State and Local Policy Database

Kansas City

City Scorecard Rank


Kansas City, MO

49.00Scored out of 100Updated 5/2017
Local Government Score:
7 out of 10 points
Local Government Summary List All

Kansas City’s Climate Protection Plan of 2008 articulates the city’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal for its internal government operations. Strategies to achieve this goal include benchmarking, LED streetlights, and energy efficiency standards for buildings. The Office of Environmental Quality within the City Manager’s Office oversees implementation of the government operations goal and facilitates interdepartmental coordination.

Last updated: February 2017

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. This goal includes emissions from all city-owned and leased operations, facilities, and sources. Kansas City Council formally adopted the plan and its goals in 2008 through Resolution 080754.


To meet this goal, Kansas City would need to reduce emissions by 1.8% per year.


Kansas City is on track for its local government greenhouse gas goal.


Kansas City produces annual sustainability reports that detail progress toward its energy-related activities. The city further evaluates progress towards its GHG targets through updates to its Greenhouse Gas Inventory. The most recent update occurred in 2013, and the city has almost completed updates for 2014 and 2015.

Last updated: April 2017

Procurement and Construction List All

Vehicle Fleets and Infrastructure

Kansas City does not have specific fuel efficiency requirements for the city fleet, however, it does have a procurement policy that incorporates lifecycle assessments and third party certifiers in its vehicle procurement processes.  Additionally, Kansas City uses two fleet tracking technology systems, Drive Cam and Location Technologies, nevertheless, we were not able to confirm if these systems are actually used to increase public fleet efficiency.

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. 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.

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

Last updated: April 2017

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

Kansas City benchmarks between 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 Employees

We could not confirm if Kansas City has policies to reduce the commutes of city workers, such as flexible schedules and teleworking policies.

Last updated: January 2017

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 7 out of 12 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: April 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 on track to be within 25% of its near-term greenhouse gas emissions goal by 2020.

Last updated: April 2017

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: April 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: April 2017

Buildings Policies
Score: 13.5 out of 28 points
Buildings Summary List All

Kansas City has some building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including a buildings energy benchmarking ordinance and incentives for energy efficiency building improvements.  The City Planning and Development manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for Kansas City.

Last Updated: January 2017

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 does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The city requires building code officials to complete energy code training. Kansas 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 offers upfront support to developers and owners in the form of trainings for building energy code compliance.

Last Updated: January 2017

Requirements and Incentives for Efficient Buildings List All

Green Building Requirements

Kansas City does not not have green building requirements for private commercial and residential buildings.

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

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing for energy-efficient and water-saving home upgrades are available for homeowners through the HERO Program. Kansas City's energyworks loan program provides local homeowners and business owners with low-interest loans who make energy efficiency upgrades to their buildings.

Last Updated: February 2017

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All

Commercial and Residential Benchmarking

Kansas City has passed an energy benchmarking/rating and transparency policy for commercial, public, and multifamily residential buildings and has adopted a standard for residential buildings. The commercial and multifamily residential buildings are addressed in the Energy Empowerment Program while the residential buildings use the ENERGY STAR® rating system. 

The MLS service that serves the Kansas City area includes fields for energy-efficient measures.

Training and Guidance Provided by the City or State

Kansas City offers training sessions monthly. Additional guidance resources can be found online

Enforcement Strategy

A written warning will be issued to any owner who fails to submit any required benchmarking information. In the event required benchmarking information is not reported within 60 days of the date the written warning is issued, the owner may receive a fine as low as  $50.00 and not more than $500.00. For any continuing violation of this article, each day of the violation shall be considered a separate offense, up to $2,000.00 annually.

Energy Data Disclosure

All submitted benchmarking data, including any ENERGY STAR score, shall be made available to the public.

Database and Reports

All submitted benchmarking data is available for the public to view on the program website.

