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RELEASE: Rep. Baker Passes Pro-Consumer Energy Bill

Thursday, February 9, 2017

ST. PAUL, MN — On Thursday, Rep. Dave Baker, R-Willmar, presented his bill, HF234, on the House floor where it passed on a bipartisan 89-37 vote.

Under current law, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has final authority resolving net metering disputes. The proposed law would ensure local governing co-op boards have the final say over rates charged to members and customers.

“I believe in the leadership in our communities to make these decisions on behalf of other owners, like me, to provide a well-maintained system, reliable service and competitive rates,” said Baker. “Just like a school board or city council, these cost-saving decisions can be made by consumer-owned co-ops and utilities who are held accountable by elections.”

The bill clarifies the regulation of consumer-owned electric co-ops and municipal utilities, preserving consumers’ right to manage themselves.

“The passage of this bill is really a victory for consumers,” said Baker. “By putting these decisions at the local level, we’ll hopefully make energy more affordable in rural Minnesota.”

After passing the House, HF234 now heads to the Senate.