Fresh Energy Statement: Minnesota utilities must maximize federal resources

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On March 13, 2023, Fresh Energy filed comments at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on Docket #22-624 urging Minnesota’s utilities and regulators to maximize the funding from the federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in future utility programs.

The IRA is the largest climate and clean energy investment in U.S. history and creates significant incentives to enable the transition to clean energy and a decarbonized economy—these incentives will drive dramatic emission reductions, according to some estimates by at least 40% by 2030.

“The IRA is impacting all facets of our country’s energy system by leveraging tax incentives and rebates to push electrification, energy efficiency, renewables, geothermal, battery storage, manufacturing, and the clean energy sector as a whole to the next level,” said Allen Gleckner, Executive Lead, Policy and Programs at Fresh Energy. “Utilities stand to leverage many of these incentives and programs, and we’re pleased to see the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission deeply evaluating these opportunities and making sure Minnesotans benefit.”

In addition to this national milestone and Minnesota’s strong Climate Action Framework, Minnesota recently passed the 100% carbon-free electricity law, which commits all utilities to provide Minnesota customers with 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040. To reach these goals, utilities and regulators have large roles to play, and the IRA will be an important tool.

With these goals and coming opportunities in mind, Fresh Energy filed comments at the Commission recommending utilities and regulators:

  • Maximize IRA funds coming to Minnesota by taking full advantage of clean energy tax credits, the Energy Infrastructure and Reinvestment program, home energy efficiency and electrification rebate programs, and incentives for widespread electric vehicle adoption and workforce development.  
  • Make it easy for consumers to benefit by pursuing one-stop shopping, education, and outreach for consumers.
  • Integrate IRA impacts into planning and forecasting in upcoming resource plans and rate cases for both electric and gas utilities serving Minnesota customers.
  • Utilize the IRA to support and advance current policy objectives, including the 100 percent carbon-free standard, Minnesota Climate Action Framework, Natural Gas Innovation Act (NGIA), and Energy Conservation and Optimization (ECO) Act.
  • Maximize the impact of IRA benefits to disadvantaged communities and communities of color by providing technical assistance and streamlining project implementation.

Fresh Energy is committed to ensuring that Minnesota’s utilities take full advantage of the IRA in planning processes to continue modernizing energy generation and transmission here in Minnesota and across the country. Stay tuned for updates.