index value is 4.8, putting it in the lowest category (0-4.99) available in the City Scorecard.

Last Updated: March 2019

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

At this time, Kansas City does not offer incentives for citizens to purchase hybrid, plug-in, or EV vehicles.

Vehicle Infrastructure Incentives

There are no incentives available for the construction of EV charging infrastructure.

EV Charging Locations

The City owns 166 charging stations available for public use.

Renewable Charging Incentives

At this time, Kansas City has no incentives or requirements available for the installation of private or public EV charging infrastructure powered by renewable energy (solar, wind, etc.).

Last Updated: March 2019

Freight System EfficiencyList All

Kansas City does not have a sustainable freight transportation plan in place, nor does it have any policies that address freight efficiency.

Last Updated: March 2019

Clean, Efficient Transportation for Low-Income CommunitiesList All

Affordable New TOD Housing Policy

Kansas City does not have any requirements or incentives in place to encourage the development or preservation of affordable housing in transit-served areas.

Connecting Existing Affordable Housing Stock to Efficient Transportation Options

The Kansas City BCycle has reduced memberships for low-income residents ($10 annually). In addition, participants in the forthcoming (Spring 2019) shared active transportation pilot program (dockless scooters and bikes) will require 20% of fleets to deploy in low-life expectancy zip codes and must provide equitable pricing and payment options for low-income residents.

Low-Income Access to High Quality Transit

In Kansas City, almost 67% of low-income households have access to high-quality transit.

Last Updated: April 2019