Rochester Public Utilities | Blog

RPU to use Federal Coronavirus Relief Funds to help small business customers with utility bills

Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) announced today that a portion of the funding from the Federal Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) allocated to the city of Rochester, will go towards helping local small business customers pay their utility bills.

The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act enacted on March 27, 2020, has appropriated $150 billion to the CRF, which can be used towards paying customer utility bills that incurred during the period of March 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Rochester has already received over $8.8 million CRF dollars from the State. Monday afternoon, the Rochester City Council approved a plan for RPU to work with qualifying small business customers to utilize $500,000 for utility bill payments.

In addition to providing assistance to locally owned small businesses, the program also has designated funding for women, minority, and veteran owned local businesses (WMBE).

“We encourage all RPU small business customers that meet the criteria for application to apply for assistance. These times have been difficult for many of our small business customers and we have listened to them. With this program, we wanted to ensure that it was an easy, straight-forward application process and that it was equitable for all,” said Krista Boston, RPU Director of Customer Relations. 

The launch date for this program was August 4, 2020. Applications must be submitted for approval by October 16, 2020.

Full program details, applications, and eligibility requirements can be found on the RPU website 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 50,000 customers. Water customers number more than 40,000. 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.