Policy Advocacy

MMUA’s legislative team actively represents members’ interests on a wide variety of state and federal legislative and regulatory issues. Our legislative team includes two staff lobbyists, bolstered by additional senior staff. MMUA works closely on state issues with contract lobbyists.

We also work closely with the League of Minnesota Cities and other local government organizations on state issues. MMUA retains a Washington firm to monitor congressional activity and represent member interests on federal issues. 

To access resources such as model ordinances, a reporting requirement calendar, or legislative reports, please visit our Industry Library

State policies

The strength of the Minnesota's municipal utilities depends upon those same advocacy efforts as much today as ever. With a constant presence at the state capitol during the four-to-five month legislative session every year, MMUA's government relations department is on top of every aspect of state-level public policy affecting its members.

Interactions between municipal utility interests and state government occur in many places outside of legislator offices and committee rooms as well.  Representing those interests before the Governor's administration, MMUA meets frequently with officials at the Department of Commerce, the Pollution Control Agency, and the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, among other agencies.

Click below to view MMUA's legislative priorities at the state level.

Modify Conservation Improvement Program (CIP) goals and Renewable Energy Standards (RES) calculations to exclude electricity sales to a single customer whose use represents a disproportional increase to, and sustained disproportionate share of a utility's load.


An increasing number of communities are seeing large data centers and other uses that abruptly and significantly, increase the utility’s load even though the use is designed and built to be as efficient as possible making it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to find the increased savings offset or renewable energy or credit purchase required by current CIP and RES standards.


Exempt such large but efficient loads from CIP requirements and Renewable Energy standards.  Modifying Minnesota Statutes Section 216B.2403 may be a way to accomplish this while keeping with overall goals.

Modify CIP savings for municipal gas utilities.


An oversight in drafting the ECO Act of 2021 resulted in municipal gas utilities having a higher CIP goal (1.5%) than IOUs (1%).


Lower the CIP goal for municipal gas utilities to 1%.

Grant utilities the option of paying excess generation compensation by bill credit instead of issuing a check.


Current law gives customers the right to request payment by check which can be very costly to the utility.


Give utilities the option to utilize the most cost-effective means of granting a DER customer a refund for excess generation payments.

Clarify authority for someone providing and maintaining electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to impose a fee for the use of the charging station.


An increasingly popular means of providing EV charging stations is for a third party to contract with a store or other commercial entity to offer customers a place to charge their EV while doing business with the entity. There is usually a fee imposed on the consumer by the third party. So long as the power to the charging station comes from the utility with exclusive service territory rights over the location of the charging station, charging a fee to use a charging station is okay and should not be considered a third-party sale of electricity.


Clarify that it is okay for third parties to charge customers for the use of a charging station so long as the power to the charging station comes from the proper utility.

Repeal the moratorium on siting new nuclear reactors.


In 1994 the Minnesota legislature adopted a moratorium on the siting of new nuclear reactors.  MMUA has historically supported an “all-of-the-above” position when discussing the best way(s) to produce and provide cleaner, renewable sources of energy.  This means that the option to have meaningful dialogue on the issue of nuclear power should be included along with conversations about the pros and cons of wind, solar, hydro, hydrogen, and other possible clean and renewable sources of energy.


Repeal any legislative and/or administrative ban on the possible siting and use of new nuclear power in Minnesota.

Support a bonding bill.


The even-numbered year of a legislative biennium is traditionally known as a bonding year. The proceeds of state-issued bonds are used in part to fund important projects and programs that assist municipal utilities, particularly water and wastewater utilities, make necessary improvements to ensure clean drinking water and safer wastewater.


The legislature needs to identify the number of projects and programs that need financial assistance and pass a bonding bill sufficient to provide the necessary financial support, particularly for municipal water and wastewater treatment facilities.

The responsibility of municipal utilities regarding per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).


