Minnesota law says that the landlord has to pay the bill for a shared meter.
The bill for a shared meter should not be in the tenant’s name, except in one situation. If the meter that measures the tenant’s electricity also measures a small amount of electricity outside the unit, that account can be in the tenant’s name. The small amount would be something like a couple of hallway light bulbs. This rule applies only to electricity use, and does not apply to other utilities, like natural gas.
You should not make payments to a utility company for an account in the landlord’s name, including a shared meter account.
But, if the landlord does not pay a bill and the utility company threatens a shutoff, you may need to make part of a payment to keep your service on. If this happens, you can deduct what you have paid from your next rent payment (see below- What if my Landlord Hasn’t Paid and a Shut-off Notice is Posted?). Call the utility company if you think you are paying a utility bill for a shared meter.
There are different ways that you may have to pay for your part of a utility bill on a shared meter. Utility costs could be added as part of your rent in your lease, or you could be asked to pay part of a shared meter utility bill to the landlord separately from your rent.