Kansas City Passes Energy Benchmarking Ordinance

Kanas City Atkins Art Museum

On June 4, 2015, Kansas City, Missouri became the 14th municipality in the U.S. and third in the Midwest to successfully pass an ordinance which engages building owners to improve their energy management practices. Congratulations to KCMO!

About the ordinance

With a city council vote of 12-1 in favor of creating a building energy benchmarking initiative, named appropriately the “Energy Empowerment Ordinance”, energy and water consumption data will be annually submitted to the city by large commercial and multi-family residential building owners. Combining this information with municipal data, energy and water consumption figures from each building will be summarized in an annual report and disclosed to the public each year. Like most ordinances of this type, Kansas City’s version does not require building owners to implement any energy saving retrofits.

Kansas City chose to move beyond their successful voluntary program to an ordinance-based approach in order to gain a more holistic view of the consumption figures of their largest and most energy consuming buildings. The benchmarking ordinance will assist the city to measure their progress towards their stated energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals. The data will also assist the city in providing owners of lesser performing buildings with the necessary resources to improve their energy consumption figures. These may include utility incentive/rebate programs, building operator training programs and best practices towards energy savings and human comfort.


MEEA has been working with the City of Kansas City, Missouri and other stakeholders for over a year to develop a building energy benchmarking ordinance. We worked with local MEEA members the Metropolitan Energy Center, as well as representatives from Kansas City Power and Light; Laclede Energy; AIA Kansas City; Bridging the Gap; City Energy Project; EPA Region 7; Greenwood Consulting Group, LLC; Kansas City Public Schools; Kansas City Sierra Club; Mid-America Regional Council; and the USGBC Central Plains Chapter to build a support structure and knowledge base for the city. These organizations will be key players to assist the city with the implementation process now that the ordinance has passed.