For more than 150 years, the Minnesota Department of Commerce and its predecessor agencies have protected consumer interests and ensured a fair and competitive marketplace in our state.
Commerce protects the public interest through a broad range of regulations and programs. We oversee more than 40 industry areas in Minnesota and license about 250,000 professionals and businesses to ensure that their services and products are fair, accessible and comply with state laws. Whether you’re filling up on gas, purchasing a home, working to reduce energy consumption, or rebuilding after a disaster, the Department of Commerce is with you every day.
Protect the public interest through consumer protection, consumer education, assistance to consumers, safety, health and financial security, and lowering inequities.
Serve as a trusted public resource for consumers and businesses by listening and learning from the Minnesotans Commerce services, being effective stewards of public resources, advocating for Minnesota consumers and develop a policy, programmatic, and regulatory environment that meets their needs.
Reduce economic barriers within Commerce, provide regulatory oversight, and reduce disparities within those of all races, ethnicities, religions, economic statuses, gender identities, sexual orientations, (dis)abilities, and zip codes.
Ensure all, especially historically disadvantaged Minnesotans, are resilient to Minnesota’s climate and engaged in advancing efforts to mitigate climate change.
Ensure a strong, competitive, and fair marketplace for Minnesotans.
Our Division of Energy Resources encompasses energy regulation and planning, energy environmental review and analysis, the State Energy Office, Minnesota’s Energy Assistance Program, and telecommunications.
We promote policies and provide services for reliable, affordable and clean energy for Minnesota businesses and homes.
We advocate on behalf of customers and ratepayers in proceedings involving regulated utilities.
We maintain state emergency energy planning and recovery plans.
We oversee the state’s Conservation Improvement Program.
We promote energy-efficient buildings and emerging energy technologies.
We administer Minnesota’s Energy Assistance and Weatherization Assistance Programs.
Minnesota’s Energy Assistance and Weatherization Assistance Programs
Commerce is the state administrator for these federally funded programs. Energy assistance at the federal level is known as LIHEAP. Through one application, Minnesotan renters or homeowners who are income-eligible can receive energy assistance and may also qualify for weatherization. Energy assistance covers costs for current and past-due bills for electricity, gas, oil, biofuel and propane, emergency fuel delivery, and repair/replacement of homeowners’ broken heating systems. Weatherization assistance helps renters and homeowners with home improvements to conserve energy and lower their energy costs permanently.
State Energy Office
The State Energy Office receives federal funding to help Minnesota achieve clean energy goals by accelerating the use of energy efficiency and renewable energy practices, providing residents with accurate energy information, supplying assistance to local units of government, and educating businesses about best practices to achieve efficient and safe buildings.
We oversee businesses managing billions of dollars in assets and loans. We ensure the safety and solvency of financial institutions through licensing, examinations and regulations, encompassing state-chartered banks and credit unions, state-regulated investment advisors and representatives, non-depository financial institutions such as non-bank mortgagors and payday lenders. We also work to ensure securities sold in Minnesota meet legal requirements for registration and disclosure and launch enforcement actions or civil or criminal investigations when warranted.
We provide licensing, examinations and analysis of insurance carriers to ensure their business is safe and able to pay claims, encompassing insurance in health, homeowners, auto, life, long-term care and workers compensation. We review rates to ensure the insurance products are fair and reasonable. We also oversee Minnesota’s reinsurance program for health plans and license and oversee pharmacy benefit managers.
We conduct examinations and license thousands of agents and appraisers in Minnesota to ensure real estate transactions are conducted fairly and legally.
We administer telecommunications programs serving deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, and speech disabled Minnesotans. The Lifeline, TAP, and Link-Up programs provide qualified users discounts on monthly services.
We work to reunite legal owners with bank accounts, safe deposit boxes, insurance benefits, or stock dividends that have gone unclaimed.
Weights and measures
We build confidence in the marketplace for consumers and businesses by ensuring the accuracy of commercial scales and measures, so you get what you pay for. We regularly test tens of thousands of scales and products at grocery stores, gas stations, grain elevators and other businesses.
Enforcement – Consumer Fraud
Our Enforcement Division serves to protect and educate consumers, ensure marketplace fairness, and prevent fraud in Commerce-regulated industries and licensed services. Each year, we respond to thousands of Minnesota consumers who have inquiries or complaints about Commerce-regulated industries and licensees. We initiate and support local law enforcement in investigations of fraud in insurance, finance-related and securities areas, real estate, mortgage, title and multi-industry areas. We also administer programs to prevent insurance fraud.
Senior Financial Protection
We partner with financial professionals to prevent financial fraud and exploitation of elderly or vulnerable adult Minnesotans, such as taking action to temporarily delay a transaction or disbursement of funds to protect vulnerable adults and seniors from suspected financial scams or suspected financial exploitation by a family, friend or acquaintance.