New Minnesota Laws Update Residential Code and Energy Rules

Minnesota laws passed this year created accelerated updates to the residential energy code, ending fluorescent light bulb sales in the state.

A sharp contrast to last year, lawmakers passed just a handful of clean-energy-related bills this session when they delivered dozens of laws to deal with climate change.

The Legislature changed the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy program, reformed clean energy permitting, tweaked the ECO Act and funded initiatives to advance geothermal projects.

According to Finance & Commerce, Clean Energy Economy Minnesota government affairs director George Damian said the session focused on making changes to allow for a smoother implementation of last year’s laws.

“I think it was not quite as slow as some were predicting, including us, but a lot of good things got done,” he said.

The following summaries focus tightly on bills impacting the development community.

The residential building code update follows a similar one that passed in the last session involving commercial buildings. Last year’s bill requires commercial buildings by 2036 to reach an energy reduction of 80% or more from a 2004 baseline.

Eric Fowler, Fresh Energy’s senior policy associate for buildings, said the code update was “a huge win for emissions, energy use and also comfort in people’s homes.”

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