State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Minneapolis, MN

69.00Scored out of 100Updated 8/2019
Local Government Score:
6.5 out of 9 points
Local Government Climate and Energy Goals List All

The Minneapolis Climate Action Plan established citywide climate and energy goals for the city.

Climate Mitigation Goal

Minneapolis aims to ahieve a 1.5% annual reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from city facilities. ACEEE projects the city will achieve and exceed its GHG emissions reduction goal for local government operations. 

Energy Reduction Goal

We did not find information regarding a municipal energy reduction goal.

Renewable Energy Goal

Minneapolis formally adopted a resolution establishing a 100% renewable energy goal for municipal operations by 2022.

Last updated: June 2019

Procurement and Construction List All

Fleet Policies and Composition

Minneapolis does not have formal fuel efficiency requirements for its 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. The City’s fleet is composed of 3.4% efficient vehicles, including hybrid and battery electric vehicles.

Public Lighting

Minneapolis has adopted a Street Light Policy standard that requires full cutoff fixtures and complies with the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance. The City of Minneapolis owns and maintains approximately 18,000 streetlights, and Xcel Energy owns and maintains the remaining approximately 24,200 street lights. As of April 2019, 44% of the City-owned streetlights and 90% of the Xcel Energy-owned streetlights have been replaced with LEDs, adding up to approximately 70% of all Minneapolis streetlights. Most streetlights operate on photo sensors.

Green Building Requirements

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.

Last updated: June 2019

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

Minneapolis has been using energy management software, EnergyCAP, since 2007. 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. Using data from EnergyCAP, the city prioritizes retrofit opportunities. Most recent retrofits of buildings larger than 25,000 square feet have been extensive retrofits (all lighting, HVAC, etc.). This software’s dashboard allows the City’s energy manager to strategize comprehensive retrofits by prioritizing buildings consuming the most energy and operating the least efficiently. Through the software, the City has avoided energy costs of $8 million over the past 6 years - an annual savings of 13% of the total energy/utility costs.

Public Workforce Commuting

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

Last updated: June 2019

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 10.5 out of 16 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

The City of Minneapolis adopted its Climate Action Plan in 2013 to serve as a roadmap for lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

Last updated: June 2019

Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

Minneapolis has set goals in its Climate Action Plan to reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 30% under 2006 levels by 2025 and 80% under 2006 levels by 2050. ACEEE projects the city will achieve its community-wide GHG emissions reduction goal. 

The city has released comprehensive greenhouse gas inventories for the years of 2013, 2014, and 2015. The city also releases citywide emissions data on an online tracking page.

Energy Reduction Goal

The city’s Climate Action Plan set goals of increasing the energy efficiency of commercial and residential buildings by 20% and 15% respectively by 2025 relative to a growth baseline.       

Renewable Energy Goal

Minneapolis’s city council formally adopted a community-wide goal of 100% renewable energy by 2030.

Energy Data Reporting

The Clean Energy Partnership annual report includes community-wide energy data. The city’s Energy Benchmarking Dashboard illustrates the energy and water efficiency of over 400 commercial buildings within the city.

Last updated: June 2019

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

Equity-Driven Community Engagement

The city created the Minneapolis Green Zones Initiative. The Initiative is a place-based policy that puts greater emphasis on improving health and spurring economic development using environmentally conscious efforts in communities that face the cumulative effects of environmental pollution, as well as social, political and economic vulnerability in low-income communities, indigenous communities, and communities of color. There are currently two Green Zones: the Northern Green Zone and the Southside Green Zone. Green Zones are community driven. Members of the Northern and Southside Green Zone communities sit on task forces or councils that serve as an advisory board to the City Council and Mayor on the implementation and evaluation of their corresponding Work Plans, which were also developed by community members. Green Zone Task Forces develop and lead outreach work plans to engage community members in planning their initiatives.

Equity-Driven Decision-Making

Minneapolis’s Climate Action Plan Environmental Justice Working Group recommended the creation of Green Zones within the city.

Accountability to Equity

The city and Green Zone Task Forces use numerous indicators to track the outcomes of sustainability initiatives that serve the two zones.

Last updated: June 2019

Clean Distributed Energy SystemsList All

The city has engaged in developing community solar gardens.

Last updated: June 2019

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

Minneapolis does not have a quantifiable urban heat island mitigation goal, but both the city’s Climate Action Plan and 2040 Comprehensive Plan state broad intentions to increase the urban tree canopy.

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.  

Last updated: June 2019

Buildings Policies
Score: 20 out of 30 points
Buildings Summary List All

The City of Minneapolis enforces the state’s energy code. The city administers a commercial and multifamily benchmarking ordinance. Minneapolis offers several incentives to commercial and residential properties energy efficiency, solar energy installation, and low-income energy projects.

