Rochester Public Utilities | Blog

Archive for July, 2009

DRAFT Infrastructure Plan Update presented at the July 28 Board Meeting

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

A draft infrastructure plan update was presented at the July 28 Board Meeting as a discussion item with no action being taken. The entire draft can be found at the link below, along with the archived infrastructure planning documents from previous years.

Feedback on the draft can be emailed to Tony Benson

2009 Infrastructure Plan Update DRAFT

Keep Your “Cool” With Your AC Costs

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Does your bill seem to be increasing over the last few months? You’re probably asking yourself how this could be. Do you feel like you are being conservative, yet it’s not making a difference? You are not alone. Higher bills are can be expected this time of year and there are things to consider and think about as to why your usage may feel like it’s literally off the charts. While there are many factors that cause a high bill, the AC unit can be the biggest culprit. 

Be honest with yourself. Have you truly used your air conditioner? You may think you haven’t run the AC much over the course of the last month, but consider the time frame on the bill. Keep in mind, RPU bills you for the usage from the previous month. Although it’s tough to remember exactly what you may have done differently in the month prior, it’s important to take into account what the weather was like. June had several days of hot, humid weather.  There was an extremely high heat index for more than a week at one time.  In cases like these, AC units probably ran steady and, in turn, accounted for a jump in the monthly bill. Ask yourself on certain days whether you really need to run the AC or if you can handle just running a fan or two? It’s all about personal comfort, but when it comes to keeping your bill low, it’s important to consider whether it’s necessary to run the AC or not. To help you remember what the weather was like over the last several weeks, mark it on your calendar. Then when you get your bill you can take a look back.

Another factor to consider when running the AC is the temperature setting. For every degree that you raise the temperature, it’s projected to save you about three percent. RPU recommends setting the thermostat to about 78 degrees. It really depends on your personal level of comfort, but if you can handle it just a tad warmer, you will notice a drop in your monthly usage and overall bill total.  

Keeping your shades drawn during the day will help keep the house cooler resulting in the AC running less. Also, keeping your thermostat on the Auto setting will make a difference. It will help with controlling both humidity and circulation. If you have a programmable thermostat, turning up the temperature while leaving for more than a few hours will help in energy and cost savings. Leaving the AC in the ON state continuously will add to your electric bill as it runs 24/7; whereas, the auto setting runs only when it is cooling.

How old is your AC unit? Maybe it is time to replace it if it’s not very efficient. Units that are over ten years old may not be as efficient as years prior. RPU offers rebates for the purchase of new, qualifying AC units. While it may cost to buy a new one now, it will provide cost savings in years to come.

The placement of your AC unit is important to consider as well. Is it directly exposed to sunlight? If at all possible the AC unit should be shaded from the sun, but be sure that it is not blocked by anything that would restrict its air flow.  As with any appliance, it appears that your AC unit is not working properly, get it checked immediately. A non functioning AC unit can increase your bill significantly.

Remember that summer rates are in effect right now so the cost per kilowatt is higher. While you may use your AC very little, every bit adds up. Having a better understanding as to why your bill is higher and factoring in the AC usage may help you to keep your “cool” about those increasing energy bills.

RPU is now on Facebook and Twitter!

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Follow RPU on Facebook and Twitter to stay up on the latest RPU news and events. Become a ‘fan’ of RPU on Facebook and get conservation tips, RPU news, and event information directly to your Facebook account.

Our Twitter account will be used to inform customers on water main breaks and power outages as they happen. When a water main breaks or a power outage occurs, get the affected location, time of the event, and approximate number of customers affected, sent directly to you via web notification through Twitter, text message, or RSS feed.

Know about outages at the same time the media finds out.

To start following RPU on Facebook or Twitter, just click the links on the RPU homepage.

Emission Reduction Project

Monday, July 20th, 2009

So lately, there’s been a fair amount of publicity and talk about RPU’s Emission Reduction Project (ERP). We’ll here’s some information to clarify things and to help you better understand what the project will do and how it will benefit customers.

Verify the credit card information on your RPU account

Thursday, July 9th, 2009


If you set your RPU automatic payment up with an NWA World Perks credit card, please make sure to verify that the card number and expiration date of your new card is the same as what you have on file with RPU. We have encountered problems due to the new cards being issued having different information, which causes a declined payment.

To change the card number on file with RPU, contact RPU Customer Service at 507-280-1500 or you may change it yourself by accessing your account.

Thank you