Rochester Public Utilities | Blog

RPU staff to present 2011 budget proposal with no rate increase for electric and water utility for the second straight year

Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) staff will present the 2011 budget proposal to the RPU Board with a recommendation of no rate increase for the electric or water utility for the second straight year. The RPU Board will hear the budget proposal at the October 26 board meeting and will take action on the budget at a special board meeting on November 9.


“We believe a zero percent rate increase during this continued difficult economic time is a clear message of our commitment to our customers. Because of the continued dedication of our employees, we will be able to 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. Some of the key items that will put pressure on the 2011 budget include:


       Purchased power costs continue to be the single largest expenditure. The purchased power expense will be approximately $90 million, which accounts for 68 percent of the total operating budget in 2011.

       Lack of demand in the Midwest Independent System Operators (MISO) energy market, where local generation from RPU could be sold

       Increase in costs for necessary items such as utility poles, wire, pipes, and equipment


In order to sustain the reductions from the 2009 and 2010 budgets, RPU staff has worked diligently to ensure that reductions were made in places that will not compromise certain core pieces of RPU’s business. Some of the areas that were addressed include:


       No FTE increases and unfilled positions will be evaluated and will be held open

       Reductions in facility maintenance and construction has been made

       Deferring capital projects where applicable


The RPU Board will act on the proposed electric and water budgets at a special November Board Meeting on Tuesday, November 9 at 4 p.m. at the RPU Service Center. Final budget approval will come from the Rochester City Council on November 15 at 7 p.m.


For more information on RPU, the proposed 2011 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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