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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Athena Hollins (DFL)

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Minnesota House of Representatives Pass Residential Shared Utility Metering legislation

Friday, April 26, 2024

SAINT PAUL, Minn. - This week, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed SF 4579/HF 4558, chief-authored by Representative Athena Hollins (DFL-Saint Paul), on a bipartisan 82-44 vote. The bill changes and replaces the law on shared-meter utility billing for residential rental units. It provides rights to tenants, including applying the cold weather rule to shared-meter utility billing, and provides for resolution by the Public Utilities Commission when tenants and landlords cannot reach an agreement in a dispute. 

"By establishing clear regulations for shared metering, we can create a fairer and more transparent system for residents in buildings with shared utility meters. This will promote responsible energy use and foster a collaborative environment between tenants and landlords,” said Rep. Hollins. "Every Minnesotan deserves a fair and affordable home. Implementing strong regulations for shared utility metering in residential buildings is a key step towards achieving this goal." 

Minnesota has strong ratepayer protections to ensure that individuals aren’t forced into a tragic situation if they have trouble paying their utility bills. However, there are loopholes in these protections for people who live in multifamily homes and do not pay for the utility directly. In situations where different units share a meter, the protections only apply to a landlord, not the person living in the property. This gives some landlords the ability to evict a tenant without any of the normal housing and ratepayer protections in law. 

Video of the House Floor session can be found on the House Info YouTube Page.