Rochester Public Utilities | Blog

Archive for March, 2023

RPU launching new thermostat program

Monday, March 20th, 2023

March 20, 2023- ROCHESTER, MN— Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) is launching a Bring Your Own Thermostat (BYOT) program to help reduce energy consumption during periods of high demand.

RPU’s voluntary demand response program is designed to reward customers for reducing their electricity use during periods of high demand, while helping the environment and reliability of the grid.

Program participation requires customers to agree to brief, limited Peak Savings Events, which adjust their thermostats during peak electric demand periods from May 1 through September 30. Peak demand periods for adjustments typically occur on hot or humid days, but Peak Savings Events may also be called under other circumstances to reduce strain on the grid. Peak Savings Events will not occur on weekends or holidays.

Customers who install qualified smart thermostats will receive a one-time $50 enrollment incentive, in the form of a bill credit, and those that stay enrolled throughout the summer season will receive a year-end $25 bill credit.

“Our new BYOT program is part of RPU’s continuing efforts to take advantage of newer technologies. Smart thermostats are part of a growing number of energy efficiency tools developed in recent years, that can be monitored and controlled remotely by users,” explained by Patty Hanson, Manager of Utility Programs and Services at RPU. “The thermostats have been shown to reduce customer energy bills, and in large numbers, they could significantly reduce electric grid load, especially during hot summer months when air conditioning use is high.”

For additional program information, visit

Electronic version of news release can be found here.

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 58,000 customers.  Water customers number more than 41,000.  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.


City of Rochester Launching Fifth Year of Energy Benchmarking

Tuesday, March 7th, 2023

Media Contact

Megan Moeller, Communications & Engagement Coordinator

Direct: 507-328-2436 | E-mail:


City of Rochester Launching Fifth Year of Energy Benchmarking

March 7, 2023 – The Rochester Energy Benchmarking Program is inviting local businesses and building owners to track and manage their energy use through benchmarking. The program will teach participants how to benchmark their building and how to identify potential energy efficiency opportunities that may save money on utility bills over time. Project partners include Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) and Minnesota Energy Resources. Both organizations will assist benchmarking participants in collecting their utility data and offer special incentives and individualized assistance towards energy savings goals.

New program participants are invited to the following events:

2023 Benchmarking Program Kick-off: An introduction to the program and the benefits of participation for building owners, managers and operators of commercial buildings of any size.

Date: March 14, 2023

Time: Noon – 1:00 pm

Location: Virtual

Registration: via Eventbrite

Data Jam Technical Assistance Sessions: City teammates will help property owners set up their ENERGY STAR portfolio manager profile, submit data and learn how to use and interpret their results to track and improve the energy efficiency of their buildings.

Dates: March 29 and March 31

Time: 20 minute one-on-one sessions are available each day for morning or afternoon sessions

Location: City Hall, Room 104 (201 4 Street SE)

Registration: via Signup Genius

More information is available on the City’s benchmarking webpage or by contacting the City of Rochester’s Sustainability Coordinator.

Background: The Energy Benchmarking Program kicked off in 2019 with 90 participating properties and grew to 143 properties in 2022. Energy data collected through the program creates an understanding of how energy use from our community contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. Each year the program compiles a benchmarking report to highlight how many buildings participated, what the average EUI (energy use intensity) of the buildings is compared to national average, and what percentage of greenhouse emissions program participants are contributing. Benchmarking a building creates a baseline of energy use to track improvements in EUI and greenhouse gas emission reductions over time. The 2021 Benchmarking Report can be found here.


Click here for a digital version of this news release.