CHAPTER 216C. ENERGY PLANNING AND CONSERVATION
Table of Sections
|216C.02||POWERS AND DUTIES OF COMMISSIONER; RULES.|
|216C.05||FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.|
|216C.051||LEGISLATIVE ELECTRIC ENERGY TASK FORCE.|
|216C.053||RENEWABLE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT.|
|216C.07||CONFLICT OF INTEREST.|
|216C.11||ENERGY CONSERVATION INFORMATION CENTER.|
|216C.12||ENERGY CONSERVATION PUBLICITY.|
|216C.13||POSTSECONDARY ENERGY EDUCATION.|
|216C.14||COMMUNITY ENERGY PLANNING; GRANTS.|
|216C.15||ENERGY SUPPLY EMERGENCY CONSERVATION AND ALLOCATION PLAN.|
|216C.16||STATE PETROLEUM SET-ASIDE PROGRAM.|
|216C.17||ENERGY FORECASTS AND STATISTICS; REPORT.|
|216C.18||STATE ENERGY POLICY AND CONSERVATION REPORT.|
|216C.195||Repealed, 2000 c 297 s 5
|216C.20||ENERGY CONSERVATION IN PUBLIC BUILDING.|
|216C.21||Repealed, 1996 c 310 s 1
|216C.22||Repealed, 1996 c 310 s 1
|216C.23||Repealed, 1996 c 310 s 1
|216C.24||Repealed, 1996 c 310 s 1
|216C.25||SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM STANDARDS.|
|216C.26||ENERGY RESEARCH PROJECT; REVIEW.|
|216C.261||ALTERNATIVE ENERGY ENGINEERING ACTIVITY.|
|216C.262||OPTIMAL LOW-INCOME WEATHERIZATION.|
|216C.263||OIL OVERCHARGE MONEY FOR ENERGY CONSERVATION.|
|216C.264||COORDINATING RESIDENTIAL WEATHERIZATION PROGRAMS.|
|216C.265||EMERGENCY ENERGY ASSISTANCE; FUEL FUNDS.|
|216C.266||DATA PRIVACY; ENERGY PROGRAMS.|
|216C.27||ENERGY CONSERVATION IN EXISTING RESIDENCE.|
|216C.30||ENFORCEMENT; PENALTIES, REMEDIES.|
|216C.31||ENERGY AUDIT PROGRAMS.|
|216C.315||ALTERNATIVE ENERGY ECONOMIC ANALYSIS.|
|216C.32||ENERGY-EFFICIENT BUILDING EDUCATION.|
|216C.33||MINNESOTA BIOMASS CENTER.|
|216C.34||MONEY FOR SCHOOL OR GOVERNING BODY.|
|216C.35||PRIORITIES FOR FUNDING.|
|216C.36||Repealed, 1993 c 327 s 24
|216C.37||ENERGY CONSERVATION INVESTMENT LOAN.|
|216C.373||SUPERINSULATED HOME DEMONSTRATION PROJECT.|
|216C.38||BUILDING ENERGY RESEARCH CENTER.|
|216C.381||COMMUNITY ENERGY PROGRAM.|
|216C.40||Expired, 1993 c 254 s 6
|216C.41||RENEWABLE ENERGY PRODUCTION INCENTIVE.|
Subdivision 1. Applicability.
The definitions in this section apply to this chapter.
Subd. 1a. Alternative fuel.
"Alternative fuel" means natural gas; liquefied petroleum
gas; hydrogen; coal-derived liquefied fuels; electricity; methanol, denatured ethanol, and other
alcohols; mixtures containing 85 percent or more, or other percentage as may be set by regulation
by the Secretary of the United States Department of Energy, by volume of methanol, denatured
ethanol, and other alcohols with gasoline or other fuels; fuels other than alcohol that are derived
from biological materials; and other fuel that the Secretary of the United States Department of
Energy determines by regulation to be an alternative fuel within the meaning of section 301(2) of
the National Energy Policy Act of 1992 and intended for use in motor vehicles.
Subd. 1b. Alternative fuel vehicle.
"Alternative fuel vehicle" means a dedicated, flexible,
or dual-fuel vehicle operated primarily on an alternative fuel.
Subd. 2. Commissioner.
"Commissioner" means the commissioner of commerce.
Subd. 2a. Dedicated fuel vehicle.
"Dedicated fuel vehicle" means a vehicle that operates
solely on alternative fuels.
Subd. 3. Department.
"Department" means the Department of Commerce.
Subd. 4. Dual-fuel vehicle.
"Dual-fuel vehicle" means a vehicle that is capable of operating
on an alternative fuel and is capable of operating on gasoline or diesel fuel.
History: 1987 c 186 s 15; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 7; 1993 c 254 s 2-5; 1995 c 264 art 2 s 5,6;
1998 c 254 art 1 s 65; 1Sp2001 c 4 art 6 s 47-49
216C.02 POWERS AND DUTIES OF COMMISSIONER; RULES.
Subdivision 1. Powers.
(a) The commissioner may:
(1) apply for, receive, and spend money received from federal, municipal, county, regional,
and other government agencies and private sources;
(2) apply for, accept, and disburse grants and other aids from public and private sources;
(3) contract for professional services if work or services required or authorized to be carried
out by the commissioner cannot be satisfactorily performed by employees of the department
or by another state agency;
(4) enter into interstate compacts to carry out research and planning jointly with other states
or the federal government when appropriate;
(5) upon reasonable request, distribute informational material at no cost to the public; and
(6) enter into contracts for the performance of the commissioner's duties with federal,
state, regional, metropolitan, local, and other agencies or units of government and educational
institutions, including the University of Minnesota, without regard to the competitive bidding
requirements of chapters 16A and 16C.
(b) The commissioner shall collect information on conservation and other energy-related
programs carried on by other agencies, by public utilities, by cooperative electric associations,
by municipal power agencies, by other fuel suppliers, by political subdivisions, and by private
organizations. Other agencies, cooperative electric associations, municipal power agencies, and
political subdivisions shall cooperate with the commissioner by providing information requested
by the commissioner. The commissioner may by rule require the submission of information
by other program operators. The commissioner shall make the information available to other
agencies and to the public and, as necessary, shall recommend to the legislature changes in the
laws governing conservation and other energy-related programs to ensure that:
(1) expenditures on the programs are adequate to meet identified needs;
(2) the needs of low-income energy users are being adequately addressed;
(3) duplication of effort is avoided or eliminated;
(4) a program that is ineffective is improved or eliminated; and
(5) voluntary efforts are encouraged through incentives for their operators.
The commissioner shall appoint an advisory task force to help evaluate the information collected
and formulate recommendations to the legislature. The task force must include low-income
(c) By January 15 of each year, the commissioner shall report to the legislature on the
projected amount of federal money likely to be available to the state during the next fiscal year,
including grant money and money received by the state as a result of litigation or settlements
of alleged violations of federal petroleum-pricing regulations. The report must also estimate the
amount of money projected as needed during the next fiscal year to finance a level of conservation
and other energy-related programs adequate to meet projected needs, particularly the needs of
low-income persons and households, and must recommend the amount of state appropriations
needed to cover the difference between the projected availability of federal money and the
Subd. 2. Appropriation.
Money received by the commissioner under this section must be
deposited in the state treasury and is appropriated to the commissioner for the purpose for which
the money has been received. The money appropriated by this subdivision does not cancel and is
available until expended. This appropriation does not apply to money resulting from litigation or
settlements of alleged violations of federal petroleum-pricing regulations.
Subd. 3. Rules.
The commissioner may adopt rules under chapter 14 to carry out the
commissioner's duties and responsibilities under this section and those sections renumbered by
Laws 1987, chapter 312, article 1, section 10.
History: 1987 c 186 s 15; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 8; 1989 c 338 s 4; 1991 c 235 art 1 s 3;
1998 c 386 art 2 s 68
216C.05 FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.
The legislature finds and declares that continued growth in demand for energy will cause
severe social and economic dislocations, and that the state has a vital interest in providing for:
increased efficiency in energy consumption, the development and use of renewable energy
resources wherever possible, and the creation of an effective energy forecasting, planning, and
The legislature further finds and declares that the protection of life, safety, and financial
security for citizens during an energy crisis is of paramount importance.
Therefore, the legislature finds that it is in the public interest to review, analyze, and
encourage those energy programs that will minimize the need for annual increases in fossil
fuel consumption by 1990 and the need for additional electrical generating plants, and provide
for an optimum combination of energy sources consistent with environmental protection and
the protection of citizens.
The legislature intends to monitor, through energy policy planning and implementation,
the transition from historic growth in energy demand to a period when demand for traditional
fuels becomes stable and the supply of renewable energy resources is readily available and
History: 1974 c 307 s 1; 1980 c 579 s 4; 1981 c 356 s 248; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 10 subd 1
216C.051 LEGISLATIVE ELECTRIC ENERGY TASK FORCE.
Subdivision 1.[Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 11 art 3 s 16
Subd. 2. Establishment.
(a) There is established a Legislative Electric Energy Task Force to
study future electric energy sources and costs and to make recommendations for legislation for an
environmentally and economically sustainable and advantageous electric energy supply.
(b) The task force consists of:
(1) ten members of the house of representatives including the chairs of the Environment and
Natural Resources Committee and Regulated Industries Subcommittee and eight members to be
appointed by the speaker of the house, four of whom must be from the minority caucus; and
(2) ten members of the senate including the chairs of the Environment and Natural Resources
and Jobs, Energy, and Community Development committees and eight members to be appointed
by the Subcommittee on Committees, four of whom must be from the minority caucus.
(c) The task force may employ staff, contract for consulting services, and may reimburse the
expenses of persons requested to assist it in its duties other than state employees or employees of
electric utilities. The director of the Legislative Coordinating Commission shall assist the task
force in administrative matters. The task force shall elect cochairs, one member of the house and
one member of the senate from among the committee and subcommittee chairs named to the
committee. The task force members from the house shall elect the house cochair, and the task
force members from the senate shall elect the senate cochair.
Subd. 3. Technical and economic considerations, analyses, and recommendations.
In light of the electric energy guidelines established in subdivision 7 and utility resource plans
and competitive bidding dockets before the commission, the task force shall gather information
and make recommendations to the legislature regarding potential electric energy resources. The
task force may contract with one or more energy policy experts and energy economists to assist
it in its analysis. The task force may not contract for service nor employ any person who was
involved in any capacity in any portion of any proceeding before the Public Utilities Commission,
the administrative law judge, the state Court of Appeals, or the United States Nuclear Regulatory
Commission related to the dry cask storage proposal on Prairie Island. The task force must gather
information on at least the following electric energy resources, but may expand its inquiry as
warranted by the information collected:
(1) wind energy;
(2) hydrogen as a fuel carrier produced from renewable and fossil fuel resources;
(4) decomposition gases produced by solid waste management facilities;
(5) solid waste as a direct fuel or refuse-derived fuel; and
(6) clean coal technology.