Last updated: March 2019

Building Energy Code AdoptionList All


The State of Minnesota currently requires local jurisdictions to comply with the 2015 Minnesota Energy Code. The state based the 2015 Minnesota Energy code on the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for both residential and commercial codes. Minneapolis does not have the authority to set its own building energy code, but actively advocates to the state for more stringent codes. To learn more about the Minnesota building energy code requirements, please visit the State Policy Database.


Commercial properties must comply with the 2015 Minnesota Energy Code. The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code is 57.3.


Residential properties must comply with the 2015 Minnesota Energy Code. The city’s zEPI score for their residential energy code is 51.9.

Solar- and EV-ready

The city has not passed an ordinance mandating new construction be solar- and/or EV-ready.

Last updated: March 2019

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

Minneapolis does not staff full time employees solely dedicated to energy code enforcement. The city requires progress inspections to ensure energy-code compliance during development, plan reviews, and performance testing. The city provides upfront support to building owners and/or developers through in-house meetings.

Last updated: May 2019

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All

Commercial and multifamily

Minneapolis requires commercial buildings 50,000 square feet and greater to benchmarking energy consumption and report the data to the city. In 2019, the City Council approved of an ordinance to expand benchmarking requirements to multifamily properties 100,000 square feet and greater. The policy covers 75% of commercial buildings and 72% of multifamily buildings and has achieved a compliance rate of 95%. 


The city requires homeowners to disclose their energy consumption at the time of sale.

Last updated: June 2019

Incentives and Financing for Efficient Buildings and Renewable EnergyList All

The city offers thirteen incentives for energy efficiency upgrades, solar energy installation, and low-income energy action projects.

Minneapolis offers density bonuses to residential and commercial construction that 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 to small businesses for energy efficiency improvements. Minneapolis also offers a Commercial Energy Efficiency Loan program

The city’s Green Business Cost Share program provides financial incentives for solar incentives. The program prioritizes commercial and multifamily properties within the bounds of Minneapolis Green Zones or those participating in the 4d Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing Program because they aim to expand energy efficiency and renewable energy installation in low-income areas.

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

The city’s 2019 expansion to the Commercial Building Energy Benchmarking and Transparency Ordinance requires an ASHRAE level 1 evaluation or an accepted tune-up/recommissioning within the past 5 years for the lowest-performing buildings. This requirement is only enforced if there is an option available at no cost to the owner.

Owners of select rental properties are required to disclose energy use information to residential tenants at time of application if applications are provided, or post the information in the property if no applications are provided.

Per the time of sale residential energy disclosure requirement, building owners are required to undergo an energy assessment.

Last updated: May 2019

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workforce DevelopmentList All

The city has contracted the National Association of State Energy Officials to conduct a study on developing a renewable energy workforce. The city expects to release the results of the study in early 2019. Additionally, Minneapolis issued an RFP for a community solar garden that included local workforce participation requirements. 

Last updated: May 2019

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 12 out of 15 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: March 2019

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs and SavingsList All

In 2017, according to Xcel Energy, they achieved 537,642 MWh in net incremental savings, representing 1.81% of retail sales. In 2017, CenterPoint Energy reported savings of 23.61 MMtherms from natural gas efficiency programs in their demand side management report, representing 2.20% of its retail sales. These savings figures cover 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: March 2019

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

Xcel Energy offers a portfolio of programs for low-income customers, including the Home Energy Savings Program (HESP), Low Income Home Energy Savings Program (LIHES), and Multi-Family Energy Savings Program (MESP). HESP offers free home energy education and improvement services to income-qualifying customers. HESP starts with a home assessment and installation of LED lighting. Additional measures offered are refrigerator, freezer, room air conditioner replacement and recycling. For natural gas customers the program offers replacement of furnace, boiler or water heater. HESP will also provide weatherization services for homes heated with natural gas or electricity from Xcel Energy, and the program coordinates with the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). The LIHES Program offers installation services to electric and gas customers who seek to improve their homes’ comfort and lower their utility bills. During a home visit, the program identifies energy savings opportunities, educates customers about energy-saving measures, and then installs the customers’ measures of choice, such as light bulbs, water efficiency measures, and door and attic hatch weatherstripping.

MESP offers free education and electric saving measures to income-qualifying multi-family buildings. Services are provided in the resident’s units and include installation of LED bulbs, replacement and recycling of refrigerators, freezers, and room air conditioners. Outside of the low-income portfolio, the Multi-Family Building Efficiency Program will provide double incentive for income-qualified buildings (see 1h for more details).

In 2017, according to Xcel Energy, it achieved 1,976 MWh in energy savings from its low-income programs, while serving 3,221 electric low-income customers.

CenterPoint Energy offers a variety of low-income programs, including a Low-income Weatherization program, Low-Income Rental 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 2017, the Clean Energy Partnership conducted a Community Engagement Pilot project to identify barriers and benefits related to energy efficiency activities in lower income communities and communities of color. The Neighborhood Hub and Minneapolis Renter's Coalition were selected to conduct field investigations to determine the best way to educate and engage community members and stakeholder groups in utility energy efficiency programs.

