State and Local Policy Database

Kansas City

City Scorecard Rank


Kansas City, MO

36.00Scored out of 100Updated 10/2020
Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 3.5 out of 15 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: September 2021

Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

The Climate Protection Plan includes a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% below 2000 levels by 2050. Based on ACEEE’s analysis of past years emissions data, ACEEE projects that the city will meet its near-term 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.  

Last updated: September 2021

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

Equity-Driven Community Engagement

We were unable to determine whether relevant decision-makers have taken a unique and expanded approach in conducting engagement for multiple clean energy initiatives with marginalized groups compared to engagement with 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.

Equity Accountability Measures

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: September 2021

Clean Distributed Energy ResourcesList All

The city has not adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: September 2021

Mitigation of Heat Islands List All

UHI Mitigation Goal

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. 

UHI Policies and Programs

The City adopted the Stream Buffer Ordinance to promote land conservation. 

Last updated: September 2021

Buildings Policies
Score: 9 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: June 2021

Building 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 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, and is currently considering the adoption of IECC 2021. 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, and is currently considering the adoption of IECC 2021. The city’s zEPI score for their residential energy code is 54.4.

Solar-readiness Policies

The city does not have a policy mandating new developments be solar-ready.

EV-charging readiness and infrastructure policies

The city does not have a policy mandating new developments be EV-ready.

Low-energy use requirements

New municipal buildings must achieve LEED Gold standards. 

Last updated: June 2021

Building Energy Code Compliance and EnforcementList All

Kansas City does not employ any 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 does not currently offer upfront support to developers or owners.

Last updated: June 2021

Policies Targeting Existing BuildingsList All

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

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. 


Homeowners may apply for property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for energy-efficient and water-saving home through the HERO Program. The city also expedites permits for solar energy systems.

Last updated: June 2021

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workforce DevelopmentList All

City does not have programs committed to developing a dedicated energy efficiency or renewable energy workforce.

Last updated: October 2021

Score: 12.5 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. The city also adopted a new Climate Action Plan in 2021, and additional goals concerning VMT are expected to be present within the cities new Comprehensive Plan which is on track to be released in mid 2022. 

VMT/GHG Target and Stringency

The City has a codified GHG reduction targets for the transportation sector within its Climate Protection Plan.

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

The city tracks GHG reduction numbers on a periodic basis. The city is currently on track to reach its target. 

Last Updated: November 2021

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: November 2021

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.

Last Updated: November 2021

Public Transit List All

Transportation Funding

The transportation entities that serve the Kansas City have received $103,156,825.40 on average annually between 2015 and 2019. That equates to roughly $130.79 per capita between 2015 and 2019 within the Authority's service area. 

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. The City of Kansas City’s Transit Connectivity Index value is 4.8, scoring 0 points in the City Scorecard.

Last Updated: November 2021

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

The local electric utility has agreements for the Chevy Bolt and Nissan Leaf. For the Bolt, financial incentives can total as much as $12,000; and for the Leaf, financial incentives can total as much as $14,000.

Vehicle Infrastructure Incentives

The local electric IOU has subsidized the installation of approximately 1,100 charging stations across the region in its Clean Charge Network; EVSE was purchased from Charge Point. 96 of the stations are on public property such as parking garages, at the Water Department, etc. The first two years following installation were free to the consumer with charges absorbed by the utility. After that initial period, charging is negotiated with the property owner/manager.

EV Charging Locations

The City has 865 charging ports available for public use, equivalent to 174.6 ports per 100,000 people.

Electric School Bus Goal

Kansas City does not have an electric school bus goal.

EV Transit Bus Goal

Kansas City does not have an EV transit bus goal.

Last Updated: November 2021

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: November 2021

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

KC-ATA’s Zero Fare program provides free fixed route public transportation to all, eliminating the need to qualify low income individuals or sustain the cost of any fare collection system.

Last Updated: November 2021

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 6.5 out of 15 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

Evergy, previously known as Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L), an investor-owned utility (IOU), 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: July 2021

Electricity and Natural Gas Efficiency SavingsList All

In 2019, according to EIA, Evergy reported 86,371 MWh in net electric incremental savings, representing 1.03% of retail sales. In 2019, Evergy spent $13,068,000 on electric energy efficiency programs, which represents 1.44% of its retail revenue.

In 2019, Spire Missouri reported 2.24 MMtherms of net natural gas savings at the meter, which represents 0.18% of its retail sales across the utility’s service territory. In 2019, Spire Missouri spent $6,397,222 million on energy efficiency, which equates to $5.81 per residential customer. These savings and spending figures cover the entire jurisdiction of both utilities, not just Kansas City.

Evergy offers electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and business customers. Spire Missouri Energy similarly offers natural gas efficiency programs to residential and commercial customers.

At this time, Kansas City does not have a formal partnership with Evergy or Spire Missouri in the form of a jointly developed or administered energy saving strategy, plan, or agreement.

