Rochester Public Utilities | Blog

No rate increase proposed for electric utility for the fourth straight year and sixth straight year for the water utility

Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) staff will present the 2013 budget proposal at Tuesday’s Board meeting with a recommendation of no rate increase for the electric or water utility. 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. 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 13.


“While the economy is beginning to recover in our area the return has been slow and RPU remains committed to keeping rates to our customers stable. Holding the budgets at 2012 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 slow economic times. However, keeping budget levels flat over the last few years has proven to be challenging due to increased operating costs. It is uncertain how long RPU can continue maintain its services without a rate increase.


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 the third year , 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; and



The RPU Board will act on the proposed electric and water budgets at a special November Board Meeting on Tuesday, November 13 at 4 p.m. at the RPU Service Center. Final budget approval will come from the Rochester City Council on November 19 at 7 p.m.


For more information on RPU or the proposed 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.





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