The Minnesota Department of Commerce regulates utilities in the State. This is done to ensure residents that they will be able to afford utilities, as there is sometimes very little competition. Although there are Minnesota laws against monopolies, some areas of the State simply have one provider for utilities. The Minnesota Department of Commerce protects consumer rights by preventing the utility companies from charging an unfair amount for utilities.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce also ensure that companies which operate in the State have the proper licenses and permits in order to legally operate. They can, in fact, shut down a business which does not have the authority to operate.
The MN Department of Commerce also answers customer complaints about utility companies and other businesses which operate in the State. The Minnesota Department of Commerce may run a formal investigation into the complaint, and they often resolve those complaints to a customer's satisfaction.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce is a public advocate that seeks to protect the interests of the residents of the State. They ensure that each resident has access to utilities, even when they cannot afford them. For example, they may refer a resident to State-run programs or charitable organizations which help them to gain access to monies which will pay for utilities they cannot afford. The Minnesota Department of Commerce also prevents the utility companies from overcharging any resident in the State.