(b) In evaluating these electric energy resources, the task force must consider at least the
(1) to the best of forecasting abilities, how much electric generation capacity and demand
for electric energy is necessary to maintain a strong economy and a high quality of life in the
state over the next 15 to 20 years; how is this demand level affected by achievement of the
maximum reasonably feasible and cost-effective demand-side management and generation and
(2) what alternative forms of energy can provide a stable supply of energy and are producible
and sustainable in the state and at what cost;
(3) what are the costs to the state and ratepayers to ensure that new electric energy generation
utilizes less environmentally damaging sources; how do those costs change as the time frame for
development and implementation of new generation sources is compressed;
(4) what are the implications for delivery systems for energy produced in areas of the state
that do not now have high-volume transmission capability; are new transmission technologies
being developed that can address some of the concerns with transmission; can a more dispersed
electric generation system lessen the need for long-distance transmission;
(5) what are the actual costs and benefits of purchasing electricity and fuel to generate
electricity from outside the state; what are the present costs to the state's economy of exporting
a large percentage of the state's energy dollars and what is the future economic impact of
continuing to do so;
(6) are there benefits to be had from a large immediate investment in quickly implementing
alternative electric energy sources in terms of developing an exportable technology and/or
commodity; is it feasible to turn around the flow of dollars for energy so that the state imports
dollars and exports energy and energy technology; what is a reasonable time frame for the shift
if it is possible;
(7) are there taxation or regulatory barriers to developing more sustainable and less
problematic electric energy generation; what are they specifically and how can they be specifically
(8) can an approach be developed that moves quickly to development and implementation of
alternative energy sources that can be forgiving of interim failures but that is also sufficiently
deliberate to ensure ultimate success on a large scale; and
(9) in what specific ways can the state assist regional energy suppliers to accelerate phasing
out energy production processes that produce wastes or emissions that must necessarily be
carefully controlled and monitored to minimize adverse effects on the environment and human
health and to assist in developing and implementing base load energy production that both
prevents or minimizes by its nature adverse environmental and human health effects and utilizes
resources that are available or producible in the state.
(c) The task force must study issues related to the transportation of spent nuclear fuel
from this state to interim or permanent repositories outside this state. The task force must also
gather information on at least the following factors, but may expand its inquiry as warranted by
the information collected:
(1) Minnesota's actual and projected electricity demand;
(2) electricity export potential;
(3) inventory of energy resources currently used to generate all electricity sold in Minnesota
and an analysis of the social, economic, and environmental benefits and burdens associated
with each energy resource;
(4) electricity demand savings from greater efficiency; and
(5) job growth and economic development potential.
(d) The public utility that owns the Prairie Island and Monticello nuclear generation facilities
shall update the reports required under section
116C.772, subdivisions 3 to 5
, and shall submit
those updates periodically to the Public Utilities Commission with the utility's resource plan filing
and to the task force.
Subd. 4.[Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 11 art 3 s 16
Subd. 4a. Report and recommendations.
By January 15, 2005, and every two years
thereafter, the task force shall submit a report to the chairs of the committees in the house
of representatives and the senate that have responsibility for energy and for environmental
and natural resources issues that contains an overview of information gathered and analyses
that have been prepared, and specific recommendations, if any, for legislative action that will
ensure development and implementation of electric energy policy that will provide the state with
adequate, renewable, and economic electric power for the long term. The report shall also identify
issues that must be addressed to provide Minnesotans with adequate electricity from in-state
renewable energy sources for the long term and export to adjacent states.
Subd. 5.[Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 11 art 3 s 16
Subd. 6. Assessment; appropriation.
On request by the cochairs of the Legislative Task
Force and after approval of the Legislative Coordinating Commission, the commissioner
of commerce shall assess from all public utilities, generation and transmission cooperative
electric associations, and municipal power agencies providing electric or natural gas services in
Minnesota, in addition to assessments made under section
, the amount requested for
the operation of the task force not to exceed $250,000 in a fiscal year. The amount assessed
under this section is appropriated to the director of the Legislative Coordinating Commission
for those purposes, and is available until expended. The department shall apportion those costs
among all energy utilities in proportion to their respective gross operating revenues from the
sale of gas or electric service within the state during the last calendar year. For the purposes of
administrative efficiency, the department shall assess energy utilities and issue bills in accordance
with the billing and assessment procedures provided in section
, to the extent that these
procedures do not conflict with this subdivision.
Subd. 7. Guidelines; preferred electric generation sources; definitions.
Legislative Task Force on Electric Energy shall undertake its responsibilities in light of the
guidelines specified in this subdivision.
(b) The highest priority in electric energy production and consumption is conservation of
electric energy and management of demand by all segments of the community.
(c) The following energy sources for generating electric power distributed in the state, listed
in their descending order of preference, based on minimizing long-term negative environmental,
social, and economic burdens imposed by the specific energy sources, are:
(1) wind and solar;
(2) biomass and low-head or refurbished hydropower;
(3) decomposition gases produced by solid waste management facilities, natural gas-fired
cogeneration, and waste materials or byproducts combined with natural gas;
(4) natural gas, hydropower that is not low-head or refurbished hydropower, and solid
waste as a direct fuel or refuse-derived fuel; and
(5) coal and nuclear power.
(d) For the purposes of paragraph (c) within each clause, the more efficient an energy source
is in generating electricity or the more efficient a technology is that utilizes an energy source, the
more preferred it is for use in generating electricity for distribution and consumption in the state.
(e) For the purposes of paragraph (c), clauses (3) and (4), the use of waste materials and
byproducts for generating electric power must be limited to those waste materials and byproducts
that are necessarily generated or produced by efficient processes and systems. Preventing and
minimizing waste and byproducts are preferred in every situation to relying on the continued
generation or production of waste materials and byproducts.
(f) For the purposes of this section, "preferred" or "renewable" energy sources are those
described in paragraph (c), clauses (1) to (3), and "subordinate" or "traditional" energy sources are
those described in paragraph (c), clauses (4) and (5).
(g) For the purposes of this section:
(1) "biomass" means herbaceous crops, trees, agricultural waste, and aquatic plant matter,
excluding mixed municipal solid waste, as defined in section
, used to generate
(2) "low-head hydropower" means a hydropower facility that has a head of less than 66 feet.
Subd. 8. Subpoena power.
The task force may issue a subpoena under section
any person for production of information held by that person that is relevant to the work of
the task force.
Subd. 9. Expiration.
This section is repealed June 30, 2007.
History: 1994 c 641 art 5 s 1; 1995 c 4 s 1; 1995 c 248 art 2 s 5; 1996 c 266 s 1; 1997 c 191
art 1 s 6,7; 1998 c 380 s 1; 1999 c 19 s 1; 2000 c 436 s 1; 2001 c 212 art 8 s 8,9; 1Sp2001 c 4
art 6 s 50; 1Sp2003 c 11 art 3 s 6-9
216C.052 RELIABILITY ADMINISTRATOR.
Subdivision 1. Responsibilities.
(a) There is established the position of reliability
administrator in the Public Utilities Commission. The administrator shall act as a source of
independent expertise and a technical advisor to the commission and the public on issues related
to the reliability of the electric system. In conducting its work, the administrator shall provide
assistance to the commission in administering and implementing the commission's duties under
; chapters 216E, 216F, and 216G; and rules
associated with those provisions. Subject to resource constraints, the reliability administrator
(1) model and monitor the use and operation of the energy infrastructure in the state, including
generation facilities, transmission lines, natural gas pipelines, and other energy infrastructure;
(2) develop and present to the commission and parties technical analyses of proposed
infrastructure projects, and provide technical advice to the commission;
(3) present independent, factual, expert, and technical information on infrastructure proposals
and reliability issues at public meetings hosted by the task force, the Environmental Quality
Board, the department, or the commission.
(b) Upon request and subject to resource constraints, the administrator shall provide technical
assistance regarding matters unrelated to applications for infrastructure improvements to the
task force, the department, or the commission.
(c) The administrator may not advocate for any particular outcome in a commission
proceeding, but may give technical advice to the commission as to the impact on the reliability of
the energy system of a particular project or projects.
Subd. 2. Administrative issues.
(a) The commission may select the administrator who
shall serve for a four-year term. The administrator may not have been a party or a participant in
a commission energy proceeding for at least one year prior to selection by the commission.
The commission shall oversee and direct the work of the administrator, annually review the
expenses of the administrator, and annually approve the budget of the administrator. Pursuant to
commission approval, the administrator may hire staff and may contract for technical expertise
in performing duties when existing state resources are required for other state responsibilities
or when special expertise is required. The salary of the administrator is governed by section
15A.0815, subdivision 2
(b) Costs relating to a specific proceeding, analysis, or project are not general administrative
costs. For purposes of this section, "energy utility" means public utilities, generation and
transmission cooperative electric associations, and municipal power agencies providing natural
gas or electric service in the state.
(c) The commission shall pay:
(1) the general administrative costs of the administrator, not to exceed $1,000,000 in a
fiscal year, and shall assess energy utilities for those administrative costs. These costs must be
consistent with the budget approved by the commission under paragraph (a). The commission
shall apportion the costs among all energy utilities in proportion to their respective gross operating
revenues from sales of gas or electric service within the state during the last calendar year, and
shall then render a bill to each utility on a regular basis; and
(2) costs relating to a specific proceeding analysis or project and shall render a bill to the
specific energy utility or utilities participating in the proceeding, analysis, or project directly,
either at the conclusion of a particular proceeding, analysis, or project, or from time to time during
the course of the proceeding, analysis, or project.
(d) For purposes of administrative efficiency, the commission shall assess energy utilities and
issue bills in accordance with the billing and assessment procedures provided in section
to the extent that these procedures do not conflict with this subdivision. The amount of the bills
rendered by the commission under paragraph (c) must be paid by the energy utility into an account
in the special revenue fund in the state treasury within 30 days from the date of billing and is
appropriated to the commission for the purposes provided in this section. The commission shall
approve or approve as modified a rate schedule providing for the automatic adjustment of charges
to recover amounts paid by utilities under this section. All amounts assessed under this section are
in addition to amounts appropriated to the commission by other law.
Subd. 3. Assessment and appropriation.
In addition to the amount noted in subdivision 2,
the commission may assess utilities, using the mechanism specified in that subdivision, up to an
additional $500,000 annually through June 30, 2008. The amounts assessed under this subdivision
are appropriated to the commission, and some or all of the amounts assessed may be transferred to
the commissioner of administration, for the purposes specified in section
and Laws 2001,
chapter 212, article 1, section 3, as needed to implement those sections.
Subd. 4. Expiration.
Subdivisions 1 and 2 expire June 30, 2007. Subdivision 3 expires
June 30, 2008.
History: 2001 c 212 art 8 s 10,18; 2002 c 398 s 5; 1Sp2003 c 11 art 3 s 10,11; 2005 c 97
art 3 s 16; 2006 c 281 art 4 s 10,11
216C.053 RENEWABLE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT.
The commissioner of commerce must engage in activities to encourage deployment of
cost-effective renewable energy developments within the state. The commissioner shall compile
and maintain information concerning existing and potential renewable energy developments
and resources in the state. The commissioner shall provide, as appropriate, this information in
proceedings for the determination of need for large energy facilities and for the review of a
utility's integrated resource plan. To the extent practicable, and in addition to any other obligation
of an electric utility to furnish information, an electric utility seeking to add generation to its
supply portfolio to serve Minnesota consumers shall provide the commissioner with notice of its
History: 2005 c 97 art 2 s 5
Subdivision 1. Scope.
For the purposes of sections
, the following
terms shall have the meanings here given them.
Subd. 2.[Renumbered subd 14]
Subd. 2a. Building energy report.
"Building energy report" means a questionnaire designed
to collect information on a building concerning its energy use and other basic factors that relate
to energy use.
Subd. 3.[Renumbered subd 15]
Subd. 4. Coal supplier.
"Coal supplier" means any entity engaged in this state in the
wholesale distribution of coal or transportation into this state of any coal intended for use or
distribution in the state or transshipment from the state.
Subd. 5.[Renumbered subd 18]
Subd. 6. Construction.
"Construction" means significant physical alteration of a site to
install or enlarge a large energy facility, but not including activities incident to preliminary
engineering or environmental studies.
Subd. 7. Decorative gas lamp.
"Decorative gas lamp" means a device installed for the
purpose of producing illumination by burning natural, mixed, or LP gas and utilizing either a
mantle or an open flame, but does not include portable camp lanterns or gas lamps.
Subd. 8.[Renumbered subd 17]
Subd. 9.[Renumbered subd 2a]
Subd. 10.[Repealed, 1997 c 7 art 1 s 91
Subd. 11.[Repealed, 1997 c 7 art 1 s 91
Subd. 12.[Renumbered subd 19]
Subd. 13.[Renumbered subd 16]
Subd. 14. Earth sheltered.
