The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission welcomes and encourages interested members of the public to attend any of our public hearings. Is this your first time going to a Commission meeting? Find out what to expect so you are prepared.
Meeting agenda is published at least ten days before the meeting, with specific issues that will be decided on by the Commissioners for each agenda item. Agendas can be found on the Commission’s web calendar.
There is no specific time scheduled for each item, but the Chair generally proceeds in the order of items listed.
Staff Briefing Papers outline the topics to be covered and may include recommendations. These can be reviewed in eDockets and linked on the agenda within 7 days of the agenda meeting.
Comments at an Agenda Meeting can be made only with approval from the Commission Chair and are not guaranteed. It is unusual for individual members of the public to be granted time to speak during an Agenda Meeting, as Public Meetings and Hearings, and Public Comment periods are the designated ways for public participation. For some dockets, the Chair will identify groups or individuals to present arguments or answer questions.
Meetings are webcast & archived for future viewing.
Past webcasts can be viewed and downloaded in the Commission’s archives.
Video and audio recordings may be downloaded for free. Physical media containing the recordings may be requested for a small fee. Email a request or call the Commission at 651-296-0406 to order.
Specify meeting date, docket number, mailing address, contact name and a daytime phone number when ordering recordings. Allow 3-5 business days for orders to be processed.
Agenda Meeting Protocol
Please note our agency’s protocols in order to ensure all present can observe the proceedings.
No food is allowed in the meeting room.
No beverages without lids are allowed in the meeting room.
The Commission reserves the right to prohibit briefcases, backpacks, duffel bags, or other bags in the meeting room to ensure the safety of meeting attendees. Purses may also be subject to search.
No weapons are allowed in the meeting room.
No signs, banners, or other objects for display of any size are allowed in the meeting room.
No musical instruments, noise makers, radios, recordings, or voice amplification tools may be brought into the meeting room.
Each attendee must be seated in a chair and quiet during the hearing to avoid interfering with the ability of other attendees to see and hear the proceedings.
Pictures without flash cameras may be taken, and video recording is allowed if it does not interfere with the ability of attendees to see and hear the proceedings. All meetings, however, are broadcast and archives are retained for public use.
Pagers or cell phones in the meeting room must be turned to silent before entering the meeting room.
Visit the Commission’s Get Involved page if you have questions about how to participate in the public process, or call the Commission at 651-296-0406, 1-800-657-3782.
What Happens Next?
For each docket item before the Commission at an Agenda Meeting, the Commission will make a decision or series of decisions and then publish individual Orders for what the Commission decided. An Order could require utilities to take a certain action, approve a permit, ask for more information, or take a different action as deemed appropriate. Orders contain an explanation of the issues or topics considered, the decision, and reasons for the Commission’s decision.
Orders are eFiled in the respective docket on the day it is issued. To search for a Commission Order, use the eDockets system.
Public Participation at Agenda and Planning Meetings
Members of the public can participate in Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (Commission) dockets by filing written comments, or providing verbal comments while attending a public meeting or hearing (either in person or virtually via WebEx). Commissioners review public comments and other documents in the record prior to making decisions on a docket.
The Public Utilities Commission functions like a court, therefore it is unusual for participants to be granted time to speak during a Commission Agenda Meeting. The Chair of the Commission has discretion to permit additional public participation depending on the specifics of the docket. To make a request, email Paula Hoena at Paula.Hoena@state.mn.us or the Public Advisor at email@example.com at least 2 business days prior to the meeting.
Requests to speak before the Commission should include: the docket number, the method of participation (virtual or in-person), and the name and contact information of the requestor. If granted the opportunity to address the Commission, the requestor will be contacted with further instructions.
Attending Agenda Meetings Virtually
Ensuring the health and safety of the public is important for the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (Commission). The Commission will continue to offer virtual participation options for all public meetings. To access the meeting webcast, view agendas, and learn about accessing a meeting in-person, visit the Commission’s web calendar.
How the public can watch an Agenda or Planning Meeting
Members of the public can watch how the Commission makes decisions (Agenda Meetings) and observe informational presentations on important energy and telecommunications issues (Planning Meetings). During Agenda and Planning Meetings, the public can watch through a real-time video broadcast of meetings (livestream).