Last Updated: January 2017

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 9.5 out of 20 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: January 2017

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs, Spending & SavingsList All

In 2015, according to EIA, KCP&L achieved 69,108 MWh in net incremental savings, representing 0.82% of retail sales. To achieve these savings, IPL spent $19,694,000 on electric efficiency programs in 2015, which equates to 2.27% of annual revenue. In 2015, Missouri Gas Energy reported savings of 2.83 MMtherms from natural gas efficiency programs, representing 0.25% of its retail sales. To achieve these savings, Missouri Gas Energy spent $1,828,415 on natural gas efficiency programs, which are normalized to $4.16 per residential customer. 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. Missouri Gas Energy similarly offers natural gas efficiency programs 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: January 2017

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

KCP&L partners with MGE 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.

In 2015, according to KCP&L’s demand-side management report, it spent $1,664,079 on its low-income programs. Savings and customer served values were not evaluated.

MGE offers additional low-income programs, including the IPL Pilot Weatherization Program and Red Tag Equipment Repair Program. The utility provides funding to the community action agencies that implement the program. In 2015, according to MGE, it spent $770,000 on its low-income energy efficiency program portfolio. MGE did not provide information on savings or number of participating households.

Multifamily Programs

KCP&L offers the 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. MGE does not offer energy efficiency programs targeted at multifamily properties at this time.

Last Updated: June 2017

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

In order for customers to access their own energy data, KCP&L provides the Account Link Advantage Service. Although this program is currently only available for large commercial customers, it is undergoing development to be generally available for all customers in 2017. Missouri Gas Energy provides a service similar to Green Button, through an online customer connection system. At this point, KCP&L and MGE do not provide building managers or owners with automatic whole-building benchmarking data for input into Portfolio Manager. Nevertheless, KCP&L has a benchmarking program in development, which should become available in 2017 pursuant to the agreement with the State of Missouri Public Service Commission. KCP&L provides community-wide energy data to the city for energy planning on a monthly basis, and Missouri Gas Energy data on request. 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: January 2017

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Water Efficiency

Although there is active cooperation between the electric 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.

Energy 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. Although city’s water system does not self-generate its own energy on a regular basis, it does capture and reuse methane from anaerobic digesters to super-heat hot water boilers.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

Kansas City began a pilot program called Middle Blue River Basin Green Solutions Pilot Project in 2012. The project is a part of Kansas City’s Overflow Control Program. Kansas City is invested in providing a healthy city with more sustainable infrastructure by reducing sewage and rainwater overflow. The pilot project took place in a neighborhood in south Kansas City. The result from this project has earned Kansas City the Envision Platinum Award from the Institute of Sustainable Infrastructure.

Kansas City’s consent decree with the EPA gives the city 25 years to develop systems that will capture and treat 88% 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. As of January 2017, over 75 projects were currently moving forward as part of the Plan, and three projects had been completed.

Last Updated: January 2017

Score: 12 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

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

Last updated: January 2017

Mode Shift List All

Modal Share Targets

Kansas City has not yet developed targets to promote a modal shift in transportation.

Car and Bicycle Sharing

 Kansas City is served by zipcar. The city also has a bikesharing program, Kansas City B-cycle.

Complete Streets

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

Last updated: January 2017

Transit List All

The ATA transit system that serves Kansas City has received $95,734,924 in average annual funding from 2011-2015. This funding level is $45.86 per resident in the service territory of the agency, putting the city in the second lowest category ($25-49) available in transit funding. 

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 8, putting it in the fourth highest category (5-14) available in the City Scorecard.

Last updated: January 2017

Efficient VehiclesList 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 EV charging infrastructure. The city has 109EV charging stations available for public use. 

Last updated: January 2017

Freight List All

Sustainable freight plan

Kansas City does not have a sustainable freight transportation plan in place nor does the city has any policies that address freight efficiency.

Smart freight

Kansas City does not employ an internet-based application or service to coordinate freight transport.

Last updated: January 2017

Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Kansas City has  Livable Streets plan that encourages active living, including utilization of walking and biking as transportation alternatives. The city also has codified GHG reduction targets for the transportation sector within its’ Climate Protection Plan.

Last updated: January 2017

Low-Income in Transit-Oriented Development Areas List All

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

Last updated: January 2017