"Earth sheltered" means constructed so that 50 percent or more
of the exterior surface is covered or in contact with earth. Exterior surface includes all walls and
roof, but excludes garages and other accessory buildings. Earth covering on walls is measured
from the floor of the structure's lowest level. Earth covering on the roof must be at least 12
inches deep to be included in calculations of earth covering. Partially completed buildings shall
not be considered earth sheltered.
Subd. 15. Petroleum supplier.
"Petroleum supplier" means any petroleum refinery in the
state and any entity engaged in transmission or wholesale distribution of more than 100,000
gallons of crude petroleum or petroleum fuels or oil or derivatives thereof annually in this state.
Subd. 16. Photovoltaic device.
"Photovoltaic device" means a system of components that
generates electricity from incident sunlight by means of the photovoltaic effect, whether or not
the device is able to store the energy produced for later use.
Subd. 17. Solar energy system.
"Solar energy system" means a set of devices whose primary
purpose is to collect solar energy and convert and store it for useful purposes including heating
and cooling buildings or other energy-using processes, or to produce generated power by means
of any combination of collecting, transferring, or converting solar-generated energy.
Subd. 18. Utility.
"Utility" means any entity engaged in this state in the generation,
transmission or distribution of electric energy and any entity engaged in this state in the
transmission or distribution of natural or synthetic natural gas, including, but not limited to, a
private investor-owned utility or a public or municipally owned utility.
Subd. 19. Wind energy conversion system or WECS.
"Wind energy conversion system"
(WECS) means any device, such as a wind charger, windmill, or wind turbine, which converts
wind energy to a form of usable energy.
History: 1974 c 307 s 2; 1975 c 170 s 1; 1976 c 333 s 1,2; 1977 c 381 s 8; Ex1979 c 2 s
10-12; 1981 c 356 s 248; 1982 c 561 s 1; 1982 c 563 s 2; 1983 c 231 s 2; 1987 c 312 art 1
s 10 subd 1; 1992 c 511 art 8 s 1
216C.07 CONFLICT OF INTEREST.
No person shall be eligible to continue in office as commissioner unless that person has
within six months after being appointed completed divestiture of any interest except fully vested
pension rights in any utility, coal, or petroleum supplier, or manufacturer of any major component
of a large energy facility doing business within or outside this state.
No person who is an employee of the department shall participate in any manner in any
decision or action of the commissioner where that person has a direct or indirect financial interest.
History: 1974 c 307 s 5; 1981 c 356 s 125,248; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 10 subd 1
The commissioner has sole authority and responsibility for the administration of sections
. Other laws notwithstanding, the authority granted the commissioner shall
supersede the authority given any other agency whenever overlapping, duplication, or additional
administrative or legal procedures might occur in the administration of sections
. The commissioner shall consult with other state departments or agencies in matters
related to energy and shall contract with them to provide appropriate services to effectuate the
purposes of sections
. Any other department, agency, or official of this state or
political subdivision thereof which would in any way affect the administration or enforcement of
shall cooperate and coordinate all activities with the commissioner
to assure orderly and efficient administration and enforcement of sections
The commissioner shall designate a liaison officer whose duty shall be to insure the
maximum possible consistency in procedures and to eliminate duplication between the
commissioner and the other agencies that may be involved in energy.
History: 1974 c 307 s 6; 1980 c 509 s 29; 1981 c 356 s 126,248; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 10 subd 1
216C.09 COMMISSIONER DUTIES.
(a) The commissioner shall:
(1) manage the department as the central repository within the state government for the
collection of data on energy;
(2) prepare and adopt an emergency allocation plan specifying actions to be taken in the
event of an impending serious shortage of energy, or a threat to public health, safety, or welfare;
(3) undertake a continuing assessment of trends in the consumption of all forms of energy
and analyze the social, economic, and environmental consequences of these trends;
(4) carry out energy conservation measures as specified by the legislature and recommend to
the governor and the legislature additional energy policies and conservation measures as required
to meet the objectives of sections
(5) collect and analyze data relating to present and future demands and resources for all
sources of energy;
(6) evaluate policies governing the establishment of rates and prices for energy as related
to energy conservation, and other goals and policies of sections
, and make
recommendations for changes in energy pricing policies and rate schedules;
(7) study the impact and relationship of the state energy policies to international, national,
and regional energy policies;
(8) design and implement a state program for the conservation of energy; this program shall
include but not be limited to, general commercial, industrial, and residential, and transportation
areas; such program shall also provide for the evaluation of energy systems as they relate to
lighting, heating, refrigeration, air conditioning, building design and operation, and appliance
manufacturing and operation;
(9) inform and educate the public about the sources and uses of energy and the ways in
which persons can conserve energy;
(10) dispense funds made available for the purpose of research studies and projects of
professional and civic orientation, which are related to either energy conservation, resource
recovery, or the development of alternative energy technologies which conserve nonrenewable
energy resources while creating minimum environmental impact;
(11) charge other governmental departments and agencies involved in energy-related
activities with specific information gathering goals and require that those goals be met;
(12) design a comprehensive program for the development of indigenous energy resources.
The program shall include, but not be limited to, providing technical, informational, educational,
and financial services and materials to persons, businesses, municipalities, and organizations
involved in the development of solar, wind, hydropower, peat, fiber fuels, biomass, and other
alternative energy resources. The program shall be evaluated by the alternative energy technical
(13) dispense loans, grants, or other financial aid from money received from litigation or
settlement of alleged violations of federal petroleum-pricing regulations made available to the
department for that purpose. The commissioner shall adopt rules under chapter 14 for this purpose.
(b) Further, the commissioner may participate fully in hearings before the Public Utilities
Commission on matters pertaining to rate design, cost allocation, efficient resource utilization,
utility conservation investments, small power production, cogeneration, and other rate issues.
The commissioner shall support the policies stated in section
and shall prepare and
defend testimony proposed to encourage energy conservation improvements as defined in section
History: 1974 c 307 s 7; 1977 c 381 s 9; 1981 c 356 s 127,248; 1982 c 563 s 3; 1983 c
179 s 1; 1983 c 289 s 44; 1984 c 654 art 2 s 99; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 10 subd 1; 1988 c 617 s 1;
2005 c 97 art 4 s 3
216C.10 COMMISSIONER POWERS.
(a) The commissioner may:
(1) adopt rules under chapter 14 as necessary to carry out the purposes of sections
(2) make all contracts under sections
and do all things necessary to
cooperate with the United States government, and to qualify for, accept, and disburse any grant
intended for the administration of sections
(3) provide on-site technical assistance to units of local government in order to enhance local
capabilities for dealing with energy problems;
(4) administer for the state, energy programs under federal law, regulations, or guidelines,
and coordinate the programs and activities with other state agencies, units of local government,
and educational institutions;
(5) develop a state energy investment plan with yearly energy conservation and alternative
energy development goals, investment targets, and marketing strategies;
(6) perform market analysis studies relating to conservation, alternative and renewable
energy resources, and energy recovery;
(7) assist with the preparation of proposals for innovative conservation, renewable,
alternative, or energy recovery projects;
(8) manage and disburse funds made available for the purpose of research studies or
demonstration projects related to energy conservation or other activities deemed appropriate
by the commissioner;
(9) intervene in certificate of need proceedings before the Public Utilities Commission;
(10) collect fees from recipients of loans, grants, or other financial aid from money received
from litigation or settlement of alleged violations of federal petroleum-pricing regulations, which
fees must be used to pay the department's costs in administering those financial aids; and
(11) collect fees from proposers and operators of conservation and other energy-related
programs that are reviewed, evaluated, or approved by the department, other than proposers that
are political subdivisions or community or nonprofit organizations, to cover the department's
cost in making the reviewal, evaluation, or approval and in developing additional programs
for others to operate.
(b) Notwithstanding any other law, the commissioner is designated the state agent to apply
for, receive, and accept federal or other funds made available to the state for the purposes of
History: 1974 c 307 s 8; 1978 c 786 s 1; Ex1979 c 2 s 13; 1981 c 85 s 2; 1981 c 356 s
128,248; 1982 c 424 s 130; 1983 c 289 s 45; 1984 c 604 s 1; 1984 c 640 s 32; 1Sp1985 c 14 art
9 s 75; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 10 subd 1; 1988 c 617 s 2; 1989 c 338 s 5; 1994 c 483 s 1; 1996
c 305 art 2 s 39; 2004 c 206 s 31
216C.11 ENERGY CONSERVATION INFORMATION CENTER.
The commissioner shall establish an Energy Information Center in the department's offices
in St. Paul. The information center shall maintain a toll-free telephone information service
and disseminate printed materials on energy conservation topics, including but not limited to,
availability of loans and other public and private financing methods for energy conservation
physical improvements, the techniques and materials used to conserve energy in buildings,
including retrofitting or upgrading insulation and installing weatherstripping, the projected prices
and availability of different sources of energy, and alternative sources of energy.
The Energy Information Center shall serve as the official Minnesota Alcohol Fuels
Information Center and shall disseminate information, printed, by the toll-free telephone
information service, or otherwise on the applicability and technology of alcohol fuels.
The information center shall include information on the potential hazards of energy
conservation techniques and improvements in the printed materials disseminated. The
commissioner shall not be liable for damages arising from the installation or operation of
equipment or materials recommended by the information center.
The information center shall use the information collected under section
, to maintain a central source of information on conservation and other energy-related
programs, including both programs required by law or rule and programs developed and carried
on voluntarily. In particular, the information center shall compile and maintain information on
policies covering disconnections or denials of fuel during cold weather adopted by public utilities
and other fuel suppliers not governed by Minnesota Rules, parts 7820.1500
including the number of households disconnected or denied fuel and the duration of the
disconnections or denials.
History: 1976 c 333 s 4; Ex1979 c 2 s 14; 1980 c 579 s 5; 1981 c 356 s 129,248; 1987 c 312
art 1 s 10 subd 1; 1989 c 338 s 6
216C.12 ENERGY CONSERVATION PUBLICITY.
The commissioner in consultation with other affected agencies or departments shall develop
informational materials, pamphlets and radio and television messages on energy conservation and
housing programs available in Minnesota, renewable energy resources, and energy supply and
demand. The printed materials shall include information on available tax credits for residential
energy conservation measures, residential retrofitting loan and grant programs, and data on the
economics of energy conservation and renewable resource measures. Copies of printed materials
shall be distributed to members of the appropriate standing committees of the legislature.
History: 1977 c 381 s 22; 1980 c 579 s 6; 1981 c 356 s 130,248; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 10 subd 1
216C.14 COMMUNITY ENERGY PLANNING; GRANTS.
Subdivision 1. Purpose.
In order to improve the energy planning capabilities of local
governments, the commissioner shall make grants to counties and cities, however organized. The
commissioner when making grants shall give priority to those units of government that submit
proposals that could result in significant savings of traditional energy sources, development of
renewable energy systems, and broad community involvement. The commissioner shall give
priority to local units of government that provide staff or other support for a program and who
request grants for programs which can be duplicated by other local governments. The grants
may be used to purchase materials, employ staff or contract with other units of government or
The commissioner shall not make grants of more than 45 percent of the amount appropriated
for those purposes to cities and counties located within the seven-county metropolitan area. A
single grant to a city or county shall not exceed $50,000.
Subd. 2. Qualifying expenditures.
Community energy planning grants may be used for the
(1) to gather, monitor, and analyze local energy supply, demand, and cost information;
(2) to prepare comprehensive community energy plans;
(3) to implement comprehensive energy plans that the unit of government is authorized to
undertake for the management of problems resulting from:
(i) rising energy cost;
(ii) lack of efficient public and private transportation;
(iii) lack of community conservation efforts;
(iv) lack of widespread renewable energy sources; and
(v) lack of energy components in comprehensive plans and local ordinances;
(4) to assist neighborhood organizations in counties and cities to do energy planning by
making grants to the local unit of government; and
(5) any other purposes deemed appropriate by the commissioner.
