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Final 2019 legislative report: Little action on energy policy

As you have no doubt seen by now, a rushed end to the 2019 Minnesota legislature left a lot on the table. Energy policy was no exception.

In the end, the legislature passed an extremely pared-down energy policy package. Gone were bills to increase clean energy, revamp utility conservation programs, promote electric vehicles, and much more.

The modest 2019 energy policy package (the section on energy policy is Article 11) includes a requirement that utilities consider energy storage and permission for energy storage pilot programs, modifications to the PACE lending program for commercial properties, a report on workforce diversity, and a handful of relatively minor changes.

CUB’s bill to enable energy data access for consumers’ benefit was not included in the final package. We thank Representative Jamie Long for his efforts to carry the bill forward this year. Data access is crucial to protect consumers, and it’s only going to get more important. CUB is going to keep working.

The half a billion dollar industry-to-residential cost shift that CUB fought against was not included in the package, either.

Thank you to everyone who contacted your legislators this session. It’s not easy for a consumer advocacy group to keep up with the state’s biggest lobbies. With your help, legislators heard loud and clear that their decisions on energy need to put consumers first.

The legislative session is over, but a lot is heating up at the Public Utilities Commission. CUB will be hard at work to represent consumers’ interests on rate hike requests, Xcel Energy’s energy resource plans, grid modernization efforts, and much more in coming months. Stay tuned.

And you can help! When you become a CUB member, you tell decision makers that you stand with Minnesota consumers. Members make CUB’s voice stronger. Any contribution makes you a member — so whether you can give $5 or $100, please join or renew your membership today.

Thank you! And onward.

 

Author: Annie Levenson-Falk

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