News Releases RSS | Minnesota Department of Commerce http://mn.gov/commerce en-us 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. 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 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. Commerce Commissioner announces $15,814,434 in additional LIHEAP funds to help Minnesota consumers stay warm this winter Thu, 30 Jan 2014 17:23:17 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-113339 The Minnesota Department of Commerce announced today that Minnesota will receive an additional $15,814,434 in federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds for the Energy Assistance Program (EAP). The total amount of funds Minnesota has received this year is $114,540,746. The LIHEAP program in Minnesota helps low-income homeowners and renters pay heating bills through grant money paid directly to utility companies and heating fuel vendors on behalf of customers. Commerce Fraud Bureau Investigation Results in Insurance Fraud Charges for Former Chiropractor and City Council Member Tue, 28 Jan 2014 13:36:53 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-112992 SAINT PAUL, MN — Today, 42-year-old former chiropractor and Cambridge City Council Member David James Schornstein has been criminally charged with three counts of insurance fraud in Isanti County District Court for fraudulent billing practices involving his chiropractic clinic. The criminal complaint alleges that from January 2011 through December 2011, Schornstein fraudulently billed an insurance company for chiropractic and massage-therapy services. Commerce Department Announces Additional Energy Assistance Crisis Funding for Households using Propane, Heating Oil Thu, 23 Jan 2014 16:46:43 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-112334 The brutal cold weather is sweeping across the country yet again, causing national headlines and larger-than-average heating bills. The Minnesota Department of Commerce reminds low-income households, especially homes with senior citizens, people with disabilities, veterans, and families with children who might be struggling to pay their heating bills that help is still available from Minnesota’s Energy Assistance Program (EAP). Is Moving to Renewable Energy Your New Year’s Resolution? Before installing renewables, do basic energy efficiency Wed, 15 Jan 2014 15:36:21 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-110720 Are you considering a renewable energy system to help power your home? Are you planning to add solar panels or perhaps a small wind system? Commerce Department Pursues Next Steps to Protect Greater Minnesota Households and Businesses from Call Failures Mon, 13 Jan 2014 13:42:41 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-109291 The Minnesota Department of Commerce filed a request with the Public Utilities Commission today urging the PUC to open an investigation of rural call completion issues. The Commerce Department’s Telecom Division began its investigation into rural call completion complaints in December of 2012. The investigation included examining dropped calls, call routing problems, long set-up times with false ringing, and carriers changing call signaling information to avoid or minimize access charges. This problem has been identified by communities in Greater Minnesota as a crisis; ranging from a public safety concern to hundreds of thousands of dollars, or millions of dollars, of lost revenue for businesses operating in the affected areas. State Energy Assistance Program Funding is Still Available to Help Pay Heating Bills Mon, 06 Jan 2014 13:02:33 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-107621 SAINT PAUL, MN—The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources wants low-income Minnesotans—especially seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children—to know that grant funds from the Energy Assistance Program (EAP) are still available to help pay their heating bills and help them stay safe and warm this winter. Commerce Commissioner Urges Seniors to Protect Their Money and Prevent Wire Transfer Fraud Fri, 03 Jan 2014 12:10:20 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-107335 SAINT PAUL, MN – Older Americans are scammed out of an estimated $2.5 billion dollars a year and an increasingly prevalent tool used by fraudsters is wire transfer fraud. Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program Now Accepting Applications Tue, 31 Dec 2013 13:35:12 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-106736 SAINT PAUL, MN – The Minnesota Department of Commerce is now accepting applications for the Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program. Have Questions About Recent Changes to Health Insurance in Minnesota? The Minnesota Department of Commerce is Here to Help Mon, 30 Dec 2013 14:31:52 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-106525 SAINT PAUL, MN – Health reform has been headline news for months across the United States, and has generated questions among Minnesota consumers as they look at their health coverage needs during open enrollment. Ho-Ho-Holiday Insurance Check-UP Tips Fri, 20 Dec 2013 11:01:26 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-104819 SAINT PAUL, MN – Holiday mishaps have made millions of dollars for Hollywood’s movie industry, but they can cause consumers financial hardship if they happen to you. Filing an Insurance Claim on a Not-Yet-Purchased Ring Results in Insurance Fraud, Theft-by-Swindle Charges, and an Airport Arrest Wed, 18 Dec 2013 11:23:03 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-104457 SAINT PAUL, MN — Today, in Ramsey County District Court, Maurice Culpepper was criminally charged for allegedly engaging in an elaborate fraud scheme he devised in an attempt to exploit an insurance company. The criminal complaint charged him with one count of Insurance Fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years and $100,000 fine. Can you save money during the Holidays? Commerce releases second energy- and money-saving podcast Tue, 17 Dec 2013 13:23:32 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-104263 SAINT PAUL, MN – Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman released today the most recent in his series of podcasts focused on financial literacy and consumer education tips for making smart money decisions and avoiding financial pitfalls. The podcasts are aimed at providing useful information that will lead to a more secure financial life today and in the future Commerce to administer rebates for Made in Minnesota solar thermal systems starting in 2014 Mon, 16 Dec 2013 09:56:57 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-100741 The Minnesota Department of Commerce announced today that it will begin to offer rebates for solar thermal systems starting in 2014 as part of its 10-year, $15-million-a-year Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program for both solar electric and solar thermal. "Stay Warm Minnesota," a go-to Website, Offers Help to Consumers Struggling to Stay Warm This Winter Wed, 11 Dec 2013 09:34:32 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-99751 Minnesotans who have a tough time staying warm and safe this winter-heating season can get great information on the Stay Warm Minnesota web page at the Minnesota Department of Commerce website. Have Questions About Health Insurance? The Commerce Consumer Response Team is Here to Help Thu, 05 Dec 2013 07:24:11 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-98801 SAINT PAUL, MN – Health reform has been headline news for months across the United States, and has generated questions among Minnesota consumers as they look at their health coverage needs during open enrollment. That is why the Minnesota Department of Commerce has a Consumer Response Team helpline and outreach efforts to help cut through the confusion and be a reliable source for important insurance information. Energy-saving tips for the holidays Wed, 04 Dec 2013 07:49:51 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-98209 The holiday season is here! In addition to replacing traditional incandescent decorative lights with high-efficient ENERGY STARĀ® qualified LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs, there are many other ways to practice energy conservation during the holidays. Commerce Recommends Slashing CenterPoint Energy Rate Increase by $21 million Tue, 26 Nov 2013 15:22:13 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-96857 The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources (DER) recommended today a $21 million reduction to the $44 million rate increase proposed by CenterPoint Energy for natural gas service in 2014. The Minnesota Department of Commerce Urges Shoppers to Check List Twice, Keep Dangerous Toys from Your Holiday Celebration Tue, 26 Nov 2013 10:26:11 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-96646 The largest shopping days of the year are now here – the few days where a significant portion of the annual $20 billion are spent on toys in the United States. To help keep dangerous toys out of the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, the Department of Commerce is reminding parents to stay vigilant about product and toy safety including hazardous chemicals, and to check product recall alerts. Top Ten Tips to Stay Warm, Save Energy, and Reduce Utility Bills this Winter Mon, 25 Nov 2013 11:16:31 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-96443 As the temperature drops, there are some basic steps that all of us can take to save energy, reduce our utility bills, and keep our homes safe this winter season, according to the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources. Commerce Department releases incentive amounts for Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program Fri, 22 Nov 2013 10:23:05 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-95512 SAINT PAUL, MN – The Minnesota Department of Commerce announced today the 2014 incentive amounts for its 10-year, $15-million-a-year Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program that will officially launch January 1, 2014. Today’s announcement of the incentive amounts means that for the Minnesota residents and businesses who apply and receive the incentive, the cost to install a solar electric system will be much more affordable, boosting Minnesota’s solar energy generation. Minnesota Vikings Receiver Jennings, State Commerce Commissioner Rothman