News Releases RSS | Minnesota Department of Commerce http://mn.gov/commerce en-us Commerce, Minnesota Housing partner to create more energy efficiency loan opportunities Thu, 24 Jul 2014 13:53:25 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-137268 SAINT PAUL, MN – Minnesota consumers now have a new energy efficiency home improvement loan program that allows more people to access low-interest, unsecured loans and make important energy efficiency upgrades, thanks to a partnership of the Minnesota Department of Commerce and Minnesota Housing Finance Agency. Commerce Department takes action and fines investment advisor operating a Ponzi-scheme targeting elderly investors Wed, 23 Jul 2014 12:13:30 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-136927 SAINT PAUL, MN – The Minnesota Department of Commerce ordered Mark Holt, a licensed investment advisor, insurance agent, and attorney, to stop engaging in securities related activity and to pay a $300,000 civil penalty for defrauding multiple investors, many of whom are senior citizens, as part of a Ponzi scheme. The findings of fact issued by the Department allege that Holt misled his clients, usually retirees and the elderly who indicated that they specifically invested their money with him due to his standing as a licensed attorney. Commerce Department offers 10 basic no-cost or low-cost ways to stay cool, save energy, reduce emissions Mon, 07 Jul 2014 13:57:25 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-135308 SAINT PAUL, MN — As we enter the hot days of summer with temperatures over 90 degrees, the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources reminds consumers of some simple no-cost or low-cost energy-saving tips to help keep cool, conserve energy, and reduce utility bills. Commerce Commissioner orders Legal Helpers to pay $187,500 in restitution to Minnesota consumers Mon, 30 Jun 2014 13:27:18 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-134642 SAINT PAUL, MN – The Minnesota Department of Commerce consent order signed recently requires Chicago-based Legal Helpers Debt Resolution, LLC (LHDR) and its subsidiaries to pay Minnesota consumers $187,500 in restitution for unauthorized and unregistered debt settlement in Minnesota. Department of Commerce orders auto-dialing, unlicensed insurance-selling company to pay $191,185 civil penalty Wed, 25 Jun 2014 14:06:40 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-134007 SAINT PAUL, MN – The Minnesota Department of Commerce recently ordered Variable Marketing LLC, which does business under the name Instant Insurance Marketing to pay a $191,185 civil penalty for making numerous fraudulent and unlicensed solicitations to Minnesota consumers. Commerce Department reminds real estate professionals and collection agencies to renew licenses, and bullion coin dealers to register by June 30 Mon, 23 Jun 2014 14:36:30 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-133433 SAINT PAUL, MN – It’s that time of year again! The Minnesota Department of Commerce is reminding real estate professionals and debt collectors with a license expiration date of June 30, 2014 to set some time aside and submit their renewal by June 30, 2014, 4:30 p.m. CST. Department of Commerce offers assistance and information for a storm damage claim Thu, 19 Jun 2014 14:22:09 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-133253 For more than a week, Minnesota has experienced significant precipitation throughout the state, causing flooding and damage. The severe weather is expected to continue through June 20th and could include damaging hail and wind. The Department of Commerce reminds consumers to review their auto and homeowners policy, contact their insurance agent and document property damage. Five Tips for Saving Energy at Home When You’re Away on Summer Vacation Wed, 18 Jun 2014 09:53:31 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-132870 Are you planning an extended summer vacation—one week, two weeks, or more? Before leaving town, there are several simple steps you can take to save energy in your home—and save money. Commerce Commissioner Hits the Road as Call-to-Action to Raise Awareness about Senior Financial Abuse Fri, 13 Jun 2014 11:11:18 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-132361 As part of the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s ongoing state-wide outreach effort to protect senior citizens from financial fraud and abuse, Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman will spend today at Rochester Community Technical College to commemorate World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) by teaching the class “Preventing Elder Investment Fraud: Assessing for Vulnerability to Financial Exploitation.” Today’s presentation marks the fifteenth event in a statewide push to teach communities how to spot and report fraud and financial abuse within the elderly and vulnerable adult populations. WEAAD is an opportunity for individuals, organizations, and communities to come together as a call-to-action to raise awareness about senior financial abuse. Minnesota Commerce Department Settles with Fourth Oil Company to Return Money Back to the State Mon, 09 Jun 2014 13:08:23 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-131899 Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman today finalized the fourth settlement agreement as part of an investigation of improper insurance claims made by oil companies to clean up contaminated sites. The $100,000 settlement with Sunoco and the previous settlements Chevron, Exxon Mobil, and ConocoPhillips total $7.525 million to be returned to