The livestream can be accessed by going to the Commission’s web calendar. On the calendar list of dates, click the date of the meeting you’d like to watch. You will be redirected to a page with all the information about that meeting. Click on the “Live Webcast” link. A new window will open where you can push “Play” to start watching the meeting. The meeting’s Agenda will open on the right side of window so you can see everything the Commission will be deciding.
Public Hearings & Meetings
At public hearings and meetings you have the opportunity to learn about the docket and the review process. Public hearings and meetings are also important for gathering information from the public. When members of the public make comments, this information adds to the record that is considered by the Commissioners prior to making a final decision about the case. You can add verbal and written comments into the official record and each carries the same weight.
An Administrative Law Judge, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (Commission) staff, or Department of Commerce (Department) staff run the meeting or hearing.
A court reporter will take a transcript of the meeting to include as part of the official record. Transcripts may be purchased by request to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 952-888-7687.
Commission, Department, and company staff may give presentations and are available to answer questions.
Arrive a few minutes early so you have time to sign in, pick up materials, and find a seat. You will know you are in the right place by signs clearly posted on main doors and by a staff member from any one of the agencies who will greet you at the entrance to the meeting room.
The same information is presented at each public hearing or meeting, if there is more than one.
You are welcome to attend more than one public hearing or meeting, but there is no need to submit your comments more than once.
The hearing lasts until everyone has spoken or until the scheduled end time, whichever comes first.
Speaking In-Person at a Public Hearing or Meeting
If you’d like to speak at the meeting or hearing, you can add your name to a sign-up sheet when you arrive at the meeting.
The Administrative Law Judge or Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (Commission) staff will call speakers from the sign-up sheet list. Additional comments will be taken as time permits.
When it is your turn to speak, state and spell your name for the court reporter.
If you are speaking for a group or organization, please state its name.
Speak slowly and clearly for the court reporter.
Please limit your comments to a few minutes to allow all a chance to speak.
Members of the public can share visuals at public hearings and meetings. At in-person hearings, commenters are encouraged to bring a PDF copy of their visual or Staff can take a picture to enter into the record as a PDF. For virtual meetings, commenters are encouraged to submit a PDF copy of their visual to eDockets.
You do not need an attorney to speak for you at a public hearing.
Verbal and written comments are accepted and carry the same weight.
Attending a Virtual Public Hearing or Meeting
Members of the public interested in attending the public hearing or meeting virtually may receive a notice in the mail or via email with login information, or they can look on the Commission’s calendar for the notice with login information.
To listen to the public meeting or hearing and provide verbal comments, follow the instructions and call the phone number in the notice and enter the provided Conference ID when prompted. You may listen and provide verbal comments in Commission meetings and hearings via your phone, but you will not be able to see the presentations.
To view the speaker presentations, follow the directions in the notice to access the hearing over the internet. You can use your computer to listen and view the presentations and provide comments. You must join the meeting or hearing over the internet if you are interested in viewing the speaker presentations.
If you are participating by phone and would like to provide comments during the meeting, press *3 on your phone to alert the meeting host that you would like to speak.
For additional instructions, please look at the WebEx page to learn how to install and use WebEx software. For any further questions, please contact the Commission analyst named in the notice or Contact the Consumer Affairs Office at 651-296-0406 or 1-800-657-3782 or email@example.com.
ADA/Reasonable Accommodations Requests
On-site Commission hearing rooms are accessible. If other reasonable accommodations are needed to enable you to fully participate in a Commission agenda meetings, other public meetings or public hearings, please email request the Commission's Consumer Affairs Office or call the Commission at 651-296-0406 or 1-800-657-3782 at least one week in advance of the meeting via your preferred Telecommunications Relay Service.
To read Portable Document Format (pdf) documents in this site (documents ending in .pdf), you will need to download the free Acrobat Reader or get the free Accessible Acrobat Reader which supports screen-readers.
Public Meeting / Hearing Cancellation
The PUC may cancel a public hearing or meeting based on forecasted severe weather or other factors. If the Commission, the ALJ, and other relevant administering staff conclude there is a need to reschedule a public meeting or hearing, the PUC will issue a notice and take further steps to notify the public of the hearing or meeting cancellation.
To find out if a meeting is canceled, call (toll-free) 1-855-731-6208 or 651-201-2213 or visit mn.gov/puc .