Rochester Public Utilities | Blog

Archive for November, 2012

2013 budget approved by RPU board with no rate increase proposed for electric utility or water utility

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

The Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) board approved the 2013 budget, with no rate increase for either the water or electric utility, as presented by staff at the October 30 meeting. This marks the fourth straight year without a rate increase for the electric utility and sixth straight year without a general rate increase for the water utility.


RPU is committed to being fiscally sound during the continued tough economic times. However, keeping budget levels flat over the last three years has proven to be challenging due to increased operating costs.


In order to sustain the reductions from the 2011 and 2012 budgets, RPU staff has worked diligently to ensure that reductions were made in places that will not compromise core components of RPU’s business. Some of the significant business drivers for the electric utility in 2013 include:


·         Commitment to community to maintain rates during continuing slow economic times while supporting our mission statement and strategic initiatives;

·         Continue at approved staffing levels, holding some positions open for evaluation;

·         SMMPA’s Board approved rates with no increase for 2013, SMMPA, continues to be a significant operating expense at approximately $88 million or about 68% of our operating costs;

·         Lack of demand and low prices in the MISO market have allowed RPU to project purchases at a low cost. However, sales into the market are projected to be low;

·         Achieving our energy conservation goals through continued work with residential and commercial customers; and

·         Continuing our participation in CAPX 2020 initiative to expand the electric transmission grid to ensure reliable and affordable service.


Significant business drivers for the water utility include:


·         Continued water conservation programs and education;

·         New reservoir to be constructed in 2013 and 2014


Final budget approval will come from the Rochester City Council on November 19 at 7 p.m.


For more information on RPU or the 2013 budget, please contact Tony Benson at 507-280-1534 or email at



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.





Crews depart to help with power restoration efforts in Long Island, New York

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

An RPU crew along with crews from eight other Minnesota utilities left today for Long Island, New York to help with power restoration efforts.

According to a news release from the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), approximately 642,000 customers remained without power as of 10:00 a.m. on Friday, November 2. LIPA reached out to the Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association for mutual aid assistance and had nine utilities answer the call. No return date has been set for the crews. Depending on the damage and work needed, crews could be in long Island, NY for an extended period of time.

RPU will try to post updates from the crews and photos as they are made available.

Crews heading to Long Island, NY

– Rochester Public Utilities
– Austin Utilities
– St. Peter Electric Utilities
– Brainerd Public Utilities
– Willmar Utilities
– Grand Rapids Public Utilities
– Chaska Electric Department
– Owatonna Public Utilities
– Hutchinson Utilities

The crews headed to Long Island, NY