Rochester Public Utilities | Blog

Archive for December, 2008

Rochester City Council Approves 2009 RPU Budget and Rate Increase

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

On Monday, the Rochester City Council approved the 2009 RPU budget and electric rate increase of 5 percent. The 2009 budget and rate increase will take effect on January 1, 2009. The average residential RPU electric customer will see an increase of approximately $3.84 per month.

A way to reduce electric usage and in turn reduce your monthly electric bill, can be to conserve energy and to use energy more efficiently. Vist our Conserve & Save web page to get helpful information on energy conservation and to learn about rebates available on qualifying energy efficient equipment.

RPU Board approves 2009 budget including a 5% electric rate increase and no water increase effective January 1

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

ROCHESTER, MN—The Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) Utility Board approved today, a 2009 budget that includes a 5% electric rate increase and no rate increase for the water utility effective January 1. With the increase, 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.


An increase for the water utility was not necessary this year. 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.


The electric increase primarily reflects inflationary increases, but RPU has taken measures to mitigate the effects of the 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 operate in a safe manner and 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.


The City Council will now have to approve the budget that was approved by the Utility Board.  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. 


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 47,000 customers.  Water customers number more than 36,000.  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.





Rochester Athletic Club electricity restored at 1:50 p.m.

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

Power was restored to the Rochester Athletic Club at 1:50 p.m. today.

Crews are working currently in the area of 19th Street and Valleyhigh Drive N.E. to restore power to the Rochester Athletic Club (RAC). An overhead utility pole was damaged when a bus slid into the pole causing the RAC to lose power. The RAC is currently closed.

Please try to stay away from the area of 19th Street and Valleyhigh Drive N.E. to allow safer work conditions for the RPU crews. Check back for updates and restoration time.