Subd. 3. Administration; rules.
The commissioner shall determine priorities pursuant to
subdivisions 1 and 2, and shall promulgate rules for the submission and review of applications in
accordance with the provisions of chapter 14.
History: 1980 c 579 s 7; 1981 c 356 s 132,248; 1982 c 424 s 130; 1984 c 640 s 32; 1987 c
312 art 1 s 10 subd 1; 1996 c 305 art 2 s 40
216C.15 ENERGY SUPPLY EMERGENCY CONSERVATION AND ALLOCATION
Subdivision 1. Priorities and requirements.
The commissioner shall maintain an emergency
conservation and allocation plan. The plan shall provide a variety of strategies and staged
conservation measures to reduce energy use and, in the event of an energy supply emergency, shall
establish guidelines and criteria for allocation of fuels to priority users. The plan shall contain
alternative conservation actions and allocation plans to reasonably meet various foreseeable
shortage circumstances and allow a choice of appropriate responses. The plan shall be consistent
with requirements of federal emergency energy conservation and allocation laws and regulations,
shall be based on reasonable energy savings or transfers from scarce energy resources and shall:
(1) give priority to individuals, institutions, agriculture, businesses, and public transit under
contract with the commissioner of transportation or the Metropolitan Council which demonstrate
they have engaged in energy-saving measures and shall include provisions to insure that:
(i) immediate allocations to individuals, institutions, agriculture, businesses, and public
transit be based on needs at energy conservation levels;
(ii) successive allocations to individuals, institutions, agriculture, businesses, and public
transit be based on needs after implementation of required action to increase energy conservation;
(iii) needs of individuals, institutions, and public transit are adjusted to insure the health and
welfare of the young, old and infirm;
(2) insure maintenance of reasonable job safety conditions and avoid environmental
(3) establish programs, controls, standards, priorities or quotas for the allocation,
conservation, and consumption of energy resources; and for the suspension and modification of
existing standards and the establishment of new standards affecting or affected by the use of
energy resources, including those related to the type and composition of energy sources, and to
the hours and days during which public buildings, commercial and industrial establishments, and
other energy-consuming facilities may or are required to remain open;
(4) establish programs to control the use, sale or distribution of commodities, materials,
goods or services;
(5) establish regional programs and agreements for the purpose of coordinating the energy
resources, programs and actions of the state with those of the federal government, of local
governments, and of other states and localities;
(6) determine at what level of an energy supply emergency situation the Pollution Control
Agency shall be requested to ask the governor to petition the president for a temporary emergency
suspension of air quality standards as required by the Clean Air Act, United States Code, title
42, section 7410f; and
(7) establish procedures for fair and equitable review of complaints and requests for special
exemptions regarding emergency conservation measures or allocations.
Subd. 2. Periodic revision.
At least once every five years and whenever construction of a
new large energy facility is completed which affects the supply of energy in Minnesota, the
commissioner shall review and if necessary revise the emergency conservation and allocation
plan. Revisions of the emergency conservation and allocation plan shall be adopted pursuant to
the rulemaking procedures in chapter 14 and reviewed by the appropriate standing committees of
Subd. 3. Declaration of energy supply emergency.
The Executive Council or the legislature
may declare an energy supply emergency when an acute shortage of energy exists by issuing a
declaration which indicates the nature of the emergency, the area or areas threatened if less
than the whole state is threatened, and the conditions causing the emergency. The declaration
shall be disseminated promptly by means calculated to bring its contents to the attention of the
general public and shall be promptly filed with the commissioner, the Division of Emergency
Management and the secretary of state. Upon a declaration of an energy supply emergency by the
Executive Council or the legislature, the governor and the Division of Emergency Management,
in consultation with the commissioner, shall implement and enforce the emergency conservation
and allocation plan or any part thereof. Revisions of the plan shall be made by the commissioner
in accordance with subdivision 2. The Executive Council or the legislature may terminate an
energy supply emergency at any time by issuing a declaration which terminates the energy supply
emergency and indicates the conditions which make possible termination of the emergency,
but no energy supply emergency may continue for longer than 30 days unless renewed by the
legislature. Each renewed energy supply emergency may not continue for longer than 30 days,
unless otherwise provided by law. Each person shall carry out the responsibilities specified in
the emergency conservation allocation plan, and violation of any provision of such emergency
conservation or allocation requirements shall be deemed a violation of sections
and the rules promulgated thereunder for purposes of enforcement pursuant to section
History: 1974 c 307 s 9; 1974 c 428 s 5; Ex1979 c 2 s 16-18; 1981 c 356 s 133-135,248;
1982 c 424 s 130; 1984 c 640 s 32; 1987 c 71 s 2; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 10 subd 1; 1993 c 83 s 4;
1994 c 628 art 3 s 16; 1996 c 305 art 2 s 41
216C.16 STATE PETROLEUM SET-ASIDE PROGRAM.
Subdivision 1. Purpose.
The purpose of this section is to grant to the commissioner authority
to exercise specific power to deal with shortages of refined petroleum products. Authority granted
shall be exercised for the purpose of minimizing the adverse impacts of shortages and dislocations
upon the citizens and the economy of the state and nation.
Subd. 2. Establishment.
The commissioner shall establish and is responsible for a state
set-aside system for motor gasoline and middle distillates to provide emergency petroleum
requirements and thereby relieve the hardship caused by shortage, supply dislocations, or other
emergencies. The commissioner, for purposes of administration, may exercise all of the powers
granted by this chapter.
Subd. 3. Definitions.
As used in this section:
(a) "Middle distillates" means distillates obtained between kerosene and lubricating oil
fractions in the refining process, including but not limited to, kerosene, number one and number
two heating oil and diesel fuel.
(b) "Motor gasoline" means a liquid mixture of hydrocarbons produced by the distillation of
petroleum and used chiefly as a fuel in internal combustion engines.
(c) "Prime supplier" means the producer or supplier now or hereafter making the first sale of
middle distillates or motor gasoline subject to the state set-aside for consumption within the state.
(d) "State set-aside" means the amount of middle distillates or motor gasoline required to
be made available by a prime supplier for utilization by the commissioner to resolve or mitigate
emergencies or hardships due to shortages of supply.
Subd. 4. Set-aside required.
Every prime supplier shall allocate for sale or exchange
monthly upon order of the commissioner a volume of motor gasoline and middle distillate not
exceeding the monthly set-aside amount. The amount of gasoline subject to monthly set-aside
shall be an amount equal to three percent of the prime supplier's monthly supply estimate. The
amount of middle distillate subject to monthly set-aside shall be an amount equal to four percent
of the prime supplier's monthly supply estimate.
Subd. 5. Report of estimated volume; program's allocation.
Every prime supplier shall
file with the commissioner a monthly report of its estimated volume of gasoline and middle
distillate deliveries. The report shall be in a form prescribed by the commissioner and shall be
submitted by the 25th day of the month preceding the month covered by the report. Each prime
supplier shall allocate monthly for sale or exchange upon order of the commissioner three percent
of estimated motor gasoline supplies and four percent of estimated middle distillate supplies as
shown by the report.
Subd. 6. Prime supplier obligations.
Each prime supplier shall designate a representative to
act for and on behalf of the prime supplier in respect to department state set-aside orders to be
issued to the prime supplier. A prime supplier shall provide the amount of allocated product stated
in the energy state set-aside order.
Subd. 7. Rules.
The commissioner shall adopt rules to govern the administration of the
set-aside system. Rules shall cover matters such as the form and procedure for applications for
set-aside allocations by dealers of bulk purchasers, reports on available gasoline and middle
distillate supplies, orders and procedure for set-aside allocation and distribution and other rules
deemed necessary or desirable in the implementation and administration of the set-aside system,
including monthly reports of anticipated deliveries and actual sales of gasoline, middle distillates,
propane, aviation fuels, and residual oils.
Subd. 8. Criteria.
The commissioner may allocate gasoline and middle distillates from the
set-aside system in accordance with the criteria in section
and rules adopted pursuant
thereto. The commissioner may prescribe additional priorities by rule.
History: 1981 c 356 s 136,248; 1982 c 424 s 130; 1982 c 563 s 5,6; 1983 c 289 s 115 subd
1; 1984 c 640 s 32; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 10 subd 1; 1995 c 233 art 2 s 56
216C.17 ENERGY FORECASTS AND STATISTICS; REPORT.
Subdivision 1. Energy data program.
In order to further the purposes of sections
, the commissioner shall develop and maintain an effective program of collection,
compilation, and analysis of energy statistics. The statistical program shall be developed to insure
a central state repository of energy data and so that the state may coordinate and cooperate with
other governmental data collection and record-keeping programs.
Subd. 2. Forecasts.
Except as provided in subdivision 3, in addition to supplying the current
statistical and short-range forecasting information the commissioner requires, each utility, coal
supplier, petroleum supplier and large energy facility in the state shall prepare and transmit to
the commissioner by July 1 of each year, a report specifying in five-, ten-, and 15-year forecasts
the projected demand for energy within their respective service areas and the facilities necessary
to meet the demand.
The report shall be in a form specified by the commissioner and contain all information
deemed relevant by the commissioner.
Subd. 3. Duplication.
The commissioner shall, to the maximum extent feasible, provide
that forecasts required under this section be consistent with material required by other state and
federal agencies in order to prevent unnecessary duplication. Electric utilities submitting advance
forecasts as part of an integrated resource plan filed pursuant to section
Utilities Commission rules are excluded from the annual reporting requirement in subdivision 2.
Subd. 4. Public inspection.
Reports issued pursuant to this section, other than individual
corporate reports classified as nonpublic data in section
, shall be available for public
inspection in the office of the department during normal business hours.
Subd. 5. Evaluation.
The commissioner shall review and evaluate forecasts of energy
demands and resources as they relate to the most current population growth and development
estimates, statewide and regional land use, transportation, and economic development programs
History: 1974 c 307 s 10; 1975 c 170 s 2; 1981 c 311 s 39; 1981 c 356 s 137,248; 1982 c
545 s 24; 1982 c 563 s 7; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 10 subd 1; 1993 c 327 s 14; 1994 c 644 s 5,6
216C.18 STATE ENERGY POLICY AND CONSERVATION REPORT.
Subdivision 1. Report on trends and issues.
By July 1 of 1988 and every four years
thereafter, the commissioner shall issue a comprehensive report designed to identify major
emerging trends and issues in energy supply, consumption, conservation, and costs. The report
shall include the following:
(1) projections of the level and composition of statewide energy consumption under current
government policies and an evaluation of the ability of existing and anticipated facilities to supply
the necessary energy for that consumption;
(2) projections of how the level and the composition of energy consumption would be
affected by new programs or new policies;
(3) projections of energy costs to consumers, businesses, and government;
(4) identification and discussion of key social, economic, and environmental issues in energy;
(5) explanations of the department's current energy programs and studies; and
Subd. 1a. Rate plan.
The energy policy and conservation report shall include a section
prepared by the Public Utilities Commission. The commission's section shall be prepared in
consultation with the commissioner and shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
(1) a description and analysis of the commission's rate design policy as it pertains to the
goals stated in sections
, including a description of all energy
conservation improvements ordered by the commission; and
(2) recommendations to the governor and the legislature for administrative and legislative
actions to accomplish the purposes of sections
Subd. 2. Draft report; public meeting.
Prior to the preparation of a final report, the
commissioner shall issue a draft report to the Environmental Quality Board and any person,
upon request, and shall hold a public meeting. Notice of the public meeting shall be provided
to each regional development commission.
Subd. 3. Final report, distribution.
The commissioner shall distribute the final report to
any person upon request.
