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Energy Awareness Month

Published October 1, 2021 It’s that time of the year again, Energy Awareness Month. CUB has been waiting all year to celebrate! Last year we encouraged people to think about issues of access and equity when it comes to energy. This year we want to focus on the importance of weatherization and its long-term benefits…

Looking at Otter Tail’s plans for the future

Published September 22, 2021 What is an IRP?  This fall, numerous utilities across Minnesota are filing Integrated Resource Plans, or IRPs, with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (“PUC”). Among those utilities are Xcel Energy, Minnesota Power, and Otter Tail Power. But what exactly is an IRP? Essentially, the purpose of an IRP is to lay…

Fall energy saving tips

Published September 22, 2021 After such a warm summer, some of us may be looking forward to the cooler weather of the fall season! When it comes to energy use, early fall and late spring are typically our lowest energy use months because we’re not having to heat or cool our homes very often. As a transition…

Energy Efficiency Peer Learning Cohort update

Published September 8, 2021 Since 2019, an active group of community organizations and individuals have been busy increasing their knowledge of energy policy and energy efficiency programs. This group is known as the Energy Efficiency Peer Learning Cohort. The Citizens Utility Board has the pleasure of being part of planning this effort along with the…

IRPs, IDPs, and rate cases — Oh my!

Published September 8, 2021 It will be a busy fall at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. This blog post provides a brief overview of the policy and regulatory work CUB expects to be involved in over the next several months. There are already numerous complex dockets underway before the Commission, including several unique dockets arising…

Consumer advocates support Xcel’s workforce development pilot

Published September 2, 2021 In May of 2020, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (“PUC”) opened a docket (the “Economic Recovery” docket) with the goal of identifying possible utility investments that could help Minnesota recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The PUC required utilities to provide a report of ongoing, planned, or possible investments…

CARD grant update

Published September 1, 2021; Updated December 7, 2021 Last January CUB was awarded a Conservation Applied Research and Development (CARD) grant from the Minnesota Department of Commerce. The purpose of the grant was to complete a research project that will seek improvements to energy efficiency programs to better serve renter, low-income, and Black, Indigenous, and…

Disconnection Notice

All utilities able to resume shutoffs

Published August 17, 2021 During the earlier stages of the pandemic, some utilities were prohibited from disconnecting consumers. As of August 2, all of Minnesota’s utilities are allowed to resume disconnections for past-due bills. If you are behind on your bills, here’s what you need to know. Call your utility and ask to arrange a…

Late summer savings

Published August 11, 2021 Staying in that sweet spot where comfort meets energy savings is an art, and it’s been a hot summer so far. Cooling down is a huge part of your energy bill during the year and, given the heat, we thought we’d give you some tools to lower both your energy bill…

Commission exempts low-income Minnesotans from natural gas price spike surcharges

Published August 11, 2021 Over President’s Day Weekend 2021, four of Minnesota’s natural gas utilities (CenterPoint, Xcel, MERC, and Great Plains) collectively incurred hundreds of millions of dollars in extraordinary costs providing natural gas to their Minnesota customers. Normally, extraordinary costs (those that exceed what utilities had budgeted for when setting rates) are passed through…

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