State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Minneapolis, MN

68.00Scored out of 100Updated 5/2017
Local Government Score:
8.5 out of 10 points
Local Government Summary List All

Greenprint, a subset of the Minneapolis Sustainability Indicators, is Minneapolis’s framework for sustainability. It includes a goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 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. The city also coordinates closely throughout the year with its electric utility, Xcel Energy.

Last updated: February 2017

Local Government Energy Efficiency Goals List All

Greenprint, a subset of the Minneapolis Sustainability Indicators and and Numerical Targets, 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. Minneapolis does not currently have a formal energy efficiency goal for local government operations. However, the City does employ standard operating procedures to ensure energy efficiency is improved. Minneapolis meets with the electric utility, Xcel Energy, multiple times per year to discuss upcoming new construction and renovation projects, in an effort to ensure the most efficient systems are included and mechanical system rebates are maximized.


To meet their reduction goal, Minneapolis would need to reduce emissions by 1.5% per year.


Minneapolis has reduced municipal emissions by an average of 4% per year between 2008 and 2012, exceeding their annual target.


Minneapolis releases sustainability reports and greenhouse gas inventories annually and reports to the community on some of its local government operations initiatives through its performance evaluation system, Results Minneapolis. This performance management and monitoring tool now includes Minneapolis’ Sustainability Indicators and will likely include GHG data by the end of 2017. 

Last updated: January 2017

Procurement and Construction List All

Vehicle Fleets and Infrastructure

Minneapolis does not have formal fuel efficiency requirements for their vehicles or energy-efficient vehicle procurement policies in place. However, 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. In addition, the city’s Green Fleets Policy includes policies for optimizing city fleet size. Moreover, the city implements Network Fleet, a web-based tracking system aimed at increasing the efficiency and safety of its fleet

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 an outdoor lighting replacement and upgrade program. The first phase of this replacement program, is high-wattage street lighting because it has been deemed the most cost-effective. At this point, approximately 14% of the city-owned high-wattage street lights have been replaced. 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 must 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: April 2017

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

Minneapolis Ordinance 47-190 requires benchmarking of city buildings of 25,000 square feet or more. 100% of the square feet of City-owned buildings is benchmarked in EnergyCAP, buildings over 25,000 square feet are also benchmarked in Portfolio Manager. Although Minneapolis has no comprehensive retrofit strategy for its municipal buildings in place, this City meets with the electric utility, Xcel Energy, multiple times per year to talk about upcoming new construction and renovation projects, in an effort to ensure the most efficient systems are installed and mechanical system rebates are maximized. The City has implemented several retrofits in many public buildings.

Public Employees

The City’s telework policy authorizes departments to consider alternative work schedules.

Last updated: January 2017

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 12 out of 12 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

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

Last updated: April 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. The city has also adopted goals to increase energy efficiency by 15% in residential buildings and 20% in commercial and industrial buildings relative to a projected 2025 growth baseline. These goals have been formally adopted as part of the city’s Climate Action Plan.

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: April 2017

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: April 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 Minneapolis Stormwater Utility Fee Credit System allows credits for various low impact development practices such as green roofs, vegetated swales and rain gardens.  The city has not adopted a private tree protection ordinance.

Last updated: April 2017

Buildings Policies
Score: 14.5 out of 28 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 buildings. The Department of Construction Code Services manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for the City of Minneapolis.

Last Updated: January 2017

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 does not have internal staff dedicated solely to energy code compliance. The Minnesota Residential Energy Code requires premise owners to hire specialists for progress inspections of the energy-code related project. The city does not require building code officials to complete energy code training, nor does it provide up front support to owners and developers.

Last Updated: March 2017

Requirements and Incentives for Efficient Buildings List All

Green Building Requirements

Private 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 by small businesses and light manufacturing for energy efficiency improvements. Minneapolis also offers a Commercial Energy Efficiency Loan program. 

Last Updated: January 2017

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 square feet. 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 city does not require benchmarking for residential buildings at this time. The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) that serves the Minneapolis region includes fields for energy efficiency features.

