Energy Utility Franchise Agreements

Riverfront at Night

The City of Minneapolis has new utility franchise agreements with Xcel Energy for electricity and CenterPoint Energy for natural gas. The City used the negotiations to explore options to achieve its goals for sustainable energy, improved air quality, equity and green jobs and now has new Clean Energy Partnership agreements with both utilities.

What are franchise agreements?

The right of way along city streets and alleys is public property. To connect homes and properties to gas, electric, telephone and other services, companies must run distribution lines on the public right of way. Communities negotiate franchise agreements with utility companies to identify the conditions under which those companies are allowed to use public property to provide service to local residents and businesses. Utility companies pay a fee to the cities — negotiated through a franchise agreement — in exchange for use of the public right of way.

Additional resources and information

Photo: Maury Landsman.

Last updated Oct 17, 2014