History: 1974 c 307 s 11; 1975 c 271 s 6; Ex1979 c 2 s 19; 1981 c 356 s 138,248; 1982 c
561 s 3; 1982 c 563 s 8; 1983 c 179 s 2; 1983 c 231 s 3; 1983 c 289 s 115 subd 1; 1984 c 654 art
2 s 100; 1987 c 186 s 15; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 10 subd 1
216C.19 ENERGY CONSERVATION.
Subdivision 1. Roadway lighting; rules.
After consultation with the commissioner and
the commissioner of public safety, the commissioner of transportation shall adopt rules under
chapter 14 establishing minimum energy efficiency standards for street, highway, and parking lot
lighting. The standards must be consistent with overall protection of the public health, safety, and
welfare. No new highway, street, or parking lot lighting may be installed in violation of these
rules. Existing lighting equipment, excluding roadway sign lighting, with lamps with initial
efficiencies less than 70 lumens per watt must be replaced when worn out with light sources using
lamps with initial efficiencies of at least 70 lumens per watt.
Subd. 2. Outdoor display lighting.
Beginning July 1, 1980, the use of outdoor display
lighting shall be limited as provided in subdivision 3. For purposes of this section, "outdoor
display lighting" shall include building facade lighting, other decorative lighting, and all
billboards and advertising signs except those which identify a commercial establishment which is
open for business at that hour.
Subd. 3. Rules on outdoor lighting.
The commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to chapter
14, setting standards covering permissible hours of operation, quantity, and efficiency of outdoor
display lighting and defining "outdoor display lighting."
Subd. 4. Rules on promotional practices.
The commissioner may investigate promotional
practices by energy suppliers and, pursuant to chapter 14, may promulgate rules to limit such
practices in order to reduce the rate of growth of energy demand.
Subd. 5. Natural gas outdoor lighting prohibited; exception.
After July 1, 1974, no new
natural gas outdoor lighting shall be installed in the state. However, the installation and use of
natural gas outdoor lighting that is equipped with either an automatic daytime shutoff device or is
otherwise capable of being switched on and off, is permitted.
Subd. 6. Variance for decorative gas lamp.
Beginning April 20, 1977, no person shall use a
decorative gas lamp in Minnesota except as provided in this subdivision and in subdivisions 5 and
7. The commissioner shall grant a permanent variance allowing a homeowner who received a
variance in 1977 to operate a decorative gas lamp or lamps at the homeowner's principal place of
residence. The variance shall be valid for the life of the recipient. The commissioner shall not
issue a variance to any other person to use a decorative gas lamp or lamps.
Subd. 7. Exemption for old gas lamp.
Gas lamps installed prior to April 20, 1977, by or at
the request of a municipality, on a public street or right-of-way, may be used as street lighting.
Subd. 8.[Repealed, 2000 c 297 s 5
Subd. 9. Energy use by state; rules.
The commissioner shall conduct studies and make
recommendations concerning the purchase and use by the state and its political subdivisions
of supplies, motor vehicles and equipment having a significant impact on energy use in order
to determine the potential for energy conservation. The commissioner may adopt rules pursuant
to chapter 14 to insure that energy use and conservation will be considered in state purchasing
and, where appropriate, to require certain minimum energy efficiency standards in purchased
products and equipment. No state purchasing of equipment or material use shall occur that is
not in conformity with these rules.
Subd. 10.[Repealed, 1996 c 310 s 1
Subd. 11.[Repealed, 1996 c 310 s 1
Subd. 12.[Repealed, 1996 c 310 s 1
Subd. 13. New room air conditioner.
No new room air conditioner shall be sold or installed
or transported for resale into Minnesota unless it has an energy efficiency ratio equal to or greater
than the values required by applicable federal laws and the United States Department of Energy
regulations codified in Code of Federal Regulations, title 10, including applicable interpretations
of the regulations issued by that department.
Subd. 14. Certain gas-powered equipment prohibited.
No new residential
(1) forced-air-type central furnace;
(2) cooking appliance manufactured with an electrical supply cord; or
(3) clothes-drying equipment,
that is designed to burn natural gas shall be sold or installed in Minnesota, unless it meets or
exceeds the efficiency standards required by applicable federal laws and the United States
Department of Energy regulations codified in Code of Federal Regulations, title 10, including
applicable interpretations of the regulations issued by that department.
Subd. 15. Fluorescent lamp ballast.
No person may sell or install a fluorescent lamp ballast
in this state that does not comply with the energy efficiency standards for fluorescent lamp ballasts
adopted by the commissioner under subdivision 8.
Subd. 16. Lamp.
No new lamp may be sold in Minnesota unless it meets or exceeds
the minimum efficiency standards required by applicable federal laws and the United States
Department of Energy regulations codified in Code of Federal Regulations, title 10, including
applicable interpretations of the regulations issued by that department.
Subd. 17. Motor.
No new motor covered by this subdivision, excluding those sold as part
of an appliance, may be sold or installed in Minnesota unless its nominal efficiency meets or
exceeds the values adopted under subdivision 8.
Subd. 18. Commercial heating, air conditioning, and ventilating equipment.
subdivision applies to electrically operated unitary and packaged terminal air conditioners and
heat pumps, electrically operated water-chilling packages, gas- and oil-fired boilers, and warm
air furnaces and combination warm air furnaces and air conditioning units installed in buildings
housing commercial or industrial operations.
(b) No commercial heating, air conditioning, or ventilating equipment covered by this
subdivision may be sold or installed in Minnesota unless it meets or exceeds the minimum
performance standards established by ASHRAE standard 90.1.
Subd. 19. Showerhead; faucet.
No new showerhead, kitchen faucet or kitchen replacement
aerator, or lavatory faucet or lavatory replacement aerator may be sold or installed in Minnesota
unless it meets or exceeds the efficiency standards required by applicable federal laws and the
United States Department of Energy regulations codified in Code of Federal Regulations, title 10,
including applicable interpretations of the regulations issued by that department.
Subd. 20. Conservation rules.
The commissioner shall adopt rules to implement
subdivisions 13 and 16 to 19, including rules governing testing of products covered by those
sections. The rules must make allowance for wholesalers, distributors, or retailers who have
inventory or stock which was acquired prior to July 1, 1993. The rules must consider appropriate
efficiency requirements for motors used infrequently in agricultural and other applications.
History: 1974 c 307 s 12; 1975 c 65 s 1; 1976 c 166 s 7; 1976 c 333 s 5-7; 1977 c 381 s
11-14; Ex1979 c 2 s 20-24; 1980 c 579 s 8; 1981 c 85 s 3,4; 1981 c 356 s 139-145,248; 1981 c
365 s 9; 1982 c 424 s 130; 1982 c 563 s 9; 1984 c 544 s 89; 1984 c 654 art 2 s 101; 1985 c 50 s
1; 1985 c 248 s 70; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 10 subd 1; 1988 c 617 s 3,4; 1992 c 597 s 4-10; 1995 c
161 s 1-5; 1997 c 191 art 1 s 8; 1998 c 350 s 4; 1999 c 135 s 5
216C.20 ENERGY CONSERVATION IN PUBLIC BUILDING.
Subdivision 1. Applicability.
The rules concerning heat loss, illumination, and climate
control standards adopted pursuant to section
16B.61, subdivision 1
, shall include standards for
all existing buildings heated by oil, coal, gas, or electric units which are owned by the state, the
University of Minnesota, any city, any county, or any school district. Compliance with standards
adopted pursuant to this section shall not be mandatory for buildings owned by any city, county,
or school district, except as otherwise provided by this section.
Subd. 2. Consideration of economic feasibility.
The illumination standards promulgated
pursuant to subdivision 1, are mandatory for all public buildings where economically feasible.
For the purposes of this subdivision, "public building" means any building which is open to the
public during normal business hours and which exceeds 5,000 square feet in gross floor area. The
commissioner shall specify the formula for determining economic feasibility.
Subd. 3. Parking ramp.
No enclosed structure or portion of an enclosed structure
constructed after January 1, 1978, and used primarily as a commercial parking facility for three
or more motor vehicles shall be heated. Incidental heating resulting from building exhaust air
passing through a parking facility shall not be prohibited, provided that substantially all useful
heat has previously been removed from the air.
History: 1976 c 333 s 8; 1977 c 381 s 15; 1981 c 356 s 146,147,248; 1987 c 312 art 1 s
10 subd 1; 2000 c 297 s 2
216C.25 SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM STANDARDS.
The commissioner of administration in consultation with the commissioner shall adopt
rules concerning quality and performance standards which are in reasonable conformance with
the Interim Performance Criteria for Solar Heating and Combined Heating/Cooling Systems and
Dwellings, National Bureau of Standards, January 1, 1975; and the Interim Performance Criteria
for Commercial Solar Heating and Combined Heating/Cooling Systems and Facilities, National
Aeronautics and Space Administration, February 28, 1975, to insure that within the existing state
of development, solar energy systems as defined in section
216C.06, subdivision 17
, which are
sold or installed within this state, are effective and represent a high standard of quality of material,
workmanship, design, and performance. The commissioner of administration in consultation
with the energy commissioner shall amend the rules as new technology and materials become
available, or as standards are revised by the federal government.
Manufacturers or retailers of solar energy systems shall disclose to each bona fide potential
purchaser of a system the extent to which the system meets or exceeds each quality standard.
History: 1976 c 333 s 14; 1981 c 356 s 152,248; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 10 subd 1
216C.26 ENERGY RESEARCH PROJECT; REVIEW.
The commissioner shall continuously identify, monitor, and evaluate in terms of potential
direct benefit to, and possible implementation in Minnesota, research studies and demonstration
projects of alternative energy and energy conservation systems and methodologies currently
performed in Minnesota and other states and countries including:
(1) solar energy systems for heating and cooling;
(2) energy systems using wind, agricultural wastes, forestry products, peat, and other
nonconventional energy resources;
(3) devices and technologies increasing the energy efficiency of energy-consuming
appliances, equipment, and systems;
(4) hydroelectric power; and
(5) other projects the commissioner deems appropriate and of direct benefit to Minnesota and
other states of the upper midwest.
History: 1976 c 333 s 15; 1981 c 356 s 153,248; 1982 c 563 s 10; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 10
216C.261 ALTERNATIVE ENERGY ENGINEERING ACTIVITY.
Subdivision 1. Creation, goals.
To further the development of indigenous energy resources
and energy conservation, the commissioner shall establish an alternative energy engineering
activity. The activity shall facilitate the development of specific projects in the public and private
sectors and provide a broad range of information, education, and engineering assistance services
necessary to accelerate energy conservation and alternative energy development in the state.
Subd. 2. Duties.
The alternative energy engineering activity shall:
(1) provide on-site technical assistance for alternative energy and conservation projects;
(2) develop information materials and educational programs to meet the needs of engineers,
technicians, developers, and others in the alternative energy field;
(3) conduct feasibility studies when the results of the studies would be of benefit to others
working in the same area;
(4) facilitate development of energy projects through assistance in finding financing, meeting
regulatory requirements, gaining public and private support, limited technical consultation, and
similar forms of assistance; and
(5) work with and use the services of Minnesota design professionals.
History: 1984 c 654 art 2 s 102; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 10 subd 1
216C.262 OPTIMAL LOW-INCOME WEATHERIZATION.
The commissioner shall contract with the Building Energy Research Center at the
University of Minnesota for the purpose of determining optimal weatherization for low-income
weatherization programs. The alternative energy engineering activity shall provide technical
History: 1984 c 654 art 2 s 103; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 10 subd 1
216C.263 OIL OVERCHARGE MONEY FOR ENERGY CONSERVATION.
The oil overcharge money that is not otherwise appropriated by law or dedicated by court
order is appropriated to the commissioner for energy conservation projects that directly serve
low-income Minnesotans. This appropriation is available until spent.
History: 1998 c 273 s 3; 2005 c 97 art 4 s 6
216C.264 COORDINATING RESIDENTIAL WEATHERIZATION PROGRAMS.
