Rochester Public Utilities | Blog

RPU warns of utility scams this summer- Beware of scam callers!

Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) has heard from customers that scam calls are being made to some RPU customers. RPU staff has collected information regarding the scam from customers to share with all RPU customers and the Rochester community.

The Scam –The callers are targeting commercial customers, but residential customers need to be vigilant as well. A caller states that they are from RPU’s disconnect department and that you are past due. They say that if payment isn’t paid over the phone, then you will be disconnected. Be aware though, that sophisticated technology and newer phone systems can mimic the look of an RPU phone number.

Payment Method Requested – The caller usually will require you to purchase a pre-paid debit card and to provide the number of the card over the phone. Sometimes a credit card over the phone will be requested. Payments from a pre-paid debit card cannot be reversed. In one instance, a person showed up at a business to try to collect.

Identifying a Scam – RPU will never request bank or secure personal information from you over the phone unless you ask to discuss your account. The RPU representative will then ask for information to identify who you are.

What to do if you receive a scam call:

If you ever feel pressured or feel that something is not right, hang up and call RPU directly at 507.280.1500.

About Rochester Public Utilities

As the municipal utility of Rochester, Minn., for more than 110 years, RPU provides high-quality and reliable electricity to over 50,000 customers.  Water customers number more than 37,000.  RPU continually investigates innovative technologies to help customers realize the best value from the services they receive.  Current initiatives include fuel cell research, wind power, and photovoltaic offerings.

 

 

 

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Posted: Jun 29, 2017 by Tony B | Comments (0)

Rochester Public Utilities announces Community Solar Program and Kickoff Informational Meetings

Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) announces a new community solar program named SOLARCHOICE.

The SOLARCHOICE community solar program is an alternative to rooftop solar. It allows residential customers the opportunity to join in the solar movement without having to install solar on their property. It opens up solar participation to customers who:

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), nationwide, only 25% of residential rooftops are suitable for solar, so rooftop solar is not an option for these customers. Community solar generally requires a lower upfront cost, eliminates the installation hassle, and removes the burden and risk of ongoing maintenance. Larger, utility-scale solar gardens capture economies of scale that are then passed on to program participants.

Instead of putting panels on their own roof, customers subscribe to a large solar project called a community solar garden with thousands of panels. Customers purchase subscriptions, along with many other residents who share their commitment to renewable energy, for the energy produced by one or more panels in the community solar garden. Each month the customer receives an energy (kWh) credit for the solar electricity generated by the subscribed panel(s) for the term of the subscriptions. RPU will offer a 12-year subscription plan for $650 per panel. Each panel is expected to average 501 kWh per year.

“After gathering research and listening to our customers about their desire for renewable energy options, we are proud to offer SOLARCHOICE”, said RPU General Manager Mark Kotschevar.

The SOLARCHOICE community solar garden is planned to be built in Princeton, MN on a site near the municipal airport once 25% of the planned community solar garden is under subscription by customers of RPU and other SMMPA Member utilities.

Customers who want to learn more about SOLARCHOICE community solar can attend one of the informational meetings scheduled for June 15 from 6-7pm or June 20 from 1-2pm at the RPU Service Center (4000 East River Road NE). Additional information can also be found at www.rpu.org.

About Rochester Public Utilities

As the municipal utility of Rochester, Minn., for more than 110 years, RPU provides high-quality and reliable electricity to over 50,000 customers.  Water customers number more than 36,000.  RPU continually investigates innovative technologies to help customers realize the best value from the services they receive.  Current initiatives include fuel cell research, wind power, and photovoltaic offerings.

 

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Posted: Jun 07, 2017 by Tony B | Comments (3)

RPU’s AC Clean & Tune Rebate Available Now!

Regular preventative maintenance is the best way to ensure trouble-free, energy-efficient operation. Complete a Central Air Conditioner Clean & Tune and apply for a $25 Rebate Today!

Download an application 

Posted: May 15, 2017 by Tony B | Comments (0)

15th Annual Arbor Day Celebration to be held on April 28

Rochester Public Utilities (RPU), with partners Maier Tree & Lawn and Rochester Parks & Recreation, will host the 15th Annual Arbor Day Celebration on Friday, April 28 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Three Links-Silver Lake Park, located at 840 7th St NE in Rochester.

The fun and free community event will feature a variety of activities and displays that will include: A tree giveaway (while supplies last), a free lunch of hot dogs, corn on the cob, chips, cookies, and soda will be provided (while supplies last), and live music from Paul Mayasich and his band, Real American Made Music. Tree experts will also be on hand to answer questions on tree planting and care, along with many other vendor displays.

Children will be able to enjoy Smokey Bear, balloonists, a scavenger hunt, temporary tattoos, bean bag toss, and much more!

At noon, an awards ceremony will honor Rochester elementary school students who were selected as finalists of the Arbor Day poster contest, as well as this year’s overall winner, Nicole Yang, a 4th grader at Hoover Elementary. Nicole will receive a $100 Barnes & Noble gift card, her winning poster will be featured in RPU’s 2018 calendar, and a tree will be planted in her honor at Hoover Elementary School. This year’s poster contest theme was “Trees are Terrific in Cities and Towns…and They Keep Our Water Clean!”

Co-Sponsors of this year’s event include: Hy-Vee, Minnesota Energy Resources, Sargent’s Gardens, and Seneca Foods.

Participants include: Boys & Girls Club of Rochester, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Olmsted County Environmental Resources, Olmsted Soil & Water Conservation District, Quarry Hill Nature Center, RNeighbors, Rochester Public Library, Rochester Public Works, and Zumbro Valley Audubon.

In the event of rain, the celebration will be moved to Rochester Community & Technical College’s Field House.

 

About Rochester Public Utilities

 

As the municipal utility of Rochester, Minn., for more than 110 years, RPU provides high-quality and reliable electricity to over 50,000 customers.  Water customers number more than 37,000.  RPU continually investigates innovative technologies to help customers realize the best value from the services they receive.  Current initiatives include photovoltaic offerings, wind energy, energy and water efficient equipment, and electric vehicle charging.

 

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Posted: Apr 27, 2017 by Tony B | Comments (0)

Proposed 2018 Rate Schedule- Line Extension Rates

On March 28, 2017 the RPU Utility Board reviewed the proposed RPU Line Extension Rates. The board was asked to direct staff to give public notice of the proposed rates in the paper of record. The table attached below includes the proposed rates. The proposed rates are also available by calling RPU customer service 507.280.1500.

Public comment on the proposed rates will be taken up to, and during, the April 25, 2017 Board Meeting prior to the Board voting on the proposed rates. If approved, the RPU Utility Board will be recommending approval at a subsequent City Council meeting. Please contact Tony Benson at 507.280.1534 or email at tbenson@rpu.org.

ROCHESTER PUBLIC UTILITIESRATE SCHEDULE LINEEXT final

Posted: Mar 30, 2017 by Tony B | Comments (0)