Minnesota’s Petroleum Tank Release Cleanup Fund (Petrofund). Commerce Department Recommends Xcel Trim Rate Request by 60 Percent Thu, 05 Jun 2014 16:33:31 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-131800 The Minnesota Department of Commerce Division of Energy Resources recommended today that the $291 million rate increase proposed by Xcel Energy for electric service in 2014 and 2015 be reduced by over $174 million or 60 percent overall. Xcel provides electric service to over 1,240,926 customers, located largely in the Twin Cities and the southern half of Minnesota. After an extensive review of Xcel’s proposed rate increase, Commerce concluded that Xcel would still be able to provide safe, reliable service by making needed improvements to distribution, transmission and generation facilities at the pared-down rate increase level. Energy Information Center: A Trusted Source to Answer your Energy Questions Mon, 02 Jun 2014 12:55:37 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-131352 Do you need guidance on a new energy efficiency project—an AC/furnace system, attic insulation, new windows and doors? Are you looking for ways to finance a renewable energy system? Not sure where to start on saving energy and reducing your utility bills? Commerce Commissioner Reaches Settlement with Transamerica and MetLife Tue, 27 May 2014 11:45:49 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-130947 SAINT PAUL, MN – Today, Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman signed Regulatory Settlement Agreements with Transamerica and MetLife that require both insurance companies to pay Minnesota beneficiaries their rightful proceeds from life insurance policies, annuity contracts and retained asset accounts. New Consumer Protections Will Help Minnesotans Who Rely on Propane to Heat Their Homes Fri, 16 May 2014 11:07:03 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-129898 As part of National Consumer Protection Week, which takes place March 2 – 8, the Minnesota Department of Commerce and Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) are partnering to offer consumers advice on companies offering credit repair services. Time for a New Washer? Look for an ENERGY STAR® Clothes Washer to Save Energy, Water Thu, 15 May 2014 12:02:20 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-129720 In the market for a new clothes washer? More consumers are looking to ENERGY STAR® -certified clothes washers in order to use less energy and water, save money on utility bills, and help protect our environment. Need a reason to replace your old dishwasher – Minnesota Energy Tips has the information to help consumers clean up Fri, 02 May 2014 16:16:00 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-128475 Older dishwashers use more water and electricity than newer, ENERGY STAR® models. To get started on the right track, when shopping for a new dishwasher, always look for the ENERGY STAR label. Commerce Department Offers Tips for Minnesotans Interested in New Ride-Sharing Services Fri, 02 May 2014 07:50:11 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-128467 SAINT PAUL, MN – Cars with pink mustaches and new ride-share phone apps are sparking interest in the Twin Cities, as well as other cities across the country. Before hitting the road, the Minnesota Department of Commerce is offering the following consumer information to drivers and customers to explain potential insurance issues for Minnesotans interested in participating in ridesharing or transportation networking company (TNC) services. Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman Receives National Award for Work in Financial Empowerment Wed, 30 Apr 2014 09:47:06 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-128250 SAINT PAUL, MN – Friday, Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman was presented the Desjardins Financial Education Award for State Government Policymakers at the Minnesota Credit Union Network’s (MNCUN) annual meeting in Bloomington. Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman Receives National Award for Work in Financial Empowerment Mon, 28 Apr 2014 16:11:56 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-128106 Friday, Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman was presented the Desjardins Financial Education Award for State Government Policymakers at the Minnesota Credit Union Network’s (MNCUN) annual meeting in Bloomington. The national award given by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), recognized Rothman for his commitment to strengthening financial capability through outreach and education for all Minnesotans from Kindergarten to retirement. Make Every Day Earth Day Fri, 25 Apr 2014 13:22:51 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-127787 The Minnesota Department of Commerce is declaring that the 44th-annual Earth Day is a call to action for Minnesota communities and residents to rekindle their passion for a cleaner environment. Commissioner Rothman, Skip Humphrey, Sheriff Bostrom, and AARP’s state director Will Phillips to hold press conference to announce new partnership in the fight against senior fraud Mon, 21 Apr 2014 13:18:50 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-127122 SAINT PAUL, MN – Protecting Minnesota’s older adults from financial abuse has been a top priority for the Minnesota Department of Commerce, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), AARP, and Minnesota’s law enforcement. Commerce Commissioner Urges Consumers to Monitor Accounts and be Proactive to Prevent Identity Theft Fri, 18 Apr 2014 13:28:46 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-127124 