Rochester Public Utilities | Blog

Things to note if you are planning to visit the RPU Service Center

We are continuing to recommend that all possible customer interaction with RPU be electronic or over the phone at this time. If you must visit the RPU Service Center, please be aware of our lobby changes and in-person requirements.

The RPU Service Center lobby hours are now Monday-Friday 8am-4p. RPU Customer Relations staff are available on the phone (507.280.1500) Monday-Friday 8a-5p to help customers with their RPU needs.

RPU staff are working safely at the Service Center and from home, depending on their job and remote capabilities. This time has certainly been a test of creative teamwork and how to maximize resources remotely. The great thing is that RPU employees want to embrace new ways to work as a team to ensure that we are meeting and exceeding the expectations of our customers.   

Please pay attention to our social distancing measures in place.
Please note the window signage with safety messaging before entering the RPU Service Center.
The RPU Service Center lobby has been updated to ensure safety for RPU employees and visitors.

Posted: Jul 30, 2020 by Tony B | Comments (0)

RPU announces Arbor Day Tree Giveaway

Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) along with its Partnering Sponsors – Maier Tree & Lawn, Rochester Parks & Recreation, Sargent’s Gardens, and Jim Whiting Nursery & Garden announce a Free Arbor Day Tree Giveaway on April 30th.

Over 800 burr oak seedlings will be handed out at the tree giveaway, while supplies last.

The tree giveaway will be a drive-thru event on April 30th from 11am-1pm at Three Links- Silver Lake Park located at 840 7th St NE in Rochester. Staff from the sponsor organizations and the city of Rochester will be handing out tree seedlings, along with a proclamation reading from Mayor Kim Norton at 11am. Please wear a mask when you drive up to receive your tree seedling.

RPU usually hosts an annual Arbor Day Celebration, but due to Covid-19 restrictions and to ensure safety for RPU staff, sponsor staff, and the community, the celebration event was canceled this year.

For more information on the Arbor Day Tree Giveaway, visit the RPU website 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 56,000 customers.  Water customers number more than 40,000.  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 30, 2021 by Tony B | Comments (0)

RPU announces the Neighbors Chipping In Program to help customers in need

April 5, 2021 – ROCHESTER, MN – Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) announces the Neighbors Chipping In Program, a voluntary, ongoing fundraising program to benefit RPU customers in need of help. It allows RPU customers to help other RPU customers by agreeing to have their monthly utility bill “rounded up” to the next whole dollar or by an amount of their choosing.

“There has been a growing need in the Rochester community for resources and support with paying utility bills. We wanted to customize a program that would provide the assistance needed, as well as, leverage our existing local resources and partnerships,” said Krista Boston, RPU Director of Customer Relations.

Customers interested in participating in this new program can donate two ways. One, they can choose to have their monthly total bill rounded up to the nearest dollar each month. Or two, they can pick a fixed amount (e.g. $5, $10, or any dollar amount of their choosing). The rounded up amount or fixed amount will then appear on their monthly utility bill.

RPU is collaborating with Three Rivers Community Action to allocate the collected funds to customers who qualify and already participate in the Energy Assistance Program. When there are not enough EAP funds available, Neighbors Chipping In will help supplement the need within our community.

If you are interested in signing up, please visit the RPU website and click the Neighbors Chipping In link under Residential Programs.

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 56,000 customers.  Water customers number more than 40,000.  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 05, 2021 by Tony B | Comments (0)

City of Rochester Launching Third Year of Energy Benchmarking Program

Media Contact

Megan Moeller, Communications Coordinator

Direct: 507-328-2436 | E-mail: mmoeller@rochestermn.gov  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

City of Rochester Launching Third Year of Energy Benchmarking Program

March 18, 2020 – ROCHESTER, MINN. – The Rochester Energy Benchmarking Program provides a way for local business and building owners to track their energy use and identify ways to save money on utility bills. The program kicked off in 2019 with 90 participants and continues to build out Rochester’s energy data set, encouraging additional facilities to participate and demonstrate energy reductions. In 2020, the number of participants in the benchmarking program grew to 112 properties, including the program’s first hotel. The 2019 Benchmarking Report can be found here.  

There will be a virtual kick-off event on March 24, 2021 at Noonto introduce the program and participation benefits. Speakers will include Mayor Kim Norton, local utility partners and current participants. Building owners, managers and operators of commercial buildings of any size are encouraged to attend and may register here.

The program will provide valuable information to help identify potential energy efficiency opportunities, save money, and learn how to benchmark your building efficiently using new, automated utility data tools. Project partners include Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) and Minnesota Energy Resources.  They will both assist benchmarking participants in collecting their utility data and offer special incentives and individualized assistance towards your energy savings goals.

The City of Rochester benchmarking team is offering free technical assistance during the weeks of April 26 and May 3 to help property owners set up their ENERGY STAR portfolio manager profile, submit data and learn how to use and interpret their results to track and improve the energy efficiency of their buildings. The information to signup can be found here.

Below is a list of materials and information participants will need to gather in order to participate: 

*Additional required information varies by building type. Refer to ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager’s Data Collection Worksheet.

**Total gross floor area includes the entire floor area of the building, including common areas and leased space.

Those interested in learning more can contact Sustainability Coordinator Lauren Jensen at ljensen@rochestermn.gov. The program team hopes to have all participant profiles set up by early June to begin analyzing the benchmarking data.  Information can also be found here

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Posted: Mar 17, 2021 by Tony B | Comments (0)

All RPU customers urged to monitor the temperature of their water

Media Contact

Tony Benson, Communications Coordinator
Direct:  507-280-1534  |  E-mail:  tbenson@rpu.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

All RPU customers urged to monitor the temperature of their water

February 10, 2021 – ROCHESTER, MN – Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) is starting to hear from customers that are concerned about their water service freezing this winter. Current frost depth is 38” as of February 9th.

RPU advises these water customers to take the temperature of their water and then continue monitoring it until the frost is out of the ground. This is especially important for customers that have experienced froze water services in the past. Run an inside cold tap and hold a thermometer in the stream for 10-20 seconds for an accurate reading. If your water temperature gets below 35 degrees Fahrenheit, you should immediately start running a continuous pencil-width stream of water from a faucet.

Currently, MN DOT is recording the frost depth at 38 inches in Rochester and Olmsted County. Service lines are typically buried six feet (72”) or more below the ground from the street to the house. Thawing a frozen water service can cost $800- $1,500. The cost to run a constant pencil-width stream of water is approximately $60- $100 per month including sewer fees. If you are going to be letting your water run, please contact RPU at 507-280-1500.

All businesses and residence types could be affected. The age of your home does not matter.

View Rochester’s real-time frost level graph at www.rpu.org. For more information, please contact Tony Benson at 507-280-1534 or email at tbenson@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 56,000 customers.  Water customers number more than 40,000.  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: Feb 10, 2021 by Tony B | Comments (0)

Holiday Light Recycling is back!

Recycle any and all of your old holiday lighting between now and Friday, January 29, 2021. Just drop your old lighting strands off at the RPU Service Center (4000 East River Road NE). The recycle bins are right inside our lobby.

What is accepted:

What is NOT accepted:

Posted: Nov 10, 2020 by Tony B | Comments (0)