Subdivision 1. Agency designation.
The department is the state agency to apply for, receive,
and disburse money made available to the state by federal law for the purpose of weatherizing the
residences of low-income persons. The commissioner must coordinate available federal money
with state money appropriated for this purpose.
Subd. 2. Grants.
The commissioner must make grants of federal and state money to
community action agencies and other public or private nonprofit agencies for the purpose of
weatherizing the residences of low-income persons. Grant applications must be submitted in
accordance with rules promulgated by the commissioner.
Subd. 3. Benefits of weatherization.
In the case of any grant made to an owner of a
rental dwelling unit for weatherization, the commissioner must require that (1) the benefits of
weatherization assistance in connection with the dwelling unit accrue primarily to the low-income
family that resides in the unit; (2) the rents on the dwelling unit will not be raised because of any
increase in value due solely to the weatherization assistance; and (3) no undue or excessive
enhancement will occur to the value of the dwelling unit.
Subd. 4. Rules.
The commissioner must promulgate rules that describe procedures for the
administration of grants, data to be reported by grant recipients, and compliance with relevant
federal regulations. The commissioner must require that a rental unit weatherized under this
section be rented to a household meeting the income limits of the program for 24 of the 36
months after weatherization is complete. In applying this restriction to multiunit buildings
weatherized under this section, the commissioner must require that occupancy continue to reflect
the proportion of eligible households in the building at the time of weatherization.
Subd. 5. Grant allocation.
The commissioner must distribute supplementary state grants
in a manner consistent with the goal of producing the maximum number of weatherized units.
Supplementary state grants are provided primarily for the payment of additional labor costs
for the federal weatherization program, and as an incentive for the increased production of
Criteria for the allocation of state grants to local agencies include existing local agency
production levels, emergency needs, and the potential for maintaining or increasing acceptable
levels of production in the area.
An eligible local agency may receive advance funding for 90 days' production, but thereafter
must receive grants solely on the basis of program criteria.
Subd. 6. Eligibility criteria.
To the extent allowed by federal regulations, the commissioner
must ensure that the same income eligibility criteria apply to both the weatherization program
and the energy assistance program.
History: 1998 c 273 s 4; 2005 c 97 art 4 s 6
216C.265 EMERGENCY ENERGY ASSISTANCE; FUEL FUNDS.
Subdivision 1. Definitions.
(a) The definitions in this subdivision apply to this section.
(b) "Energy provider" means a person who provides heating fuel, including natural gas,
electricity, fuel oil, propane, wood, or other form of heating fuel, to residences at retail.
(c) "Fuel fund" means a fund established by an energy provider, the state, or any other
entity that collects and distributes money for low-income emergency energy assistance and
meets the minimum criteria, including income eligibility criteria, for receiving money from the
federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program and the program's Incentive Fund for
Leveraging Non-Federal Resources.
Subd. 2. Energy providers; requirement.
Each energy provider may solicit contributions
from its energy customers for deposit in a fuel fund established by the energy provider, a fuel fund
established by another energy provider or other entity, or the statewide fuel account established
in subdivision 3, for the purpose of providing emergency energy assistance to low-income
households that qualify under the federal eligibility criteria of the federal Low-Income Home
Energy Assistance Program. Solicitation of contributions from customers may be made at least
annually and may provide each customer an opportunity to contribute as part of payment of bills
for provision of service or provide an alternate, convenient way for customers to contribute.
Subd. 3. Statewide fuel account; appropriation.
The commissioner must establish a
statewide fuel account. The commissioner may develop and implement a program to solicit
contributions, manage the receipts, and distribute emergency energy assistance to low-income
households, as defined in the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, on a
statewide basis. All money remitted to the commissioner for deposit in the statewide fuel account
is appropriated to the commissioner for the purpose of developing and implementing the program.
No more than ten percent of the money received in the first two years of the program may be
used for the administrative expenses of the commissioner to implement the program and no more
than five percent of the money received in any subsequent year may be used for administration
of the program.
Subd. 4. Emergency Energy Assistance Advisory Council.
The commissioner must
appoint an advisory council to advise the commissioner on implementation of this section. At
least one-third of the advisory council must be composed of persons from households that are
eligible for emergency energy assistance under the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance
Program. The remaining two-thirds of the advisory council must be composed of persons
representing energy providers, customers, local energy assistance providers, existing fuel fund
delivery agencies, and community action agencies. Members of the advisory council may receive
expenses, but no other compensation, as provided in section
15.059, subdivision 3
and removal of members is governed by section
History: 1998 c 273 s 5; 2005 c 97 art 4 s 6
216C.266 DATA PRIVACY; ENERGY PROGRAMS.
Data on individuals collected, maintained, or created because an individual applies for
benefits or services provided by the energy assistance and weatherization programs is private data
on individuals and must not be disseminated except pursuant to section
13.05, subdivisions 3
History: 1998 c 273 s 6; 2005 c 97 art 4 s 6
216C.27 ENERGY CONSERVATION IN EXISTING RESIDENCE.
Subdivision 1. Rules.
The commissioner shall adopt rules containing minimum energy
efficiency standards for existing residences. The standards shall be appropriate for evaluation of
the energy efficiency of each major type of residential housing including, but not limited to, one-
to four-family dwellings, apartment buildings, manufactured homes, condominium buildings,
and type of ownership. The standards shall be economically feasible in that the resultant savings
in energy procurement costs, based on current and projected average residential energy costs in
Minnesota as certified by the commissioner in the State Register, will exceed the cost of the
energy-conserving requirements amortized over the ten-year period subsequent to the incurring
of the cost. The costs computed under this section and section
16B.61, subdivision 8
include reasonable inflation and interest factors. Subject to the provisions of subdivision 4, with
respect to low-rent housing which is owned by a public housing authority or a housing and
redevelopment authority as described in chapter 462, compliance with the standards established
by the commissioner shall be determined based upon audits conducted by or on behalf of the
housing and redevelopment authority or the public housing authority in conformance with the
requirements of Code of Federal Regulations, title 24, sections 965.301 to 965.310. Audits
which are conducted by individuals other than employees of the housing and redevelopment
authority or the public housing authority shall be conducted by evaluators who are certified
pursuant to subdivision 6 or section
. The determination of the economic feasibility
of implementation of the standards in low-rent housing shall be made in accordance with the
procedures established by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to
implement Code of Federal Regulations, title 24, sections 965.301 to 965.310.
Subd. 2. Definitions.
For the purposes of subdivisions 3 to 7, the following terms shall have
the meanings given them.
(a) "Residence" means any dwelling for habitation either seasonally, meaning all or a portion
of the months of November through April, or permanently by one or more persons. A residence
may be part of a multidwelling or multipurpose building, but shall not include buildings such as
hotels, hospitals, motels, dormitories, sanitariums, nursing homes, schools, and other buildings
used for educational purposes, or correctional institutions. A manufactured home as defined in
168.011, subdivision 8
, shall be a residence for purposes of this section.
(b) "Applicable energy efficiency standards" means those standards established under
subdivision 1 which are not shown to be economically infeasible for the building in question.
Subd. 3. Energy conservation for rental property.
Effective January 1, 1980, all residences
constructed prior to January 1, 1976, which are renter-occupied during all or a portion of the
months of November through April shall be in compliance with standards pursuant to subdivision
1 pertaining to caulking and weatherstripping of exterior joints and sealing of other openings in
the building envelope. Effective July 1, 1983, all residences which are renter-occupied during all
or a portion of the months of November through April shall be in compliance with all applicable
energy efficiency standards.
Subd. 4. Inspection.
The commissioner shall conduct inspections on a random basis for
compliance with the provisions of subdivision 3. The commissioner may authorize a municipality,
with its consent, to conduct the inspections within the municipality's jurisdiction, or to otherwise
enforce the provisions of subdivision 3. Any municipality which conducts an inspection or other
enforcement program shall have authority under all subdivisions of section
to enforce the
provisions of subdivision 3; provided that 100 percent of the penalties for violation of subdivision
3 shall be paid to the municipality. With respect to low-rent housing owned by a public housing
authority or a housing and redevelopment authority described in sections
commissioner or the municipality which conducts the inspection shall submit the results of the
inspection to the housing and redevelopment authority or the public housing authority for review.
If the housing and redevelopment authority or the public housing authority does not concur
in the findings of the commissioner or the municipality, then the housing and redevelopment
authority or the public housing authority and the commissioner or the municipality shall select
a mutually acceptable independent third party or panel of experts knowledgeable in the area of
energy conservation. The results of the inspection, the conclusions of the commissioner or the
municipality as to compliance with the standards established pursuant to subdivision 1, and the
basis for such conclusions, and the position of the housing and redevelopment authority or the
public housing authority and the basis for such position shall be submitted to the independent
third party or panel for a determination of the specific energy conservation measures which must
be completed for compliance with the standards established pursuant to subdivision 1. The costs
of the independent third party or panel shall be paid equally by the housing and redevelopment
authority or the public housing authority and the commissioner or the municipality.
Subd. 5. Enforcement after inspection.
If the commissioner determines, after an inspection
conducted by or on behalf of the department, that a renter-occupied residence is not in compliance
with the standards prescribed pursuant to subdivision 1, the commissioner may issue to the owner
of the renter-occupied residence or the owner's agent a determination of noncompliance and may
commence a contested case proceeding under sections
. The determination shall
(1) specify the reasons for the determination, (2) include a copy of the inspection report, (3)
state the actions that must be taken to bring the residence into compliance with the standards,
(4) state that if the residence is not brought into compliance with the standards within 90 days
following the date of the determination, a contested case proceeding will be commenced, and (5)
specify a fine that will be assessed upon the conclusion of the contested case proceeding in the
absence of a showing of good cause in that proceeding. The contested case proceeding hearing
shall be held in the county in which the renter-occupied residence is located. Notwithstanding
the provisions of sections
, the administrative law judge in the contested case
proceeding shall make findings of fact and conclusions of law and issue a decision, and if the
administrative law judge decides that the residence is not in compliance with the standards, the
administrative law judge shall enter an order directing the owner to take such affirmative action
as in the judgment of the administrative law judge will effectuate the purposes of this section
16B.61, subdivision 8
Subd. 6. Fines for noncompliance; exception.
If the administrative law judge issues a
decision, following a contested case proceeding commenced pursuant to subdivision 4a, that
a renter-occupied residence is not in compliance with the standards prescribed pursuant to
subdivision 1 and that the owner of the renter-occupied residence has not proven a good cause, as
defined by rule adopted by the commissioner, for failure to comply with the standards prescribed
pursuant to subdivision 1, the administrative law judge shall assess a fine against the owner in
accordance with a schedule of fines adopted by the commissioner by rule. This subdivision shall
not apply in the case of low-rent housing owned by a public housing authority or a housing and
redevelopment authority as defined in section
Subd. 7. Building evaluator.
The commissioner shall certify evaluators in each county of
the state who are qualified to determine the compliance of a residence with applicable energy
efficiency standards. The commissioner shall, by rule pursuant to chapter 14, adopt standards for
the certification and performance of evaluators and set a fee for the certification of evaluators
which is sufficient to cover the ongoing costs of the program once it is established. The
commissioner shall encourage the certification of existing groups of trained municipal personnel
and qualified individuals from community-based organizations and public service organizations.
Each certified evaluator shall, on request of the owner, inspect any residence and report the
degree to which it complies with applicable energy efficiency standards established pursuant to
subdivision 1. The inspections shall be made within 30 days of the request. The commissioner
shall enter into an agreement with the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and
Universities for the provision of evaluator training at institutions that offer the technical training.
The commissioner may contract with the board to reduce the training costs to the students. The
commissioner may eliminate the examination fee for persons seeking upgraded certificates. The
commissioner may also establish requirements for continuing education, periodic recertification,
and revocation of certification for evaluators.
