Rochester Public Utilities | Blog

RPU announces a proposed 5% electric rate increase and no water increase effective January 1

Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) announced today, a proposed 2009 budget that includes a 5% electric rate increase and no rate increase for the water utility effective January 1. If the increase is approved by the Utility Board and the City Council, the average residential customer’s electric bill will increase by approximately $3.84 per month.

 

Approximately two-thirds of RPU’s expenses are dictated by purchased power costs from its wholesale energy provider, Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA). SMMPA recently announced an increase of 6% for their member utilities, which equates to over $91 million of RPU’s budget.  The electric increase is driven primarily by upward pressure on fuel costs to generate electricity as well as for fuel transportation.

 

RPU is not proposing a rate increase for water customers. RPU’s water rates continue to be among the lowest in the region when compared with similar size water utilities. Through previous financing and prior rate increases, cash-flow has stabilized and will not require a rate increase for the water utility.

 

This proposed electric increase also reflects inflationary increases, but RPU has taken measures to mitigate the effects of the proposed increase by:

 

·         Holding 2009 operating budget at 2008 levels

·         Deferring capital projects

 

 “We are committed to maintaining the service and reliability that our customers expect from us, while doing everything possible to remain fiscally sound. A modest increase of 5% for the electric utility and no proposed increase for the water utility, we feel will support the growth of the Rochester community and will also provide the infrastructure support needed to greater ensure electric reliability,” said Larry Koshire, RPU General Manager.

 

RPU also has employees available to help customers conserve energy, which will save money and energy. Visit RPU’s Conserve & Save web page to see how you can qualify for rebates on energy efficient equipment in your home, or look over RPU’s list of 25 ways to conserve energy.

 

The City Council will have to approve any increase recommended by the Utility Board.  The next Utility Board meeting will be held on December 11 and the next City Council meeting will be on December 15. For more information on the 2009 budget or for information on energy and water conservation, go to www.rpu.org or call (507) 280-1540. 

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