Rochester Public Utilities | Blog

Archive for November, 2008

RPU announces a proposed 5% electric rate increase and no water increase effective January 1

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) announced today, a proposed 2009 budget that includes a 5% electric rate increase and no rate increase for the water utility effective January 1. If the increase is approved by the Utility Board and the City Council, the average residential customer’s electric bill will increase by approximately $3.84 per month.


Approximately two-thirds of RPU’s expenses are dictated by purchased power costs from its wholesale energy provider, Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA). SMMPA recently announced an increase of 6% for their member utilities, which equates to over $91 million of RPU’s budget.  The electric increase is driven primarily by upward pressure on fuel costs to generate electricity as well as for fuel transportation.


RPU is not proposing a rate increase for water customers. RPU’s water rates continue to be among the lowest in the region when compared with similar size water utilities. Through previous financing and prior rate increases, cash-flow has stabilized and will not require a rate increase for the water utility.


This proposed electric increase also reflects inflationary increases, but RPU has taken measures to mitigate the effects of the proposed increase by:


·         Holding 2009 operating budget at 2008 levels

·         Deferring capital projects


 “We are committed to maintaining the service and reliability that our customers expect from us, while doing everything possible to remain fiscally sound. A modest increase of 5% for the electric utility and no proposed increase for the water utility, we feel will support the growth of the Rochester community and will also provide the infrastructure support needed to greater ensure electric reliability,” said Larry Koshire, RPU General Manager.


RPU also has employees available to help customers conserve energy, which will save money and energy. Visit RPU’s Conserve & Save web page to see how you can qualify for rebates on energy efficient equipment in your home, or look over RPU’s list of 25 ways to conserve energy.


The City Council will have to approve any increase recommended by the Utility Board.  The next Utility Board meeting will be held on December 11 and the next City Council meeting will be on December 15. For more information on the 2009 budget or for information on energy and water conservation, go to or call (507) 280-1540. 

Server Maintenance Scheduled for This Evening

Friday, November 7th, 2008

We will be doing server maintenance tonight starting at 5 p.m. The work is scheduled to take approximately 4 hours. During this time you will not be able to access your account or make payments online. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Prepare your water pipes for the cold weather this winter

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Before we know it, the outside temperature will dip down into the single degrees as another Minnesota winter approaches. When we have a long string of cold winter days, the frost line deepened and makes conditions ideal for water services to freeze. Now is the time to prepare your homes water service to better ensure that your water service isn’t affected this winter.

First and foremost, I would recommend signing up for Service Assured®. Service Assured® can help cover costly repairs due to the harsh affects of the Minnesota winters on your water service (some restrictions apply).

If you’ve experienced frozen water services in the past, or know your service is susceptible to freezing, begin monitoring the temperature and condition of your water this winter, indian tadalafil.

Taking your water’s temperature and making sure it looks “healthy,” are simple ways to avoid a costly problem. If the water temperature reaches 35° Fahrenheit, or if water sporadically appears rusty, then the water service could be in danger of freezing.

To reduce the possibility of a water service giving in to the cold weather, let a tap or faucet flow continuously with the water stream about as wide as a pencil. This will allow about one-quarter gallon per minute to run through the pipes in a home, thus reducing the likelihood of a freeze-up of the water service. This step may also prevent the freezing of sewer services.

If you live in a mobile home, you should consider adding insulation to your water pipes as a more effective solution to prevent freezing.

Preparing now could help to keep your water service safe and save you from a headache later this winter.