In 2017, according to CenterPoint Energy, it achieved 0.32 MMtherms of savings from its low-income programs while serving 2,724 low-income customers.

Multifamily Programs

Both Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy offer the Multi-Family Building Efficiency (MFBE) program and the Multi-Family Energy Savings Program. The MFBE provides a free whole-building energy audit, whole-building energy usage, free installation of screw-in LEDs, energy saving faucet aerators and showerheads, water heater blanket and LED signs in the resident’s units and common areas of the buildings. If the building has sufficient cost-effective savings opportunities to reach a minimum of 15% energy savings, they can achieve an incentive of at least 25% of the project cost—the incentive increase with higher savings achievement potential. If the building qualifies as low income, the incentives are doubled. Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy also provides a dedicated low-income multifamily program, Multi-Family Energy Savings Program. This program provides a 25% rebate bonus on top of its standard rebates for income-qualified customers.

In 2017, according to Xcel Energy, it achieved 2,005 MWh of savings from its multifamily programs while serving 130 customers. In 2017, according to CenterPoint Energy, it achieved 0.16 MMtherms while serving 91 buildings and 4,872 units.

Last Updated: March 2019

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

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. 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: March 2019

Renewable Energy Efforts of Energy UtilitiesList All

Renewable Energy Incentives

In 2017, Xcel Energy did not provide renewable energy incentives for the construction of new distributed solar or wind systems.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

The City of Minneapolis is in conversations with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to overturn limits on the City’s ability to require solar readiness or installation. Recently, the City of Minneapolis hired a staff member to act as a liaison between the City and the PUC in order to, among other things, assume solar readiness. The Clean Energy Partnership 2019 Work Plan has an activity to support the 100% renewable electricity goal.

Last Updated: March 2019

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

City-wide water efficiency and goals

The City of Minneapolis Water Treatment and Distribution Services Division (WTDS) works with Xcel Energy with all of its energy related projects to determine if there are energy efficiency rebate opportunities and incorporates this information into its decision-making process. The City is currently subsidizing Home Energy Squad visits (free for Green Zone residents) and 0% financing on weatherization improvements (for all Minneapolis residents).

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. WTDS recently completed a leak detection study of most of the water distribution system that searched for and identified leaks. In addition, the City’s residential meters are at the end of their useful life and are due for replacement. As a result, new meters will be installed over the next five years. Both of these efforts lead to either identifying or reducing non-revenue water.

Water plant 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 replacing the return- and waste-activated sludge pump drives at Metro.

The Metropolitan Wastewater Treatment 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.

Last Updated: March 2019

Score: 20 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

Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

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.

VMT/GHG Targets and Stringency

Minneapolis has a GHG reduction target for the transportation sector calling for a 31% reduction between 2010 and 2025. This is equivalent to 2.1% annually.

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

Minneapolis does not track progress towards a VMT/GHG target.

Last Updated: May 2019

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning Codes

Minneapolis code incentivizes transit-oriented development, compact development, mixed-use development, street connectivity, and form-based elements.

Residential Parking Policies

Minneapolis requires one parking space per dwelling on average, and has eradicated parking minimums for downtown zones.

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

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: March 2019

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

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

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

Minneapolis’s average bicycle commute mode share between 2011-2013 was 3.9% while the average for 2015-2017 (the latest comparable data) was 4.2%.

Complete Streets

Minneapolis’s complete streets policy scored an 85.6 out of 100 according to the National Complete Streets Coalition.

Car Sharing

Minneapolis has a car share policy that allows for designated on-street spaces.

Bike Sharing

The city has 432.13 docked bike share bikes per 100,000 people.

Last Updated: May 2019

Transit List All

Transportation Funding

Minneapolis spends an average of $67.70 per capita on transit.

Access to Transit Services

The city has an All Transit Performance score of 8.5 out of 10.

Last Updated: March 2019

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

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

Vehicle Infrastructure Incentives

The city does not have any incentives in place for EV charging infrastructure installation.

EV Charging Locations

Minneapolis has 13.02 publicly available EV charging locations per 100,000 people.

Renewable Charging Incentives

We could not confirm if Minneapolis has any incentives for the renewable EV charging infrastructure installation.

Last Updated: March 2019

Freight System EfficiencyList All

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.

Last Updated: March 2019

Clean, Efficient Transportation for Low-Income CommunitiesList All

Affordable New TOD Housing Policy

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.

Connecting Existing Affordable Housing Stock to Efficient Transportation Options

NiceRide, the bike sharing program in Minneapolis, has a Community Partners program through which they work with assorted organizations to offer discounted memberships to their clients. Metro Transit, the local transit authority, has a Transit Assistance Program that provides access to $1.00 fares for one year to low-income residents.

Low-Income Access to High Quality Transit

52.2% of low-income households (those that earn less than $50k annually) are located near high-quality, all-day transit in Minneapolis.

Last Updated: April 2019