The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission will decide Monday how utilities will be compensated for their energy conservation efforts.
Starting in 2010, gas and electric companies are required to sell 1.5 percent less of their product every year. To make sure the companies don't lose money in the process, the state is recommending a complex formula, that allows utilities to earn extra money if they exceed certain conservation goals.
The utilities' customers pay for the conservation projects and they'll pay for the extra compensation, but the goal is that customers will benefit, either directly or indirectly. Customers who take advantage of conservation programs in their own homes or businesses will use less energy so their bills will go down.
Customers who don't weatherize or install a more efficient furnace will benefit, if utilities don't have to build as many new power plants.