In Minnesota, the Office of Energy Security (OES), part of the Minnesota Department of Commerce Security, is the state’s energy office. The OES works to move Minnesota towards a sustainable energy future, managing energy assistance funds, advancing the public interest on energy utility rates and facility siting. It provides information and assistance to residents, builders, utilities, non-profits and policy-makers on home improvements, financial assistance, renewable technologies, policy initiatives, and utility regulations.
In Minnesota, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is the consumer protection agency in the state. The PUC is charged with the regulation of public utilities such as electric and telephone service. It regulates three cornerstone service industries in Minnesota’s economy, i.e., electricity, natural gas, and telephone. The PUC aims to create and maintain a regulatory environment that ensures safe, reliable, and efficient utility services at fair and reasonable rates.
The functions of the PUC include:
- carrying out the duties and responsibilities assigned to it by law;
- operating in both a quasi-judicial and quasi-legislative capacity;
- creating rules relating to the conduct of utilities and the procedures under which the Commission operates; provides a forum for resolving disputes between the public and utilities;
- considering the various viewpoints of interested parties, monitors utility operations, initiates investigations and deliberates in the public interest;
- recognizing societal and technological changes that permit and encourage competition in the market place to the extent that public and utility interests are balanced and protected; and
- developing and retaining competent and dedicated commissioners and staff.
The PUC’s Energy Facilities Unit manages state oversight of proposals to construct or modify large energy facilities in Minnesota, including electric power plants and transmission lines, wind power generation plants, and gas and petroleum facilities.