Last Updated: January 2017

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 16.5 out of 20 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

Xcel Northern States Power (Xcel Energy), 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: January 2017

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs, Spending & SavingsList All

In 2015, according to Xcel Energy, they achieved 379,424 MWh in net incremental savings, representing 1.25% of retail sales. To achieve these savings, Xcel spent $91,385,776 on electric efficiency programs in 2015, which equates to 3.09% of annual revenue. In 2015, CenterPoint Energy reported savings of 16.00 MMtherms from natural gas efficiency programs in their demand side management report, representing 1.52% of its retail sales. To achieve these savings, CenterPoint Energy spent $25,893,618 on natural gas efficiency programs, which are normalized to $33.86 per residential customer. 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.

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. The first Annual Report on the Clean Energy Partnership's activities was released in June 2016 and is available on the Partnership's website, as is the Memorandum of Understanding between the City and its utility partners.

Last Updated: January 2017

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

Xcel offers a portfolio of programs for low-income customers, including the Home Energy Savings Program (HESP), Low Income Home Energy Squad, and Multifamily Energy Savings Program. HESP offers free energy-savings services and upgrades, including weatherstripping, insulation, inefficient furnace replacement, water heaters, refrigerators, freezers and window/wall air conditioners, and installation of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). HESP is implemented in coordination with the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), and in partnership with the state’s WAP-designated agency. The Low-Income Home Energy Savings Program provides efficient light bulbs, water efficiency measures, and door and attic hatch weatherstripping. The multifamily program provides lighting, refrigerator and freezer replacements, and wall and window AC replacement and recycling.

In 2015, according to Xcel, it achieved 2,597 MWh in energy savings from its low-income programs, while spending $2,375,360 on its low-income efficiency portfolio. These programs served 5,359 low-income customers, with each household receiving an average of $443 and saving an average of 485 kWh.

CenterPoint Energy offers a variety of low-income programs, including a Low-income Weatherization program, Low-Income Retail Efficiency program, Low-Income Free Heating System Tune-Up program, Non-Profit Affordable Housing Rebate program, and Low-Income Multifamily Housing Rebate program. These programs provide a variety of measures, such as insulation, furnaces, boilers, water heaters, water efficiency measures, thermostats, and health and safety measures. The Nonprofit Affordable Housing program provides rebates for insulation, furnaces, boilers, water heaters, and energy recovery ventilation. The Multifamily program provides a 25% bonus to building owners on any equipment eligible for a commercial rebate in an affordable housing building. The utility works with WAP service providers to leverage funds from the Department of Energy for the implementation of no-cost weatherization measures in low-income residences. CenterPoint Energy targets the elderly, disabled, and households with children for participation in its low-income programs.

In 2015, according to CenterPoint Energy, it achieved 0.37 MMtherms in energy savings from its low-income programs, while spending $2,665,523 on its low-income efficiency portfolio. These programs served 1,799 low-income customers, with each household receiving an average of $1,482 and saving an average of 205 therms.

Multifamily Programs

Both Xcel and CenterPoint Energy offer the Multi-Family Energy Savings Program. This comprehensive program provides free direct install and building assessment services, assistance identifying and prioritizing building improvements, and increasing incentives as owners achieve higher tiers of energy savings. Additionally, CenterPoint Energy offers the Low-Income Multi-Family Building Rebate Program which provides a 25% rebate bonus on top of its standard rebates for income-qualified customers.

Last Updated: June 2017

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

In order for customers to access their own energy data, Xcel Energy has implemented the Green Button data sharing platform for its customers. In contrast, CenterPoint Energy does not yet provide a service to allow customers to access their energy use data access. In order to assist building managers with accessing aggregated energy data, Xcel Energy provides a direct feed of whole-building energy usage data from their metered data repository into ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. 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 currently advocates for polices regarding data aggregation thresholds and e-signature enabled model consent forms. Additionally, Xcel Energy 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: January 2017

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Water Efficiency

CenterPoint Energy and the City of Minneapolis have partnered to promote CenterPoint Energy's offering of low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators through city water utility bill inserts. Residential water use is included in the Home Energy Squad Program, which the city partially funds, including a water conservation component that includes replacing shower and sink aerators.