16B.61, subd 8
History: 1977 c 381 s 18; 1978 c 786 s 2,3; Ex1979 c 2 s 29-31; 1980 c 579 s 9; 1981 c 85 s
5; 1981 c 255 s 2,5; 1981 c 356 s 154-158,248; 1981 c 365 s 9; 1982 c 424 s 23-25,130; 1983 c
301 s 125,126; 1984 c 595 s 1-5; 1984 c 640 s 32; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 258 s 12; 1987 c 291 s
196; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 10 subd 1; 1989 c 209 art 2 s 1; 1989 c 246 s 2; 1995 c 233 art 2 s 56;
1Sp1995 c 3 art 16 s 13; 1997 c 183 art 3 s 27; 2000 c 297 s 3; 2005 c 97 art 4 s 6
216C.29 SUBPOENA POWER.
The commissioner shall have the power, for the purposes of sections
to issue subpoenas for production of books, records, correspondence and other information and
to require attendance of witnesses. The subpoenas may be served anywhere in the state by any
person authorized to serve processes of courts of record. If a person does not comply with a
subpoena, the commissioner may apply to the District Court of Ramsey County and the court
shall compel obedience to the subpoena by a proper order. A person failing to obey the order
is punishable by the court as for contempt.
History: 1974 c 307 s 14; 1981 c 356 s 160,248; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 10 subd 1
216C.30 ENFORCEMENT; PENALTIES, REMEDIES.
Subdivision 1. Misdemeanor.
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter or
, or any rule promulgated thereunder, or knowingly submits false
information in any report required by this chapter or section
shall be guilty of
a misdemeanor. Each day of violation shall constitute a separate offense.
Subd. 2. Equitable remedies.
The provisions of this chapter and sections
, or any rules promulgated hereunder may be enforced by injunction, action to compel
performance or other appropriate action in the district court of the county wherein the violation
takes place. The attorney general shall bring any action under this subdivision upon the request
of the commissioner, and the existence of an adequate remedy at law shall not be a defense
to an action brought under this subdivision.
Subd. 3. Money penalty.
When the court finds that any person has violated any provision of
this chapter or section
, or any rule thereunder, has knowingly submitted false
information in any report required by this chapter or section
, or has violated
any court order issued under this chapter or section
, the court may impose a
civil penalty of not more than $10,000 for each violation. These penalties shall be paid to the
general fund in the state treasury.
Subd. 4. Housing authority exempt.
With respect to low-rent housing, the provisions of
subdivisions 1 and 3 shall not apply to a violation by a housing and redevelopment authority
described in chapter 462 or a public housing authority, or an employee of either, of section
or any rule promulgated thereunder.
Subd. 5. Remedies additional for health or safety violation.
For purposes of sections
, the weatherstripping, caulking, storm
window, and storm door energy efficiency standards for renter-occupied residences prescribed
216C.27, subdivisions 1 and 3
, are health and safety standards and the penalties and
remedies provided in this section are in addition to and do not limit remedies otherwise available
to tenants of renter-occupied residences.
History: 1974 c 307 s 15; Ex1979 c 2 s 33; 1981 c 356 s 161,248; 1982 c 563 s 11-13; 1984
c 595 s 6,7; 1985 c 248 s 70; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 10 subd 1; 1999 c 199 art 2 s 6
216C.31 ENERGY AUDIT PROGRAMS.
The commissioner shall develop and administer state programs of energy audits of residential
and commercial buildings including those required by United States Code, title 42, sections 8211
to 8222 and sections 8281 to 8284. The commissioner shall continue to administer the residential
energy audit program as originally established under the provisions of United States Code, title
42, sections 8211 to 8222; through July 1, 1986 irrespective of any prior expiration date provided
in United States Code, title 42, section 8216. The commissioner may approve temporary programs
if they are likely to result in the installation of as many conservation measures as would have
been installed had the utility met the requirements of United States Code, title 42, sections 8211
to 8222. The Consumer Services Division and the attorney general may release information on
consumer comments about the operation of the program to the commissioner.
History: 1980 c 579 s 12; 1981 c 356 s 162,248; 1983 c 289 s 47; 1983 c 301 s 127; 1984 c
654 art 2 s 104; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 10 subd 1
216C.315 ALTERNATIVE ENERGY ECONOMIC ANALYSIS.
The commissioner shall carry out the following energy economic analysis duties:
(1) provide continued analysis of alternative energy issues for the biennial report, certificates
of need, and legislative requests;
(2) provide alternative energy information to consumers and business;
(3) assist in the maintenance and improvement of alternative energy input-output multipliers
and market penetration models;
(4) provide analysis of alternative energy data.
History: 1983 c 301 s 128; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 10 subd 1
216C.32 ENERGY-EFFICIENT BUILDING EDUCATION.
The commissioner shall develop a program to provide information and training to persons in
the state who influence the energy efficiency of new buildings, including contractors, engineers,
and architects on techniques and standards for the design and construction of buildings which
maximize energy efficiency. The program may include the production of printed materials and
the development of training courses.
History: 1980 c 579 s 28; 1981 c 356 s 163,248; 1982 c 563 s 14; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 10
216C.33 MINNESOTA BIOMASS CENTER.
Subdivision 1. Creation, purpose.
The commissioner, in consultation with the commissioner
of agriculture, may organize a Minnesota Biomass Center.
The center shall be the focus of biomass energy activities for the state. To the maximum
extent possible, the center shall coordinate its activities and the use of its staff and facilities with
those of other entities involved in biomass energy projects.
Subd. 2. Duties.
The center shall:
(1) coordinate existing education and training programs for biomass energy production
and use within the state and develop new programs where necessary. Educational programs
shall cover all types of biomass energy production use, including but not limited to production
from grain, biowaste, and cellulosic materials;
(2) serve as a central information resource in conjunction with existing agencies and
academic institutions in order to provide information to the public on the production and use of
biomass energy. The center shall obtain and analyze available information on biomass energy
topics and prepare it for distribution to ensure that the public receives the most accurate and
up-to-date information available;
(3) participate in necessary research projects to assist in technological advancement in areas
of biomass energy production, distribution, and use. The center shall also study the environmental
and safety aspects of biomass energy use;
(4) support and coordinate financing activities for biomass energy production, including
providing technical assistance and manuals to individuals and groups seeking private, local, state
or federal funding. The center shall be responsible for evaluating projects for any state assistance
that may become available;
(5) develop consumer information and protection programs for all aspects of biomass energy
production and use;
(6) investigate marketing and distribution needs within the state;
(7) review state and federal laws and regulations affecting biomass energy production
and use, and evaluate regulatory incentives in order to provide the legislature with legislative
proposals for the encouragement of biomass energy production and use within the state.
History: 1980 c 579 s 29; 1981 c 85 s 6; 1981 c 356 s 164,248; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 10 subd 1
216C.34 MONEY FOR SCHOOL OR GOVERNING BODY.
Money to pay part or all of the actual costs of mini-audits, maxi-audits, and energy
conservation measures performed by or for schools and governing bodies shall be available from
legislative appropriations made for that purpose in accordance with the priorities established in
. Money appropriated pursuant to this section is available to school districts
and local governmental units that submitted acceptable mini-audits or maxi-audits after April
9, 1976, and before July 1, 1979.
History: Ex1979 c 2 s 34; 1980 c 579 s 13; 1981 c 356 s 248; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 10 subd 1
216C.35 PRIORITIES FOR FUNDING.
All applications for funding shall be made to the commissioner. Applications shall be
accompanied by a report on the energy-using characteristics of the building and any other
information the commissioner may reasonably require.
History: Ex1979 c 2 s 35; 1981 c 356 s 165,248; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 10 subd 1; 1997 c 7
art 1 s 92
216C.37 ENERGY CONSERVATION INVESTMENT LOAN.
Subdivision 1. Definitions.
In this section:
(a) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of commerce.
(b) "Energy conservation investments" means all capital expenditures that are associated
with conservation measures identified in an energy project study, and that have a ten-year or
less payback period.
(c) "Municipality" means any county, statutory or home rule charter city, town, school
district, or any combination of those units operating under an agreement to jointly undertake
projects authorized in this section.
(d) "Energy project study" means a study of one or more energy-related capital improvement
projects analyzed in sufficient detail to support a financing application. At a minimum, it must
include one year of energy consumption and cost data, a description of existing conditions,
a description of proposed conditions, a detailed description of the costs of the project, and
calculations sufficient to document the proposed energy savings.
Subd. 2. Eligibility.
The commissioner shall approve loans to municipalities for energy
conservation investments. A loan may be made to a municipality that has demonstrated that it has
complied with all the appropriate provisions of this section and has made adequate provisions
to assure proper and efficient operation of the municipal facilities after improvements and
modifications are completed.
Subd. 3. Application.
Application for a loan to be made pursuant to this section shall be
made by a municipality to the commissioner on a form the commissioner prescribes by rule. The
commissioner shall review each application to determine:
(1) whether or not the municipality's proposal is complete;
(2) whether the calculations and estimates contained in the energy project study are
appropriate, accurate, and reasonable;
(3) whether the project is eligible for a loan;
(4) the amount of the loan for which the project is eligible; and
(5) the means by which the municipality proposes to finance the project including:
(i) a loan authorized by this section;
(ii) a grant of money appropriated by state law;
(iii) a grant to the municipality by an agency of the federal government within the amount of
money then appropriated to that agency; or
(iv) the appropriation of other money of the municipality to an account for the construction
of the project.
Subd. 3a. Additional information.
During application review, the commissioner may
request additional information about a proposed energy conservation investment, including
information on project cost. Failure to provide information requested disqualifies a loan applicant.
Subd. 3b. Public accessibility of loan application data.
Data contained in an application
submitted to the commissioner for a loan to be made pursuant to this section, including supporting
technical documentation, is classified as "public data not on individuals" under section
Subd. 4. Conditions for loan approval; repayment.
The commissioner shall approve loans
to municipalities on the following conditions:
(a) A municipality must demonstrate that the project is economically feasible, and that it
has made adequate provisions to assure proper and efficient operation of the facility once the
project is completed.
(b) A loan made pursuant to this section is repayable over a period of not more than ten years
from the date the loan is made. Interest shall accrue from the date the loan is made, but the first
payment of interest or principal shall not be due until one year after the loan was made. The
principal shall be amortized in equal periodic payments over the remainder of the term of the loan.
The accrued interest on the balance of the loan principal shall be due with each payment. Interest
attributable to the first year of deferred payment shall be paid in the same manner as principal.
(c) Public schools shall receive funding priority whenever approvable loan applications
exceed available funds.
Subd. 5. Payment; obligation.
The commissioner shall not approve payment to a
municipality pursuant to an approved loan until the commissioner has determined that financing
of the project is assured by an irrevocable undertaking, by resolution of the governing body
of the municipality, to annually levy or otherwise collect an amount of money sufficient to
pay the principal and interest due on the loan as well as any of the commissioner of finance's
administrative expenses according to the terms of the loan.
Subd. 6. Receipts; appropriation.
The commissioner of finance shall deposit in the state
treasury all principal and interest payments received in repayment of the loans authorized by this
section. These payments shall be credited to the bond proceeds fund and are appropriated to the
commissioner of finance for the purposes of that account.
Subd. 7. Rules.
The commissioner shall adopt rules necessary to implement this section. The
rules shall contain as a minimum:
(1) procedures for application by municipalities;
(2) criteria for reviewing loan applications; and
(3) procedures and guidelines for program monitoring, closeout, and evaluation.
Subd. 8.[Repealed, 1994 c 616 s 12
History: 1983 c 289 s 115 subd 1; 1983 c 323 s 1; 1984 c 640 s 32; 1Sp1985 c 12 art 7 s 1;
1986 c 444; 1987 c 186 s 15; 1987 c 289 s 1; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 10 subd 1; 1987 c 386 art 3 s
16,17; 1989 c 271 s 31; 1993 c 163 art 1 s 28; 1993 c 327 s 15; 1994 c 616 s 2-5; 1996 c 305
art 2 s 42; 1Sp2001 c 4 art 6 s 51
216C.373 SUPERINSULATED HOME DEMONSTRATION PROJECT.
