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RPU board wants you to pay more in 2016

The Rochester Public Utilities Board approved 2016 rate increases of 6 percent for water and 1.7 percent for electricity during its meeting Tuesday.

The board now sends the rate increases to the Rochester City Council. The council is expected to vote on the rate increases on Nov. 16.

Board Chairman Jerry Williams pointed out that while rates had increased this year also, RPU had kept them flat during most of the economic downturn.

If the new rates are approved, the average residential customer that uses 5,236 gallons per month would see their monthly bill go up 61 cents in 2016. That would follow the 2015 increase of 3.5 percent that added about 41 cents to the average customer's monthly bill.

The 6 percent rate increase also would apply to commercial and industrial users.


Under the board's recommendation, electric rates will increase 1.7 percent next year.

One driver of that increase is Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency's plan to raise its raises by 6 percent in 2016. The board was told that every one percent of SMMPA's rate

increase will cost RPU an estimated $1 million.

This electric increase follows a 3.5 percent increase this year and a 3 percent jump in 2014.

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