You have a right to know the energy information and costs when searching for your next apartment. Apartment buildings with five or more units must provide this information to potential renters at or before the time of rental application. The information provided can help compare your housing options, indicate which buildings have historically been more energy efficient and less costly, and start a conversation with the property owners about what energy costs you may have as a renter.
There are three categories of rental buildings in Minneapolis: small (1-4 units), medium (over 5 units but under 50,000 square feet) and large (more than 5 units and more than 50,000 square feet). Different sized buildings use different ways to provide you with energy information.
To find out which category a building is in, visit our property information website and search the building address.
Medium Buildings: 5 or more units and under 50,000 square feet
For medium-sized apartment buildings in Minneapolis, property owners are required to provide building Energy Cost Reports via the rental application. These reports have information about the overall energy use and energy costs for the entire building. Ask the property manager if you will be responsible for any of these heating and electricity costs and use this information to compare different housing options against your budget. Please note that condominiums and townhomes are not included in this ordinance. See the example Energy Cost Report below and how to use it.
How to Read Your Energy Cost Report
- Make sure the report is for the correct building by verifying the address and characteristics
- Use the monthly per bedroom cost to compare energy costs of your different housing options. Lower historical energy costs may indicate a more energy efficient, comfortable, and budget-friendly home.
- Multiply the monthly per bedroom and per square foot costs by 12 (for twelve months in a year) and by the unit’s number of bedrooms or square feet to determine historical yearly energy costs for a similar-sized unit.
- Be sure to use both the natural gas and electricity reports to get the complete cost
- Talk to the property owner or manager about which energy costs are a tenant’s responsibility and which are paid for by the owner. This will help you better understand an apartment’s total housing costs and avoid surprise expenses.
Large Buildings: 5+ units and over 50,000 square feet
For large rental buildings in Minneapolis, energy information is listed on the City Health Department website. Use the map to find the building you are interested in living in and click on the location to see the energy information. The ENERGY STAR Score will tell you how energy efficient the building is - a score of 50 or more indicates the building is more energy efficient than an average building. ENERGY STAR scores can also be used to compare your housing options and costs. When comparing apartment buildings, a higher ENERGY STAR score building is more energy efficient and likely to have lower overall energy costs. Like medium buildings, ask the property owner which energy costs, such as heat and electricity, you may be responsible for paying as a renter.
Small Buildings: 1-4 Units and under 50,000 square feet
The renter energy cost information for small buildings with 1-4 units is currently under development by the City of Minneapolis, Xcel Energy, and CenterPoint Energy. More updates are expected in early 2022.
What do I do if the building doesn’t provide the information?
Owners and managers are required by law to provide this information. If they do not, please ask the property owner for this information which you are entitled to. If the property owner does not provide the information, call or contact 311 to report a complaint.