Rochester Public Utilities | Blog

Rochester Public Utilities energy assistance efforts paying off

Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) communication efforts promoting local energy assistance helps to get over $20,000 in assistance for RPU and other utility customers.

RPU actively called customers and promoted the local energy assistance available through Three Rivers Community Action during the month of June. During one day alone, over 100 emails for energy assistance information were answered.

“Local energy assistance is a valuable and necessary program for many customers during this time. We recognized the importance of getting the word out and we took action by engaging many work areas within RPU to help with this effort. RPU employees from the marketing, customer relations, finance/accounting, and communications department all stepped up to reach out to our customers,” said Krista Boston, RPU Director of Customer Relations.

The deadline for applying is July 1. Customers that may benefit from local energy assistance can contact Three Rivers Community Action (www.threeriverscap.org), and for all other payment arrangement or billing questions contact Rochester Public Utilities (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 40,000. 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 26, 2020 by Tony B | Comments (0)

City of Rochester Begins Reopening of City Facilities

https://www.rochestermn.gov/Home/Components/News/News/7776/1121?backlist=%2f

Posted: Jun 01, 2020 by Tony B | Comments (0)

Rochester Public Utilities recommends businesses flush internal water systems prior to re-opening

MN businesses are getting ready to re-open their doors after the statewide Stay-at-Home order concludes. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released guidelines reminding business owners that internal water systems should be flushed prior to re-opening buildings and facilities after this period of prolonged shutdown.

Internal water system flushing is important maintenance that should be used any time a building has been closed for an extended period to maintain good water quality. Flushing water lines removes older water and ensures that you have the freshest, best quality water prior to re-opening.

Flushing an internal water system includes flushing hot and cold water through all points (e.g. showers, sink faucets) and flushing hot water until it reaches maximum temperature.

Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) is reminding area business owners to complete this system maintenance prior to re-opening their doors to maintain public health after this period of prolonged shutdown. RPU continues to flush the water distribution system throughout the city to make sure that when building owners flush their own buildings, they will get the freshest water possible from our water mains.

For more information on water quality visit:  https://www.rpu.org/education-environment/water-quality.php

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 40,000. 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: May 29, 2020 by Tony B | Comments (0)

2020 Arbor Day Tree Giveaway

Rochester Public Utilities (RPU), along with partners Rochester Parks & Recreation, Sargent’s Gardens, Maier Tree & Lawn, and Jim Whiting Nursery & Garden Center will hold a free tree giveaway on Thursday, May 21 from 11am-2pm at Hy-Vee on 37th Street NW.

RPU’s Annual Arbor Day Celebration, scheduled for the end of April, was cancelled due to safety concerns for RPU employees, event partners and sponsors, and the public. In preparation for the event, 1,700 Serviceberry trees were already on order and will require planting in the near future. RPU, along with partners Rochester Parks & Recreation, Sargent’s Gardens, Maier Tree & Lawn, and Jim Whiting Nursery & Garden Center are planning to give away all 1,700 Serviceberry trees at a drive through giveaway event.

The Rochester community is invited to come to the drive through tree giveaway to get a free tree to plant, while supplies last. The Serviceberry trees are small and will fit through a car window. One tree will be given away per vehicle.

RPU reminds customers to contact Gopher State One Call to do underground locates before starting any digging in their yard or property. Gopher State One Call can be contacted by visiting gopherstateonecall.org or by calling 811.

For more information regarding the tree giveaway and safe digging practices, visit 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 40,000. 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: May 20, 2020 by Tony B | Comments (0)

Resources available to Residential customers

Households with any unpaid past due balances are eligible to request Crisis funds to pay their past due and current balances. Application requests and requirements can be found through eHEAT and on the Three Rivers website: https://www.threeriverscap.org/energy/energy-assistance.

Olmsted County HUD has been issued a $1,000,000.00 grant that can assist with rent payments.

Email request to: covidrenthelp@co.olmsted.mn.us

Olmsted County Human Services has additional cash, food, health, emergency grants available.  A second round of funds have been granted to assist with emergency needs.  Note: Even if you’ve utilized an emergency grant in the past 12 months, you may qualify for emergency funding again prior to the 12 month anniversary of the previous grant. Call:  507.328.6500

https://www.threeriverscap.org/energy/energy-assistance

Crisis maximum increased!

Starting April 7, 2020, Three Rivers is increasing the Crisis maximum to $1,200. This means, if a household was already notified that they reached the $600 Crisis maximum, they are now eligible to get an additional $600 to help with their past due utility bills.

The household MUST contact Three Rivers to request additional funds and verify your account status.

Seniors may request Crisis with a current bill.

Resources available to Commercial customers

New relief for small businesses NOW AVAILABLE!

1. To determine if business is Critical on by searching by their 4-digit NAICS industry code https://mn.gov/deed/assets/naics-critical-list_tcm1045-424829.pdf

a. find North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) on business tax filings paperwork OR https://www.naics.com/search/

2. The Rochester Area Chamber https://www.rochestermnchamber.com/ Ph# 507.288.1122 Email: chamber@rochestermnchamber.com

3. Rochester Area Economic Development (RAEDI) http://www.raedi.com/doing-business-here/covid-19-resources.php Ph# 507.288.0208, email info@raedi.com

4. City of Rochester / Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc. (RAEDI) COVID-19 Emergency Economic Development loans https://www.rochestermn.gov/departments/emergency-management/covid-19-emergency-economic-development-and-stability-information

5. SBA Olm County – Southeast Minnesota Small Business Development Center Check eligibility and loan application https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/ OR https://www.sba.gov/size-standards/

SBA Emergency Injury Disaster Loan video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vr9e4O15wYk&t=50s

U.S. Small Business Administration Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resource https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources

SBA Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 or (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) Ph# 507-285-7436 email: DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov

6. DEED: Minnesota small businesses should send questions about this emergency loan program to ELP@state.mn.us a. More info: https://mn.gov/deed/newscenter/covid/business-exemptions/ b. More info: https://mn.gov/deed/business/financing-business/deed-programs/peacetime/

c. Businesses should apply directly through a certified lender

7. SMIF – Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation https://smifoundation.org/covid-19/

Diane Lewis, Lending Officer: dianel@smifoundation.org | 507-214-7014

Marcia Haley, SBA Lending Director: marciah@smifoundation.org | 507-214-7021

8. COVID-19 Information hotline: 651-201-3920 (Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

9. Updates on actions as directed by the Governor of Minnesota: Gov. Walz website https://mn.gov/governor/news/ 10. MN Chamber of Commerce Tool Kit https://www.mnchamber.com/blog/covid-19-business-toolkit

Posted: Apr 09, 2020 by Tony B | Comments (0)