SAINT PAUL, MN – Protecting Minnesota’s older adults from financial abuse has been a top priority for the Minnesota Department of Commerce, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), AARP, and Minnesota’s law enforcement. Commissioners Rothman and Cassellius illustrate that when it comes to saving, “It’s Never too Early to Start” Fri, 18 Apr 2014 09:47:06 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-126912 SAINT PAUL, MN – To celebrate the release of "It's Never too Early to Start," a guide that focuses on how parents and teachers can use children's literature to teach financial literacy skills, Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman and Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius will read to second grade students at Aquila Elementary in St. Louis Park on Monday, April 21st from 1 – 2 pm. Annual inspections, proper maintenance will enhance performance, safety of air conditioning systems Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:22:51 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-127035 The long heating season is still with us, but it’s not too early to plan for the cooling season. Make proper maintenance of your air conditioning (AC) system part of your spring cleaning agenda, it will improve the AC safety and performance, reduce energy use and electric costs, and prolong the life of your system. It’s Tax Day and 1,000 low-income Minnesota families are better off, saving $1.6 million of their refunds Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:03:47 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-126516 SAINT PAUL, MN – According to the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), a national organization focused on helping low- and moderate-income households build assets, nearly 28% of Minnesotans don’t have enough savings to weather an emergency and nearly 17% do not have full access to financial institutions, forcing many to turn to payday lenders charging high rates, in some cases 273% APR. Commissioners Rothman and Frans visit AccountAbility Minnesota’s Saint Paul Location to Highlight Financial Security through Saving Tax Refunds Mon, 14 Apr 2014 14:18:41 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-126262 SAINT PAUL, MN – According to the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), a national organization focused on helping low- and moderate-income households build assets, nearly 28% of Minnesotans don’t have enough savings to weather an emergency and nearly 17% don’t have full access to financial institutions, forcing many to turn to payday lenders charging high rates, in some cases 273% APR. Stolen Personal Identity + Damaged Credit = A Bad Situation Fri, 11 Apr 2014 12:21:44 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-126068 SAINT PAUL, MN – Credit plays a large role in our daily lives, yet many of us do not know how to navigate the credit arena. Plan Ahead: Apply for Energy Assistance Program Funds, Cold Weather Rule Protections End April 15 Thu, 10 Apr 2014 13:22:51 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-125670 SAINT PAUL, MN – Although, the sun is shining and Minnesota’s temperatures are the warmest in six months, the Minnesota Department is reminding consumers that chilly evenings and the need for heat remains. The Cold Weather Rule, administered by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), ends on April 15, next Tuesday. The PUC and the Commerce Department remind consumers to act now by applying for heating assistance. Are You Financially Smarter than an 11th Grader? Tue, 08 Apr 2014 13:52:38 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-125388 Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Goes Head-to-Head with Local High School Students in a Financial Smarts Throwdown on April 9 Planning for Retirement Can Lead Americans toward a Financially Secure Future Tue, 08 Apr 2014 10:28:51 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-125331 Studies show that Americans are not saving nearly enough for retirement. If that isn’t enough, during the course of their working years a unique set of challenges has emerged, including changes in employee benefits, longer life spans, uncertainty with Social Security and Medicare, as well as planning for long-term health care. As a result, preparing for and financing one’s retirement is more complex, and more Americans are tackling these decisions themselves. Commissioners of Commerce and Higher Education Give High Marks to Financial Capability Month and Planning for Higher Education Tuition Mon, 07 Apr 2014 11:55:55 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-124838 SAINT PAUL, MN – As national student debt rises above the $1 trillion mark, the value of good tips for paying for higher education are also rising sky-high. Commerce Commissioner, AccountAbility Minnesota Share Tips with Consumers to make Tax Time a Money Moment for Financial Capability Month Thu, 03 Apr 2014 10:59:56 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-124483 Tax season can be a valuable, once-a-year opportunity, to evaluate finances and start saving. As part of Financial Capability Month, Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman is joined by AccountAbility Minnesota Executive Director Tracy Fischman in this installment of the Minutes with Mike podcast series, to lend insight on taxes and saving to stay on the right financial path. Governor Dayton and the Mayor of BizTown Proclaim April Financial Capability Month Wed, 02 Apr 2014 12:04:53 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-124253 SAINT PAUL, MN – For its 4th