In 2013, Minneapolis adopted their Climate Action Plan, which put into place a comprehensive set of emission reduction strategies. These strategies cover 3 areas: Buildings and energy, Transportation and land use, Waste and recycling.
For buildings and energy, the goal is to reduce energy usage by 17%, and generate 10% of electricity from local, renewable sources. On the residential building side of things, Minneapolis is proposing a "home energy audit" as part of the Truth In Housing program (TIH or TISH, Truth In Sale of Housing). This would require sellers to have an energy score when listing their house for sale. They are proposing that the TISH inspectors be trained to perform this component of the inspection process. The end result of this energy score would be a single number, for example 37 on a scale of 1 to 100. 100 would mean that the house would have virtually no energy costs.
Another part of this program is to make incentives for sellers to improve their homes energy-wise so that they can get a higher sale price due to energy efficiencies. If they don't, the buyers will at least have some knowledge about the energy efficiency of the house, making it an incentive to them to improve the house energy-wise.
Also on the residential side of things, Minneapolis is proposing a "time of rent" energy disclosure for renters. Renters currently have no way of knowing how much their utility bills will be before renting a unit. The disclosure would be mandated so that renters could compare units on energy efficiency. This would give incentives to the landlord (owners) to improve their buildings to make them more attractive to the rental market.
On the commercial side of things, some of them already have to do an energy score of sorts and disclose to purchasers. Minneapolis would like to extend that to all commercial buildings. They also have an Energy Reduction Challenge called the "Kilowatt Crackdown" to encourage commercial buildings to reduce usage.
For renewable energy, Minneapolis is trying to create policies that promote renewable energy, develop a "solar-ready" certification, and encourage "net-zero" buildings.
Making a building "solar-ready" adds virtually no cost at the time of construction, and would potentially have some value to purchasers. This would involve adding some structural supports and electrical conduit so that solar could be installed without adding structural support to the roof trusses, and/or digging in walls to add conduit. Both of these items can be added at a very low cost when in the construction phase.
What is a net-zero building? Basically net-zero means the building (or house) would generate all the energy it needs to power the building itself. This generally means that the building is super insulated so that it requires less energy to heat and cool the building, as well as solar panels to generate the energy it needs. Oftentimes this type of building uses geo-thermal heat pumps to heat and cool the building, running off solar energy. You can read more about "Net-Zero" buildings at this link.
You can read the entire action plan at the link below. Minneapolis Climate Action Plan: