Rochester Public Utilities | Blog

No rate increase proposed for electric utility for the third straight year and fifth straight year for the water utility

Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) staff will present the 2012 budget proposal, this afternoon, to the RPU Board with a recommendation of no rate increase for the electric or water utility. This marks the third straight year without a rate increase for the electric utility and fifth straight year without a general rate increase for the water utility. The RPU Board will hear the budget proposal at the October board meeting and will take action on the budget at a special board meeting on November 15.


“Plain and simple, a zero percent rate increase during these tough economic times is the right thing for our customers. Holding the budgets at 2011 levels is only possible because of the dedication of our employees. We will maintain our current budget levels without compromising our core values of safety and reliability in our service,” said RPU general manager Larry Koshire.


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


In order to sustain the reductions from the 2010 and 2011 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 2012 include:


·         Commitment to community to have no electric rate increase for the third year during continuing tough economic times while supporting our mission statement and strategic initiatives;

·         Continue holding approved staff positions open to evaluate need while adding two positions  to support the customer and system growth;

·         SMMPA’s Board approved rates with no increase for 2012, SMMPA, continues to be a significant operating expense at approximately $89 million or about 68% of our operating costs;

·         Lack of demand and low prices in MISO market has made the Silver Lake Plant uncompetitive this past year, and RPU is projecting few wholesale sales from this facility in 2012;

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

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

·         Continuing to implement Smart Grid education and possible pilot projects.


Significant business drivers for the water utility include:


·         Continued water conservation programs and education;

·         Slowdown in new development;

·         New reservoir to be constructed in 2013 and 2014; and

·         Addition of one water operator to support water system growth.



The RPU Board will act on the proposed electric and water budgets at a special November Board Meeting on Tuesday, November 15 at 4 p.m. at the RPU Service Center. Final budget approval will come from the Rochester City Council on November 21 at 7 p.m.


For more information on RPU or the proposed 2012 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.





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