year, Financial Literacy Month in Minnesota is getting a new name – on April 1, 2014, Governor Mark Dayton proclaimed April as Financial Capability Month. No Foolin’ – Commerce Recommends an Advanced Home Energy Assessment before Making Major Home Improvements, Upgrades Tue, 01 Apr 2014 13:22:51 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-122472 Before embarking on home energy improvements or remodeling, especially major projects, the Minnesota Department of Commerce strongly recommends having an advanced home energy assessment. Commerce reminds consumers – deadline for purchasing health coverage is March 31, visit Commerce Website for tips to help understand insurance Mon, 24 Mar 2014 14:15:13 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-121288 SAINT PAUL, MN – Open Enrollment will be ending on March 31, 2014, and if you have put off purchasing health insurance now is the time to explore your options and purchase coverage. Open enrollment is the specific time of the year that someone can buy or change their insurance coverage, the next open enrollment period will begin on November 15, 2014. Buying a plan during open enrollment is the best way to ensure that you have coverage if you get sick to protect yourself or your family financially. Commerce reminds consumers – deadline for purchasing health coverage is March 31, visit Commerce Website for tips to help understand insurance Mon, 24 Mar 2014 14:15:13 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-127822 SAINT PAUL, MN – Open Enrollment will be ending on March 31, 2014, and if you have put off purchasing health insurance now is the time to explore your options and purchase coverage. Open enrollment is the specific time of the year that someone can buy or change their insurance coverage, the next open enrollment period will begin on November 15, 2014. Buying a plan during open enrollment is the best way to ensure that you have coverage if you get sick to protect yourself or your family financially. Commerce Department Takes Action against Scam Mortgage Company Mon, 24 Mar 2014 13:10:50 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-121272 SAINT PAUL, MN – The Minnesota Department of Commerce filed an order to show cause and statement of charges against Mortgage Investors Corporation, also known as Veterans Information Department, www.usmilitarymortgage.com, www.verteranhomeloans.com, and www.veteransmtg.com for allegedly engaging in fraudulent, deceptive, and dishonest practices to refinance veterans’ residential mortgage loans in violation of Minnesota law. Department of Commerce, BBB warn of salespeople pitching energy savings from radiant barriers Fri, 21 Mar 2014 14:24:21 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-121348 SAINT PAUL, MN – The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources and the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota have issued an alert to consumers who are considering the purchase of radiant barriers in their attics. Both Commerce and the BBB have received numerous reports of salespeople pitching the radiant barrier product at free dinners throughout Minnesota. Minnesota Recognizes Flood Awareness Week, Commerce Reminds Consumers to Plan Ahead to Weather the Storm Thu, 20 Mar 2014 14:24:21 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-121068 SAINT PAUL, MN – The first day of spring signals the beginning of severe weather season – floods, thunderstorms, and tornadoes. Consumers who have experienced the devastation of a natural disaster, forcing families and businesses to clean up and file insurance claims, understand the importance of planning ahead. DSIRE is go-to source on incentives for energy efficiency, renewable energy projects Wed, 19 Mar 2014 14:40:52 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-121026 Are you planning an energy efficiency improvement project or a new renewable energy system, or have you recently completed a project? You may be eligible for incentives to help pay for or finance those projects. Commerce Department Files Statement of Charges in Senior Fraud Swindle Case Wed, 19 Mar 2014 07:47:30 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-121047 SAINT PAUL, MN – Late yesterday, the Minnesota Department of Commerce filed an order to show cause and statement of charges against Barbara Stark and Susan Walker, former Ameriprise Financial Services agents. The outcome will determine civil penalties and other disciplinary actions. The statement of charges alleges that Stark and Walker financially exploited vulnerable adults and elderly consumers by engaging in a willful pattern of stealing the retirement accounts of their victims to fund a lavish lifestyle that included multiple vacations, payments for a Lexus, private school tuition and rent. Commerce announces options for residents, businesses to help protect budgets from energy cost spikes Tue, 18 Mar 2014 13:21:37 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-120766 The colder-than-normal winter has made for a rough heating season for all Minnesotans, especially those using propane. The Minnesota Department of Commerce wants consumers to know there are several options to help reduce their heating costs, such as financial assistance to help low-income people pay their heating bills, energy-saving programs to reduce heating costs, and secondary heating systems to supplement existing systems. Commerce provides tips to consumers on health insurance coverage, reminder that minimum essential coverage needed by March 31 to avoid tax penalty Thu, 13 Mar 2014 10:31:08 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-121017 The