Rochester Public Utilities | Blog

Archive for the ‘Community Partnership’ Category

Rochester Public Utilities energy assistance efforts paying off

Friday, June 26th, 2020

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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Resources available to Residential customers

Thursday, April 9th, 2020

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

17th Annual Arbor Day Celebration to be held on April 26

Wednesday, April 24th, 2019

Rochester Public Utilities (RPU), with partners Maier Tree & Lawn and Rochester Parks & Recreation, will host the 17th Annual Arbor Day Celebration on Friday, April 26 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 PK Mayo Trio. Tree experts will also be on hand to answer questions on tree planting and care, along with many other vendor activities and information.

Children will be able to enjoy Smokey Bear, tree medallion necklace, apple toss game, 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, Hope Peterson, a 4th grader at Gibbs Elementary. Hope will receive a $100 Barnes & Noble gift card, her winning poster will be featured in RPU’s 2020 calendar, and a tree will be planted in her honor at Gibbs Elementary School. This year’s poster contest theme was “Trees Are Terrific…For Animals Too!”

RPU line crews will also be partnering with Rochester Parks & Recreation on a tree planting for The Right Tree in the Right Place program beginning at 8 a.m. Approximately 50 compatible trees under power lines will be planted along 36th Ave NW and 7th St NW. Tree species include Lilac Snow Dance, Crabapple Royal Rain Drops, Pear Autumn Blaze, Hawthorne Snowbird, and Red Buds.

Co-Sponsors of this year’s event include: Hy-Vee, Jim Whiting Nursery & Garden Center, Minnesota Energy Resources, Sargent’s Gardens, and Seneca Foods.

Participants include: Boys & Girls Club of Rochester, Minnesota Children’s Museum Rochester, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Olmsted County Environmental Resources, Quarry Hill Nature Center, Rochester Police Department, Rochester Public Library, Rochester Public Works, Rochester Water Reclamation Plant, Sekapp Orchard, 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 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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Call for Nominations: 2018 Environmental Achievement Awards

Friday, September 7th, 2018

Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) and the Olmsted County Environmental Commission are calling for nominations for the 2018 Environmental Achievement Awards. The awards honor individuals, organizations, schools and businesses that have made a significant environmental contribution over the past year in Rochester or Olmsted County.

Award categories include: climate change, education, renewables, sustainable food production, conservation, energy, water, and other.

Since 1992, the awards have recognized the positive environmental impact of over 100 Olmsted County and Rochester community members and groups.

To submit a nomination or to see a list of past recipients, go to www.rpu.org. Completed nominations are due by Friday, October 5, 2018 to Anthony Wittmer (wittmer.anthony@co.olmsted.mn.us).

 

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 39,000.  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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Hear what RPU’s GM Mark Kotschevar has to say about his participation in Project Climate Smart Municipalities

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016