PFAS identification and treatment is an ongoing and expensive challenge. Municipal utilities do not generate PFAS but may unintentionally spread it through water and wastewater operations. While MMUA recognizes the challenges posed by PFAS and the need for more research, it opposes any unfunded/under- funded mandate that would create potential liability for a utility as if the utility were the cause of the problem.


Municipal utilities should be treated as a conduit of, and not the source of, PFAS chemicals and their ongoing spread. Any proposed new study or treatment mandate needs to identify adequate funding sources such that no utility should be forced to unduly raise their rates.

Federal policies

Federal public policy significantly affects each and every municipal utility in the United States on a daily basis. With the third-largest number of municipal electric utilities among the 50 states, Minnesota must be present at the table and in the minds of our federal policy makers in order for the nation to have sound, fully-informed energy policies and regulations. 

MMUA ensures that Minnesota's public power community guides federal policy decision-making through a variety of means, including direct congressional lobbying, formal regulatory intervention and rigorous support of and coordination with our national affiliates the American Public Power Association, the American Public Gas Association and other aligned organizations.

Click below to view MMUA's legislative priorities at the federal level.

Ensure reliable, affordable, and sustainable public power.


Municipal utilities pride themselves on being able to provide power that consumers can rely upon to be there at any moment or to be restored quickly after a rare outage. They recognize the need to provide this power in an eco-friendly and sustainable manner.

Between 2005 and 2022, public power producers nationwide reduced CO2 emissions by 31 percent. At the same time, it is important to keep electric rates affordable. Municipal utilities face the threat of physical attacks on infrastructure, cybersecurity attacks, and work to comply with expensive mandates and regulations. There are many steps Congress can take to sustain the long history of success of public power.

  • Avoid passing unfunded or underfunded mandates
  • Avoid redundancy such as the reporting of suspected cybersecurity attacks to multiple entities while facilitating the sharing of timely and actionable threat information
  • Provide regulatory certainty
  • Ensure climate policies take into account grid reliability, affordability, and sustainability, and are based on readily available technology
  • Ensure rules are not unnecessarily complex and provide needed flexibility
  • Streamline permitting procedures
  • Support and invest in local resiliency efforts
  • Protect local control over pole attachments and oppose efforts to limit a utility’s ability to provide broadband services

Alleviate the supply chain crisis.


Critical infrastructure components, particularly distribution transformers, are not readily available. This has created an unprecedented supply chain crisis for public power utilities. As many as one in five public power infrastructure projects is delayed or even cancelled due to a lack of component parts.
In Minnesota, as in other public power states, it is common for lead times on delivery of distribution transformers to stretch from two to five years. At the same time, proposed federal rules mandating increased efficiency for transformers threaten even longer delays. Lead times for other parts have also increased dramatically.

This supply chain crisis threatens not only the ability to continue the move towards more renewable and carbon-free power, but reliability of both local power and the electric grid as a whole. It slows down recovery time from storms and other natural disasters, even affecting mutual aid efforts when one utility hesitates to provide resources to another over a justified fear the utility may need the items for itself.

  • Provide, as appropriated by the Senate, $1.2 billion for the Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity and Grid Development Office to immediately begin addressing this crisis
  • Delay new efficiency standards for distribution transformers
  • Sign onto and pass H.R. 7171/S.3627 known as the “Distribution Transformer Efficiency and Supply Chain Reliability Act”

Modernize public finance tools.


As part of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), Congress took a critical step towards modernizing public finance tools when it authorized or extended several tax credits and then approved correlated direct payment incentives for local governments.
However, Congress failed to reauthorize advance refunding of bonds, a tool that could save millions of dollars in financing public power projects. Congress also failed to increase the threshold under which a lender remains a small issuer, and it did not permanently exempt Build America Bonds or the funds for grants to public power providers under the IRA and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) from sequestration and rescission.

  • Restore advance refund bonds
  • Increase from $10 million to $30 million the threshold under which a lender remains a small issuer
  • Exempt public finance bonds and grant funding from sequestration and rescission