Department of Commerce issued a consumer alert today to remind Minnesotans that Open Enrollment will be ending on March 31, 2014 and if you have put off purchasing health insurance, now is the time to explore your options and purchase coverage. Commerce Department Recommends 80 Percent Reduction in Minnesota Energy Resources Corporation’s Rate Request Tue, 04 Mar 2014 14:05:02 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-116924 SAINT PAUL, MN – The Minnesota Department of Commerce today recommended an $11.4 million reduction to the $14.2 million rate increase proposed by Midwest Energy Resources Company (MERC) for natural gas service in 2014. Over 214,000 customers in 165 communities across Minnesota receive natural gas service from MERC and would be impacted by the rate increase. After an analysis of the rate request, the Department concluded that the recommended reductions of $11.4 million, or 80 percent of the proposed increase, will still fully allow MERC to provide safe, reliable service. Policy Mill Scam results in Aggravated Forgery charges for woman after Commerce Fraud Bureau Investigation Tue, 04 Mar 2014 11:35:22 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-116713 SAINT PAUL, MN — A Minnesota Department of Commerce Fraud Bureau criminal investigation resulted in halting a policy mill scam out of Brooklyn Center. Late yesterday, Arlesia Shannell Robinson was criminally charged with two counts of Aggravated Forgery in Hennepin County District Court for perpetrating an insurance policy mill scheme on unwitting consumers. The criminal complaint alleges Robinson, using an alias of Amelia Hall, claimed she was a representative of Esurance and sold fake automobile insurance policies beginning in at least October 2013 Minnesota Department of Commerce, BBB offer advice on Credit Repair Tue, 04 Mar 2014 11:07:03 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-116706 As part of National Consumer Protection Week, which takes place March 2 – 8, the Minnesota Department of Commerce and Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) are partnering to offer consumers advice on companies offering credit repair services. Commerce Department Reminds Minnesotans to Stay Safe About Heating and Carbon Monoxide During the Prolonged Cold Weather Thu, 27 Feb 2014 16:13:30 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-116319 With continued bitterly cold weather – the coldest winter three decades – not only has it taken a toll on home budgets, but also homeowners may look to alternate heat sources to stay warm. The Minnesota Department of Commerce, however, urges Minnesotans to be safe about space heaters and carbon monoxide as the deep freeze continues across the state. Commerce Department to join parents and children at the Northtown Library to recognize Minnesota Saves Week Mon, 24 Feb 2014 14:24:21 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-115921 BLAINE, MN – To illustrate the importance of saving early, the Minnesota Department of Commerce will join the University of Minnesota Extension, Center of Family Development, in an educational activity during “Story Time” at the Northtown Library in Blaine. Commerce Commissioner releases “Top Five Things You Need to Know about Money” Podcast Wed, 19 Feb 2014 10:21:07 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-115544 SAINT PAUL, MN – According to the 2012 Financial Capability study, a majority of adults do not have adequate savings in the event of a financial emergency or to meet long-term goals such as college or financial security in retirement. The Minnesota Department of Commerce is providing tips to Minnesotans to help them protect their finances and gain control of their money. Commissioner Rothman enlists CPAs in his annual letter to help stop financial abuse of seniors Tue, 18 Feb 2014 09:44:45 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-115311 Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman, for the third year, issued a letter to more than 9,600 licensed CPAs in Minnesota to remind tax preparers of the signs of senior financial abuse. As CPAs prepare tax returns for their senior clients, the Commissioner urges tax professionals to use their expertise to help spot elder fraud and financial abuse. Keep vents, air inlets clear of snow, ice to keep furnaces operating safely Tue, 18 Feb 2014 06:36:53 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-115503 The Department of Commerce is encouraging Minnesotans to keep furnace exhaust vents, air intake hoods, and chimneys clear of snow and ice in order to keep the heat on and prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Minnesota Department of Commerce and Petrofund Board pursue $25 million lawsuit against British Petroleum Mon, 10 Feb 2014 15:34:18 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-114603 Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman in conjunction with Minnesota’s Petrofund Board filed a $25 million lawsuit against British Petroleum (BP) to recover money for claims paid to the company to clean up contamination from leaking petroleum storage tanks at service stations across the state. New incentive program gives solar a big boost in Minnesota Mon, 03 Feb 2014 14:03:19 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-113716 The cost to install a solar energy system will be much more affordable for those who qualify for the new 10-year, $15-million-a-year, Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program. The program, which was launched on January 1 by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, will boost Minnesota’s solar energy generation.