The superinsulated home demonstration project funded under Laws 1981, chapter 356,
section 30, shall be continued under the direction of the commissioner and the center to monitor
and document new projects and projects in progress. The project shall:
(1) work with the financial community to bring energy cost and savings into mortgage
(2) develop a definition of superinsulation for use by financial institutions.
History: 1983 c 301 s 132; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 10 subd 1
216C.38 BUILDING ENERGY RESEARCH CENTER.
Subdivision 1. Energy partnership.
To improve the energy efficiency of buildings, the
commissioner shall administer a Building Energy Research Center that shall be a cooperative
effort among the commissioner, the University of Minnesota, technical colleges, and certain
associations and businesses from the private sector. The center's goal is to become a nationally
recognized center for building research.
Subd. 2. Purpose.
The purpose of the Building Energy Research Center is to:
(1) conduct studies of Minnesota building experience;
(2) disseminate information acquired relating to building energy efficiency;
(3) conduct continuing education courses;
(4) provide limited energy and design consultation services for innovative projects;
(5) coordinate and stimulate research efforts; and
(6) seek private sector pledges to match appropriations for this program.
History: 1983 c 301 s 133; 1987 c 258 s 12; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 10 subd 1; 1989 c 246 s 2
216C.381 COMMUNITY ENERGY PROGRAM.
Subdivision 1. Findings.
The legislature finds that community-based energy programs are
an effective means of implementing improved energy practices including conservation, greater
efficiency in energy use, and the use of alternative resources. Further, community-based energy
programs are found to be a public purpose for which public money may be spent.
Subd. 2. Community energy councils; creation.
Statutory and home rule charter cities,
counties, or Indian tribal governments of federally recognized Minnesota-based bands or tribes,
individually or through the exercise of joint powers agreements, may create community energy
councils. Membership on a council shall include representatives of labor, small business,
voluntary organizations, senior citizens, and low- and moderate-income residents, and may
include city, county, and Indian tribal government officials, and other interested parties.
Subd. 3. Council powers and duties.
In order to develop and implement community-based
energy programs, a community energy council may:
(1) analyze social and economic impacts caused by energy expenditures;
(2) plan, coordinate, advertise, and provide energy programs to minimize negative social
and economic impacts;
(3) seek, accept, and disburse grants and other aids from public or private sources for
purposes authorized in this subdivision; and
(4) exercise other powers and duties imposed on it by statute, charter, or by ordinance.
Subd. 4. Department assistance.
The commissioner may provide professional and financial
assistance to communities to establish community energy councils, and develop and implement
community energy programs, within available resources.
History: 1984 c 654 art 2 s 106; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 10 subd 1; 1988 c 617 s 5
216C.41 RENEWABLE ENERGY PRODUCTION INCENTIVE.
Subdivision 1. Definitions.
(a) The definitions in this subdivision apply to this section.
(b) "Qualified hydroelectric facility" means a hydroelectric generating facility in this state
(1) is located at the site of a dam, if the dam was in existence as of March 31, 1994; and
(2) begins generating electricity after July 1, 1994, or generates electricity after substantial
refurbishing of a facility that begins after July 1, 2001.
(c) "Qualified wind energy conversion facility" means a wind energy conversion system in
this state that:
(1) produces two megawatts or less of electricity as measured by nameplate rating and begins
generating electricity after December 31, 1996, and before July 1, 1999;
(2) begins generating electricity after June 30, 1999, produces two megawatts or less of
electricity as measured by nameplate rating, and is:
(i) owned by a resident of Minnesota or an entity that is organized under the laws of this
state, is not prohibited from owning agricultural land under section
, and owns the land
where the facility is sited;
(ii) owned by a Minnesota small business as defined in section
(iii) owned by a Minnesota nonprofit organization;
(iv) owned by a tribal council if the facility is located within the boundaries of the reservation;
(v) owned by a Minnesota municipal utility or a Minnesota cooperative electric association;
(vi) owned by a Minnesota political subdivision or local government, including, but not
limited to, a county, statutory or home rule charter city, town, school district, or any other local or
regional governmental organization such as a board, commission, or association; or
(3) begins generating electricity after June 30, 1999, produces seven megawatts or less of
electricity as measured by nameplate rating, and:
(i) is owned by a cooperative organized under chapter 308A other than a Minnesota
cooperative electric association; and
(ii) all shares and membership in the cooperative are held by an entity that is not prohibited
from owning agricultural land under section
(d) "Qualified on-farm biogas recovery facility" means an anaerobic digester system that:
(1) is located at the site of an agricultural operation; and
(2) is owned by an entity that is not prohibited from owning agricultural land under section
and that owns or rents the land where the facility is located.
(e) "Anaerobic digester system" means a system of components that processes animal waste
based on the absence of oxygen and produces gas used to generate electricity.
Subd. 2. Incentive payment; appropriation.
(a) Incentive payments must be made
according to this section to (1) a qualified on-farm biogas recovery facility, (2) the owner or
operator of a qualified hydropower facility or qualified wind energy conversion facility for electric
energy generated and sold by the facility, (3) a publicly owned hydropower facility for electric
energy that is generated by the facility and used by the owner of the facility outside the facility, or
(4) the owner of a publicly owned dam that is in need of substantial repair, for electric energy
that is generated by a hydropower facility at the dam and the annual incentive payments will be
used to fund the structural repairs and replacement of structural components of the dam, or
to retire debt incurred to fund those repairs.
(b) Payment may only be made upon receipt by the commissioner of commerce of an
incentive payment application that establishes that the applicant is eligible to receive an incentive
payment and that satisfies other requirements the commissioner deems necessary. The application
must be in a form and submitted at a time the commissioner establishes.
(c) There is annually appropriated from the renewable development account under section
to the commissioner of commerce sums sufficient to make the payments required
under this section, in addition to the amounts funded by the renewable development account as
specified in subdivision 5a.
Subd. 3. Eligibility window.
Payments may be made under this section only for electricity
(1) from a qualified hydroelectric facility that is operational and generating electricity before
December 31, 2009;
(2) from a qualified wind energy conversion facility that is operational and generating
electricity before January 1, 2008; or
(3) from a qualified on-farm biogas recovery facility from July 1, 2001, through December
Subd. 4. Payment period.
(a) A facility may receive payments under this section for a
ten-year period. No payment under this section may be made for electricity generated:
(1) by a qualified hydroelectric facility after December 31, 2019;
(2) by a qualified wind energy conversion facility after December 31, 2018; or
(3) by a qualified on-farm biogas recovery facility after December 31, 2015.
(b) The payment period begins and runs consecutively from the date the facility begins
generating electricity or, in the case of refurbishment of a hydropower facility, after substantial
repairs to the hydropower facility dam funded by the incentive payments are initiated.
Subd. 5. Amount of payment; wind facilities limit.
(a) An incentive payment is based on
the number of kilowatt-hours of electricity generated. The amount of the payment is:
(1) for a facility described under subdivision 2, paragraph (a), clause (4), 1.0 cent per
(2) for all other facilities, 1.5 cents per kilowatt-hour.
For electricity generated by qualified wind energy conversion facilities, the incentive payment
under this section is limited to no more than 200 megawatts of nameplate capacity.
(b) For wind energy conversion systems installed and contracted for after January 1, 2002,
the total size of a wind energy conversion system under this section must be determined according
to this paragraph. Unless the systems are interconnected with different distribution systems, the
nameplate capacity of one wind energy conversion system must be combined with the nameplate
capacity of any other wind energy conversion system that is:
(1) located within five miles of the wind energy conversion system;
(2) constructed within the same calendar year as the wind energy conversion system; and
(3) under common ownership.
In the case of a dispute, the commissioner of commerce shall determine the total size of the
system, and shall draw all reasonable inferences in favor of combining the systems.
(c) In making a determination under paragraph (b), the commissioner of commerce
may determine that two wind energy conversion systems are under common ownership when
the underlying ownership structure contains similar persons or entities, even if the ownership
shares differ between the two systems. Wind energy conversion systems are not under common
ownership solely because the same person or entity provided equity financing for the systems.
Subd. 5a. Renewable development account.
The Department of Commerce shall authorize
payment of the renewable energy production incentive to wind energy conversion systems for
200 megawatts of nameplate capacity and to on-farm biogas recovery facilities. Payment of the
incentive shall be made from the renewable energy development account as provided under
116C.779, subdivision 2
Subd. 6. Ownership; financing; cure.
(a) For the purposes of subdivision 1, paragraph (c),
clause (2), a wind energy conversion facility qualifies if it is owned at least 51 percent by one or
more of any combination of the entities listed in that clause.
(b) A subsequent owner of a qualified facility may continue to receive the incentive payment
for the duration of the original payment period if the subsequent owner qualifies for the incentive
under subdivision 1.
(c) Nothing in this section may be construed to deny incentive payment to an otherwise
qualified facility that has obtained debt or equity financing for construction or operation as long as
the ownership requirements of subdivision 1 and this subdivision are met. If, during the incentive
payment period for a qualified facility, the owner of the facility is in default of a lending agreement
and the lender takes possession of and operates the facility and makes reasonable efforts to transfer
ownership of the facility to an entity other than the lender, the lender may continue to receive the
incentive payment for electricity generated and sold by the facility for a period not to exceed 18
months. A lender who takes possession of a facility shall notify the commissioner immediately on
taking possession and, at least quarterly, document efforts to transfer ownership of the facility.
(d) If, during the incentive payment period, a qualified facility loses the right to receive the
incentive because of changes in ownership, the facility may regain the right to receive the incentive
upon cure of the ownership structure that resulted in the loss of eligibility and may reapply for the
incentive, but in no case may the payment period be extended beyond the original ten-year limit.
(e) A subsequent or requalifying owner under paragraph (b) or (d) retains the facility's
original priority order for incentive payments as long as the ownership structure requalifies
within two years from the date the facility became unqualified or two years from the date a
lender takes possession.
Subd. 7. Eligibility process.
(a) A qualifying project is eligible for the incentive on the date
the commissioner receives:
(1) an application for payment of the incentive;
(2) one of the following:
(i) a copy of a signed power purchase agreement;
(ii) a copy of a binding agreement other than a power purchase agreement to sell electricity
generated by the project to a third person; or
(iii) if the project developer or owner will sell electricity to its own members or customers, a
copy of the purchase order for equipment to construct the project with a delivery date and a copy
of a signed receipt for a nonrefundable deposit; and
(3) any other information the commissioner deems necessary to determine whether the
proposed project qualifies for the incentive under this section.
(b) The commissioner shall determine whether a project qualifies for the incentive and
respond in writing to the applicant approving or denying the application within 15 working
days of receipt of the information required in paragraph (a). A project that is not operational
within 18 months of receipt of a letter of approval is no longer approved for the incentive. The
commissioner shall notify an applicant of potential loss of approval not less than 60 days prior to
the end of the 18-month period. Eligibility for a project that loses approval may be reestablished
as of the date the commissioner receives a new completed application.
History: 1994 c 643 s 71; 1995 c 245 s 4-8; 1997 c 216 s 124; 1999 c 223 art 2 s 34,35;
2000 c 488 art 2 s 15; 2001 c 212 art 5 s 1-3; 1Sp2001 c 4 art 2 s 21; 2002 c 398 s 6; 2003 c 128
art 3 s 44; 1Sp2003 c 11 art 2 s 9-15; 2004 c 228 art 1 s 35,76 subd 10; 2005 c 40 s 1; 2005 c 97
art 9 s 1; 1Sp2005 c 1 art 4 s 51-53; 2006 c 281 art 4 s 12,13; 2006 c 282 art 11 s 10,11