and Visa Inc. Collaborate to Launch Statewide Rollout of Financial Football Tue, 19 Nov 2013 07:24:11 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-94751 HOPKINS, MN – Minnesota Vikings Wide Receiver Greg Jennings joined Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman and Visa Inc. today to tackle the issue of financial literacy improvement head on among Minnesota teens. They announced a statewide effort to improve the money management skills of high school and middle school students with the rollout of Financial Football, a free educational video game and classroom curriculum developed by Visa Inc. The game will be available to every public middle school and high school in the Minnesota by contacting the Commerce Department. Commissioner Rothman and Vikings Wide Receiver Greg Jennings go long for financial literacy Mon, 18 Nov 2013 13:52:52 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-94277 HOPKINS, MN – Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman and Vikings Wide Receiver Greg Jennings will kick-off the Minnesota rollout of Financial Football, a free educational video game and classroom curriculum that helps improve the financial literacy and money management skills of middle and high school students. LED holiday lights: An energy- and money-saving tradition Fri, 15 Nov 2013 09:25:53 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-93851 Replacing traditional incandescent decorative lights with high-efficient LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs is one great way to conserve energy during the holidays. Commissioner Rothman, United Educators Credit Union and Parents focus on opening saving accounts for kids Thu, 14 Nov 2013 09:20:16 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-93672 SAINT PAUL, MN – 76 percent of teens feel they should start learning about money and savings at kindergarten, a 2013 Junior Achievement survey reported. Research also indicates that consumers who have bank accounts are more likely to own other assets including having savings accounts, credit and insurance. Conversely, individuals without accounts are less likely to own a home or a car. Department of Commerce secures $98.7 million in funding for the Energy Assistance Program Wed, 13 Nov 2013 10:35:57 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-93630 SAINT PAUL, MN – The Minnesota Department of Commerce announced today that Minnesota will receive $98,726,312 in federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds for Minnesota’s Energy Assistance Program (EAP). LIHEAP helps low-income homeowners and renters pay heating bills through grant money paid directly to utility companies and heating fuel vendors on behalf of customers. Media Advisory: As Weather Gets Cold, Sen. Franken, Commisioner Rothman to Meet with Low-income Minnesotans Seeking Help Keeping Homes Heated this Winter Fri, 08 Nov 2013 13:56:50 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-93455 MINNESOTA [11/9/13]—On Saturday, November 9, U.S. Sen. Al Franken and Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman will sit down at a Vadnais Heights home with Minnesotans who need help keeping their homes heated this winter. The group will discuss how the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has been, and continues to be, a critical lifeline for people across Minnesota during the cold winter months. Report: State’s Conservation Improvement Program saves Minnesota $2.6 billion Wed, 06 Nov 2013 09:39:08 -0600 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-93184 An estimated $2.6 billion are saved over the average 15-year life of Minnesota’s utility Conservation Improvement Programs (CIP). Olmsted and Dodge County Residents to Benefit from Expanded Health Insurance Options During Open Enrollment Wed, 30 Oct 2013 11:30:55 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-92334 SAINT PAUL, MN —Residents of Olmsted and Dodge Counties will soon have seven additional health insurance coverage options to choose from through MNsure. The Minnesota Department of Commerce and the Minnesota Department of Health have been working with insurers for several weeks to find a solution for consumers in specific zip codes who initially had fewer options when buying health insurance coverage through MNsure. Governor proclaims October 30 Weatherization Day in Minnesota Wed, 30 Oct 2013 10:59:24 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-92327 SAINT PAUL, MN – Governor Mark Dayton today proclaimed October 30, 2013 Weatherization Day in the State of Minnesota. The proclamation recognizes the efforts of Minnesota’s Weatherization Assistance Program, which helps low-income families reduce their energy bills permanently by making their homes safer, healthier, and more energy efficient. Commerce Department Highlights Tips for National Save for Retirement Week Wed, 23 Oct 2013 09:43:16 -0500 Minnesota /commerce/media/newsdetail.jsp?id=206-91374 SAINT PAUL, MN – Ninety percent of working-age households in the U.S. are not saving enough for retirement and about forty-five percent have nothing saved at all. The Minnesota Department of Commerce is urging Minnesotans to take steps to start saving during National Save for Retirement Week.