Minneapolis Energy Pathways: A Framework for Local Energy Action

This report reviews leading legal, regulatory, and program options for the City of Minneapolis and recommends actions to further its energy objectives.

The City of Minneapolis has expressed ambitious objectives for its energy system, seeking to reduce climate and environmental impacts, improve the equity of energy services for residents and businesses, retain affordability, and maintain or improve service reliability. However, the City currently faces a major challenge in that it must rely almost entirely on two investor-owned energy utilities, Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy, to meet these objectives. The City and these two utilities have historically worked in separate venues, with the City setting local goals and expectations for energy use, and the utilities focused primarily on complying with statewide and national regulations for service and environmental performance. If Minneapolis is to become a leading sustainable energy city, this lack of coordination must be addressed. This study identifies several ways the City can do this.

After thorough reviewing of the local energy system, Minnesota utility law, and the interests of Minneapolis community members, we believe that a deeper, more formal relationship between Minneapolis and the utilities that serve it will be required to meet the City’s energy goals. Minneapolis has engaged in an inclusive, data-driven climate planning process and adopted a strong set of energy goals, and it requires more control or influence over its energy services in order to achieve those goals. In addition, the City must continue to use the assets it currently has, such as its municipal regulatory authority and relationships with businesses, neighborhoods and community organizations within the city, to work in partnership with the utilities to meet the City’s aggressive energy sustainability goals.


Full report (PDF)
Minneapolis Energy Pathways: A Framework for Local Energy Action