Local Interventions for Financial Empowerment Through Utility Payments (LIFT-UP)

In addition to revisiting the portion of RPU Electric Rate that are put into a fixed charge, I also believe that we can do a better job at reaching out to those who are struggling with utility payments. I think there are perhaps better ways to handle bad credit score deposits. Rick Morris did an excellent job outlining how we can do more to serve the community at Monday’s council meeting.

Randy Staver and I both stumbled upon Local Interventions for Financial Empowerment Through Utility Payments (LIFT-UP) at the recent National League of Cities City Summit. This seems like a good program to pursue in Rochester.

We can pretend that the people who are struggling to pay utility bills are just lazy or wasteful. In reality, housing and childcare are enormous struggles for many families. We are better off identifying and working with struggling families than we are just punishing them with more fees and interest. I have added this program to my 2018 to do list at RPU.



  1. Michael, I have asked that rpu adopt a rate setting process the actually gives the public the opportunity to be heard, fortunately I was able to enlist rick and the Sierra Club, as well as wil, this year, three years ago I was the only one commenting, but none of us were permitted to say anything during a formal, recorded part of the meeting, only during the brief public comment period, at both rpu board meeting and the city council!
    Lease add this to your list.

  2. Good to see you and Mr. Staver agree on this Mr. Wojcik! Rick Morris is doing some real research on these energy initiatives and teaching people about how the municipal energy environments relate to the general citizen. If elected to serve our city at the MN House of Representatives district 25B, I will look forward to working with you, president Staver, council & RPU and find the common ground for Rochester. Some say the elected city officials need to stay on the non-partisan pathway. We gotta make common sense the clear path for good energy policy in Rochester. I must say passion is a good thing for all sides of the debate.

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