The City’s Waterworks is focusing their water efficiency efforts on non-revenue water at a system level using the American Water Works Association’s Water Audit Software and methodology. Their goal is reducing the unaccounted for water portion of the non-revenue water to 10% or less.

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 (Metro) came very close to meeting its 2015 energy goal of reducing energy purchases by 25% from 2006 levels. After reaching 23% reductions, a new goal was set to further reduce energy purchases by 10% between 2015 and 2020. Specific strategies to meet the goals include: optimizing aeration processes, installing the Blue Lake wastewater treatment plant digester, installing the non-condensing steam turbine at the Metro wastewater treatment plant, and the replacement of the return activated sludge/waste activated sludge pump drives at Metro.

Metro Plant currently uses incinerators to burn the biosolids removed from the treated water to create energy for the operations of the plant. At the Blue Lake wastewater treatment plant, methane biogas recovered from the digester facility replaces 9 million BTU/hour of natural gas that powers the solids facility.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

The City is midway through an effort to develop water quality and hydraulic models of the 600 mile stormwater system. Upon completion of modeling work in late 2017, the City will begin stormwater projects to mitigate flood risks and improve water quality. In the meantime, the City is partnering with watershed organizations and others on pilot projects. Evaluation of and investments in green infrastructure are components of both the short and long term ongoing work.

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 10 or 100-year rain event on-site.

Last Updated: January 2017

Score: 16.5 out of 30 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: January 2017

Location Efficiency List All

Minneapolis code incentivizes transit-oriented development, compact development, mixed-use development, street connectivity, and form-based elements. Minneapolis requires one parking space per dwelling on average, and has eradicated parking minimums for downtown zones. As an incentive to promote location-efficient efficiency, Minneapolis has a variety of mixed-use zoning categories, density and FAR bonuses, zoning overlay districts that focus on pedestrian and transit-orientation and site plan review standards. 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: January 2017

Mode Shift List All

Modal Share Targets

To promote a modal shift in transportation, Minneapolis has set a goal to raise the bicycle commute mode share to 15% by 2025.

Car and Bicycle Sharing

There are three car sharing programs currently available to the residents and visitors of Minneapolis is hOourcarZipCar , and Car2Go. The city is served by a bikesharing program, Nice Ride Minnesota, with 170 stations across the Twin Cities area.

Complete Streets

The Minneapolis Complete Streets Policy (16-00670) was approved by City Council on May 27, 2016. 

Last updated: January 2017

Transit List All

The Metro Transit system that serves Minneapolis has received $665,547,005 in average annual funding from 2011-2015. This funding level is $188.83 per resident in the service territory of the agency, putting it in the third highest category (150-249) 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. Minneapolis’ Transit Connectivity Index value is 23, putting it in the third highest category (15-29) available in the City Scorecard.

Last updated: January 2017

Efficient VehiclesList 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 EV charging infrastructure. The city has 51EV charging stations available for public use.

Last updated: January 2017

Freight List All

Sustainable freight plan

Minneapolis has strategies in place to address freight efficiency within the 2009 Minneapolis Plan for Sustainable Growth. Examples of these strategies include off-street loading requirements with new developments, permitting of freight to use on-street parking meters in the am, encouragement of off-hours deliveries, strategic placement of truck loading zones, and prioritization of smaller vehicles for drayage.

Smart freight

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

Last updated: January 2017

Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Access Minneapolis is the city’s transportation action plan that addresses a full range of transportation options and issues, including pedestrians, bicycles, transit, automobiles, and freight. The city does not have codified greenhouse gas or VMT reduction goals.

Last updated: January 2017

Low-Income in Transit-Oriented Development Areas List All

Minneapolis’ Affordable Housing Trust Fund and Low Income Housing Tax Credit pools both award scoring points for TOD affordable housing developments. These are points for proximity to high service fixed route/express/limited stop transit, for proximity to other transit stops, for proximity to jobs and for higher density development. The city also incentivizes affordable housing with a density/FAR bonus in transit station areas.

Last updated: January 2017