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RPUPlugged In





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[ june 12]

Photo by Josh Banks.

2 RPU Plugged In

Energy and Water Saving Tips!Top

10Beat the Summer Heat with RPUs

Save Money While Saving Energy and Water

Keep your air conditioner set at 78 degrees or higherIncreasing the comfort in your home can be accomplished without drastically increasing your energy use. By modestly setting your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher, you are addressing the humidity, which is the cause for discomfort in the summer. If you feel the need for additional cooling after your home reaches 78 degrees, running ceiling fans can provide additional comfort without using a large amount of electricity.


Set your irrigation timer to water in the early morning hoursWatering your yard in the early morning hours before the sun rises will greatly increase the amount of water that is soaked up by the grass. The hot afternoon sun will cause much of the water to evaporate before it has had a chance to soak into the ground.


Change an incandescent light bulb with an LED bulbIncandescent light bulbs have provided comfortable light by burning a filament for well over 100 years. By burning a filament for lighting purposes or, for that matter, a household of filaments, there is a significant amount of heat put off by the bulbs. LED (light emitting diodes) bulbs do not produce heat to provide lighting. Instead, LEDs produce light from within a semiconductor in which the electrons are charged. The light given off from an LED is the reaction that comes from the charging of the electrons inside the house. Reduce your cooling costs by replacing your incandescent bulbs.


Mitch, Line Worker

Jody, Accounting

Rob, Line Worker

Photos by Josh Banks.


Water your garden using a rain barrelA rain barrel collects the rain water from your roof and gutter system and stores it for use at a later time. Hook up a hose to the connection on the outside of the rain barrel and you have 30 or more gallons of on-demand water. By utilizing a rain barrel for watering a garden instead of using a hose connected to your home water service, you reduce the amount of water going down the storm sewer and you reduce your water bill costs.


6 Install a programmable thermostatA cool house is nice to come home to, but it isnt necessary throughout the whole day. Install a program-mable thermostat and set your air conditioner to turn on an hour before you arrive home. You will still come home to a comfortable temperature and you wont have the cooling costs of running your air conditioner all day.

Drink RPU waterRPU recently received recognition from the American Water Works Association for having the Best Tasting Drinking Water across southeast Minnesota. Quench your summer thirst and save money by choosing RPUs drinking water over pricey bottled water.


continued on next page

Jessica, Stores Clerk

Craig, Environmental

and Regulatory AffairsLana, Business Services

4 RPU Plugged In


Plant a treeReduce your cooling costs by strategically planting a shade tree near your house. The proper tree can provide shade throughout the day and give you the option to open windows on that side of the house, reducing the reliance on air conditioning. Work with a knowledgeable arborist to select the proper species of tree to plant, along with the ideal location. Always remember to contact Gopher State One Call before you start digging at 1.800.252.1166 or visit their website, www.gopherstateonecall.org.



Take a cooler, shorter showerIf youre looking for ways to stay cool in the summer, look no further than your shower. Dont let the water run while you wait for it to warm up. Turn the water on while you are in the shower. In the same time it would take to wait for warmer water to arrive, you could be halfway done with your shower.

Grill outEach time that you turn on your oven or stove to cook and prepare food, you lose heat into your home. Instead of using your stove or oven, cook your meal over an outside grill. Enjoy the taste and smells of a summer barbeque, while keeping the inside of your home cool.


Have a safe and enjoyable summer of 2012!Whatever you choose to do this summer to beat the heat or to save on your energy or water use, have a safe and enjoyable summer! Visit the RPU website at www.rpu.org for more energy- and water-saving information and for rebates available.

Denise, Receptionist

Craig, Water Operator

Jeff, Controls and Operations Assistant Melissa, Business Services


RPU Warns of UTILITY SCAMS This Summer

We have received several calls from customers who have been contacted over the phone or in person by people claiming to represent companies with utility-based products or services. RPU recommends that you be very cautious and consult an RPU representative before purchasing a product or signing up for a service.

RPU conducts business in-person at the RPU service center and over the phone Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. RPU does not have staff calling after business hours or over the weekend regarding billing.

There are instances where an RPU representative may come to your door to make you aware of a service outage or project going on in your neighborhood. Our representatives will have

RPU clearly marked on their uniforms and will have official RPU name badges.

RPU will never conduct business over the phone from a blocked or private number. If you receive a call from someone saying they are from RPU, the RPU phone number that they are calling from will be shown on caller ID.

RPU uses a number of security measures to ensure that we are talking to the correct person on the account. RPU recom-mends that customers be vigilant and use caution if they feel something is not right.

RPUs Customer Service phone number is 507.280.1500.

Where Does My Electricity Come From?

New Neighborhood Energy Challenge Date Just Announced!

When: Monday, August 13, 6:30 p.m.Where: Bamber Valley Elementary


Contact Ashley Robertson at 888.734.6365 or email at arobertson@mncee.org.

RPU receives all of its electricity via MISO (Midwest Independent System Operator), including the contracted purchases from SMMPA (Southern MN Municipal Power Agency). All of the generation in the area goes into the regional energy pool and all of the energy used comes from the same pool. The graph below represents the generation within the MISO footprint.

Coal 49.9%

Gas 21.78%

Nuclear 7.19%Oil/Gas 7%

Wind 5.39%Hydro 3.9%

Oil 2.5%Other 1.62%

Coal/Gas .24%Pet Coke .14%

Waste .14%

6 RPU Plugged In

Lake Zumbro Lake Level Historical Graph Now Available

Now its not only possible to see the real-time level of Lake Zumbro on the RPU website, but you can also view the historical levels graphed out over the past few days. Visit the RPU website at www.rpu.org and click on the Lake Zumbro Water Levels icon on the bottom right of the home page.

Energy Fun at the Fair

Games, prizes, hourly giveaways and learn how to save energy, too! Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) and Minnesota Energy Resources will be at the Olmsted County Free Fair on Friday, July 27, 2012. Visit our tent from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. for some energy fun and to enroll in the Neighborhood Energy Challenge our full-service residen-tial energy audit program. The Neighborhood Energy Challenge includes:

A Free Energy Workshop. Attendance in our free Saving Energy 101 workshop is mandatory to participate in the program and a great opportunity to learn new no- or low-cost strategies to stop energy waste, all while visiting with your neighbors. Free childcare is provided. Workshops are held several times a year, and the next workshop is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Monday, August 13, 2012, at Bamber Valley Elementary School.

Home Visit and Materials. At the workshop you will have the opportunity to sign up for a Home Visit, where our energy professionals will visit your home for an hour and a half to run diagnostic tests (like a blower door to test air leaks), install energy-saving materials, and find your homes best opportunities for saving energy and reducing your utility bills.

Help With Next Steps. If our crews find an opportunity for significant savings through installing additional insulation, attic air sealing, or replacing old heating equip-ment, we can make the next steps easy by connecting you with qualified contractors, financing, incentives, and rebates.

The Home Visit, Materials, and Help With Next Steps are all included for a one-time fee of only $40!

To learn more about the Neighborhood

Energy Challenge, visit RPUs website

at www.rpu.org. For energy-saving

games, prizes, and giveaways, well

see you at the Fair!


Highlights Due to cost reduction measures

implemented in 2009 and 2010, and continuing into 2011, there were no rate increases for either the Electric or Water Utility for 2011.

Despite national economic condi-tions, RPU continued to grow with 1,188 new electric customers and