Last Updated: July 2021

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

Evergy offers 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. Optional 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. Health measures include heating system safety testing, combustion appliance safety testing, repair and replacement of vent systems, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, moisture barriers, and others. 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 Economic Relief Pilot Program (ERPP). The program is administered by the Salvation Army.

In 2019 according to Evergy, it achieved 576 MWh savings, whiles spending $838,829 on its low-income programs and served 2,510 low-income customers.

Spire Missouri's Low-Income Weatherization program offers weatherization measures including weather-stripping, caulking, HVAC filter replacement, HVAC repair/replace, and low-flow faucet aerators and showerheads. The program partners with the Missouri Department of Economic Development, Community Action Agencies (CAA), Missouri Weatherization PAC, Committee to Keep Missourians Warm, Earthways Center, US Green Building Council, and Energy Efficiency for All.

In 2019 according to Spire Missouri, it spent $21,510,734 on its low-income programs and served 2,927 low-income customers. Savings data was not available.

Multifamily Programs

Evergy and Spire jointly-offer 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 the installation of energy-efficient equipment in common areas.

In 2019, according to Evergy, it achieved 7,542 MWh savings, while spending $4,623,981 on its multifamily program. Evergy served 8,319 housing units in 91 multifamily properties. In 2019, Spire Missouri achieved 0.10 MMtherms while spending $382,030 and serving 2,570 housing units with this joint program.

Last Updated: July 2021

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Evergy provides whole-building data to customers. Kansas City provides community-wide energy usage information for planning and evaluation purposes through their City GHG inventories. Evergy and Spire Energy have each published annual reports addressing energy use. They have worked with the City to provide data for the annual GHG inventory updates and will be publishing their GHG inventory in 2021 to reflect 2019 data.

Kansas City and Evergy also partnered on the Department of Energy's Better Buildings Initiative, Energy Data Accelerator, to facilitate better access to energy usage data.

Last Updated: July 2021

Decarbonization and Climate Change Mitigation Efforts of Energy UtilitiesList All

Utility Climate Mitigation Goal

In 2020, Evergy set a goal to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 from 2005 levels. To achieve this goal, Eversource Energy will need to reduce emissions by 1.72% annually from 2019 levels.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

Kansas City typically intervenes in pending renewable energy cases, while not often providing written comments. While not a specific formal partnership, the City most recently passed Resolution 181000 regarding the City’s goal of procuring 100% carbon-free electricity. The city is working to facilitate and achieve parts of the resolution with renewable energy efforts. The Office of Environmental Quality has been involved in direct conversations with Evergy about the possibility of community solar siting in climate vulnerable communities. As part of Resolution No. 181000, Kansas City was asked to identify possible community solar sites through an on-going process. The City also plans to partner with the utility on Evergy's Sustainably Transformation Plan moving forward.

Last Updated: July 2021

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Citywide Water Efficiency and Goals

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. However, there is no formal approach or dedicate funding source for comprehensive upgrades. The city’s water system does not self-generate its own energy.

Last Updated: July 2021

Local Government Score:
4.5 out of 10 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, and Resolution No. 200005 updated the baseline year to 2005. 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 City has a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from municipal operations 70% below 2005 levels by 2025 with a goal of being climate neutral by 2030. To meet this goal, the city must reduce per capita emissions by 3.73% annually. Based on ACEEE’s analysis of past years emissions data, ACEEE projects that the city will come within 90% of its near-term GHG emissions reduction goal for municipal operations. 

Energy Reduction Goal

Kansas City aims to reduce local government 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 181000 committed the city to procuring 100% of electricity from renewable energy resources by 2020. This goal was not met, and Resolution No. 200005 updated the goal to 100% renewable electricity by 2022. 

Last updated: June 2021

Procurement and Construction Policies List All

Fleet Policies and Composition

Kansas City began developing a new fleet administrative regulation in 2018 at the direction of Resolution No. 181000, which states that the City Manager shall work with other governmental entities to establish an electric vehicle procurement initiative, and ensure at least fifty percent of the City’s new bus and passenger sedan purchases are all-electric or plug-in-hybrid-electric vehicles for calendar years 2021 to 2026. At the direction of the City Manager, the Office of Environmental Quality is to work with Fleet Management to create a Vehicle Electrification Plan.  This is expected to happen in tandem with the City's climate planning process. Kansas City's fleet is made up of 1% efficient vehicles.

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, and 9.8% of streetlights have currently been converted. Streetlights are scheduled, so they only operate when needed.

Onsite and offsite renewable systems 

Kansas City has installed approximately 1.5 MW of solar on municipal facilities.

Inclusive procurement 

Kansas City’s PACE program encourages increased contracting of MBEs and WBEs in energy projects.

Last updated: June 2021

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking 

Kansas City benchmarks 100% of buildings over 10,000 sq-ft annually according to the city's benchmarking ordinance

Comprehensive Retrofit Strategy

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. Energy costs avoided is reported, based on benchmarking, 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. Per Resolution No. 181000 the City Manager is directed to achieve Energy Star certification for 90% of all eligible municipal buildings of 25,000 square feet or more by no later than December 31, 2023. 

Last updated: June 2021