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Understanding Your Bill

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (Commission) works to ensure safe, adequate and efficient utility services at fair, reasonable rates consistent with State policies. Minnesota laws say that utilities should be allowed to recover reasonable costs needed to provide service. This means utility rates include the costs for things like poles and wires, power generation plants, the employees needed to provide service, and a reasonable return on the utility's investments. The Commission reviews these costs carefully to ensure they are prudent and reasonable. Some customers may have more complex bills because of multiple meters or voluntary programs, like solar net metering, community solar garden bill credits, demand customers, or electric vehicle charging. 

Your Bill Includes Three Types of Charges

  1. Fixed Charge: a set amount billed to each meter each month
  2. Energy Charge: an amount that changes based on how much energy you use
  3. Surcharges: taxes, fuel adjustments, riders, etc. Surcharges may be based on actual consumption or your demand level. Some customers may have multiple meters or voluntary programs (e.g. solar net metering, community solar garden bill credits, demand customers, or electric vehicle charging) that are also on your utility bill.

Sample Residential Monthly Bills

Gas bill from CenterPoint Energy.

Gas bill from Minnesota Energy Resource Corporation

Gas bill from Greater Minnesota Gas

Gas bill from Great Plains Natural Gas

Gas and electric service bill from Xcel Energy.

Electric bill from Minnesota Power

Electric bill from Otter Tail Power Company.

What is the PUC Doing Right Now?

Keeping energy affordable is part of the Commission's mission. Whenever possible, the Commission takes actions to lessen the impact of energy costs and bills for ratepayers. While the Commission works to keep rates as low as possible, rates usually increase over time. This is because the cost of providing energy continues to increase. Costs to provide energy include: increased prices for fuel like natural gas and the need to build more infrastructure to serve customers.

The Commission and the Department of Commerce have programs that help homeowners and renters lower their utility bills. Agencies have also taken steps through programs, policies, and decisions that lessen the burden of energy costs for Minnesotans. These steps include limiting interim rate increases and prohibiting utilities from recovering some of the extraordinary costs from Winter Storm Uri in February 2021.

Learn More: Residential Gas & Electric Bills

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