Rochester Public Utilities | Blog

Archive for the ‘Customer Service’ Category

RPU Tree Trimming Locations

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020

Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) will spend nearly $1.4 million this year on proactive tree trimming and vegetation management.  In 2020, RPU plans to do proactive trimming along 17 different feeders.  Within the map, two types of trimming areas are shown, Planned and Proposed.  Planned areas, , will be trimmed in their entirety along the depicted areas.  Proposed areas, , will be trimmed at priority locations within the depicted areas.  

What Customers should know about tree trimming:

  • Safety and system reliability are the reasons for RPU tree trimming.
  • RPU will send a mailing,connect with you in person at your door, or leave a door hanger to affected neighborhoods in order to communicate what work is being done and when.
  • It is important to stay a safe distance away from the coned-off work zones while trimming is being done.
  • All tree trimming should be done by a licensed and certified tree trimming professional.

Follow the link below for a real-time map of RPU tree trimming locations scheduled or currently being trimmed.

RPU tree trimming map

An important message from RPU General Manager Mark Kotschevar

Friday, March 20th, 2020

RPU’s motto is “We Pledge, We Deliver” and our vision is to “Set the Standard for Service.”  As COVID-19 affects our community and as community leaders ramp up our response efforts, it is important for our customers to know that providing safe, reliable, and affordable electricity and water is and will continue to be RPU’s top priority. 

RPU is taking the following specific measures to help the Rochester community persevere through our current challenges:

  • As a department of the City of Rochester, RPU is reviewing and enacting its share of the City’s Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) in close consultation with other City departments and Olmsted County.  This, combined with RPU’s century-plus experience in responding to outages and other disruptions, positions us well to act quickly and efficiently to keep the lights on and the water flowing.
  • We will not disconnect any residential or commercial electric/water customers until further notice.  If you are having difficulty paying your bill, please contact Customer Service at 507-280-1500 and we will arrange a payment plan that works for you.
  • We are maintaining adequate staffing levels at RPU’s generation facilities as well as having electric and water crews available 24 hours a day to respond to immediate customer needs.
  • We are enforcing social distancing directives both inside RPU facilities and in the field.  For those employees who report to work, enhanced cleaning schedules have been enacted to ensure their and your safety.

Customers are encouraged to utilize the RPU Connect app and rpu.org to obtain answers to questions and conduct RPU business, so phone lines can be kept available for persons needing assistance.  In the meantime, we here at RPU will continue working around the clock to provide safe, reliable, and affordable electricity and water to help our community survive and thrive in this uncertain time.

Mark Kotschevar, General Manager

Rochester Public Utilities

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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Holiday Light Recycling is back!

Monday, November 18th, 2019

Recycle any and all of your old holiday lighting between now and January 31, 2020. Just drop your old lighting strands off at the RPU Service Center (4000 East River Road NE). The recycle bins are inside and to the left in the hallway near the restrooms.

What is accepted:

  • Holiday Lights – incandescent or LED (working or non-working)
  • Holiday Light Decorations

What is NOT accepted:

  • Appliance Cords
  • Battery Packs
  • CFL Lights
  • Cord Adaptors
  • Electric Cords
  • Plastic Rope Lights
  • Telephone Cords

RPU Connect – An Easier Way to Manage Your Utility Account

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019

Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) customers will soon be able to review water and electric usage, enroll in paperless billing, autopay, one-time payments, options available for fast, easy, and secure payments and more with the new RPU Connect mobile application and customer website.

RPU Connect is a free mobile application that provides secure access to accounts, payment options, and tracks your usage. These same features will also be available through an online customer portal designed for desktop computers.

In addition to the features mentioned above, customers also have the ability to select “notification” preferences to receive proactive billing alerts, via email, text or phone. As well as securely connecting with our Customer Relations Team via email, using the “connect me” feature of RPU Connect.

The mobile app will be available on both iOS and Android platforms.

Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) customers will soon be able to review water and electric usage, enroll in paperless billing, autopay, one-time payment options available for pay their monthly bill and more with the new RPU Connect mobile application and customer website.

RPU Connect is a free mobile application that provides secure access to accounts, payment options and power usage tracking. The same services will also be available through an online customer portal designed for desktop computers.

In addition to the features mentioned above, customers also have the ability to select “notification” preferences to receive alerts for outages and bill due reminders. Through the “connect me” feature of RPU Connect, customers can interact with customer support without ever having to dial in.

The mobile app will be available on both iOS and Android platforms.

Rate Structure Survey Results Presented at the April 30th RPU Board Meeting

Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

The Rochester Public Utility Board was presented with the rate structure survey results at the April Board Meeting by representatives from Great Blue Research.

The purpose of the survey was to identify customer views and preferences with regards to the residential rate structure, energy conservation, knowledge and perception of electrification, preferred methods of communication, overall expectations of RPU, and overall satisfaction with RPU’s electric service.

Highlights of the survey include:

  • Three quarters of RPU Ratepayers consider the environmental impacts of their daily electric usage.
  • Slightly more than half are willing to pay more for clean energy.
  • 74% would be willing to change their consumption habits if they would pay 20% less for energy.
  • Close to half of ratepayers would welcome information on energy usage with most preferring direct mail – however, interest in emailed information  is on the rise.
  • Two thirds of customers would be ok to have their air conditioner interrupted for 15 minutes an hour on “peak usage days” but most – over 63% were not willing to have RPU manage their smart home devices to achieve the same goal.
  • Overall ratepayers are satisfied with RPU (91.2%).

“The information that we received back from the survey will be used to help the RPU Board set a direction for future residential rate structures as well as make decisions regarding electrification, energy conservation, energy consumption behaviors, and customer communications. Hearing from and considering the input of our customers is vital to being a community focused utility,” said RPU General Manager Mark Kotschevar.

The complete survey results will be available to view on the RPU website.

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 55,000 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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