ALP News

ALP Newsletter/ Bill Inserts

ALP Utilities issues our newsletter, The Hometown Connection and monthly bill inserts to keep our customers informed of the following: upcoming ALP events, construction, energy saving tips, rebates, city hall news, payment options and more.

Newsletters are sent quarterly and will be included in your paper bill or online statement.

Fall 2017
Summer 2017
Fall 2016

ALP News

News and Notices

ALP Utilities Electric Revenue Bond Rating of A+ Recently Affirmed By Fitch Ratings

November 30, 2017

ALEXANDRIA, MN — The credit analysis agency Fitch Ratings recently affirmed the A+ rating on ALP Utilities’ Electric Revenue Bonds. The affirmation allows ALP to hold down costs by borrowing money at lower interest rates. ALP General Manager, Al Crowser welcomed the affirmation, saying, “We are pleased that our bond rating from Fitch was maintained. This good rating allows us to continue to finance our electrical underground conversions with bonds at a reasonable interest rate.

The Fitch opinion

In their report, Fitch stated that, “ALP Utilities is a low-risk distribution provider with consistent financial operations, low retail rates and a favorable debt profile. All of which were key factors in affirming the rating. Fitch also stated, “ALP’s capital improvement plan through fiscal 2021 appears manageable with modest spending levels. Low debt levels, improved liquidity and ample rate flexibility position the utility well to absorb additional leverage programmed into the current capital plan.”

(See full report can be found here.)

Back to Top

ALP Utilities Is Public Power

October 1, 2017

Close to 2,000 cities and towns in the U.S. power their homes, businesses, and streets with public power — electricity that comes from a community-owned utility that the local government runs, just like it does its schools and libraries. Each public power utility is different, reflecting its hometown values and characteristics, but all have a common purpose: providing reliable electricity at a reasonable price, while protecting the environment. At its heart, public power is all about hometown decision making that puts customers first — because it is not-for-profit. Community members have a direct and powerful voice in utility decision making.

Public power works. Public power gives back. Public power cares.

How does it work? Public power has survived and thrived in America for well over a century. Citizen-owned public power utilities first appeared more than 100 years ago when communities created electric utilities to provide light and power to their citizens. The number of public power utilities has grown from fewer than a dozen in 1890 to nearly 2,000 today. While many utilities were sold to large corporations during the 20th century, others chose instead to preserve community ownership and local control of power supply.

Public power utilities often have to fight to keep their communities powered affordably and reliably. They push for effective competition in wholesale electric markets so they can get power at reasonable rates for their customers. They struggle to navigate a sea of often conflicting laws and regulations that constrain power supply sources and increase costs. And they must counter and defend against evolving threats to the security of their transmission and distribution grids. Through it all, they keep the lights on, improving lives every day.

How do we give back? Public power utilities have no stockholders and are driven by the singular mission to serve their customers. They measure success by how much money stays within the community through low rates and contributions to the city and town general funds, not by how much profit goes to often remote stockholders. There are no divided loyalties.

Public power residential customers pay about 14 percent lower electricity rates than private power customers, based on national averages. Public power utilities return to their communities 33 percent greater contributions than the state and local taxes paid by private companies.

How do we care? Neighbors look out for each other. That’s the power of community — and the strength of public power. Public power utilities go above and beyond to ensure reliability and serve our customers needs. Public power makes a difference, every day.

 

 

Back to Top

Scam Alert

September 29, 2017

Several businesses on ALP Utilities electrical service received a scam phone call recently. The caller stated the customer’s payment did not process and they needed to make a payment or their electrical service would be disconnected. ALP Utilities does not make collection phone calls demanding payment. If a customer is delinquent, notices will be sent by mail. We remind all customers to never give out banking or credit card information over the phone to an unknown caller. You should also ask the caller to verify your account number. Should you receive a call like this, please contact ALP and local law enforcement officials immediately. Thank you!

 

Back to Top

Minnesota Cold Weather Rule Notice

September 29, 2017

The Minnesota Legislature and the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission have issued a Cold Weather Rule which applies to certain residential customers from October 15 through April 15.

This notice is to inform customers about their rights and responsibilities under the Cold Weather Rule. These rights and responsibilities are designed to help customers with winter utility bills. You must act PROMPTLY. If you chose not to assert your rights or choose not to enter into a mutually acceptable payment schedule; your service may be disconnected.

Specifically, the Cold Weather Rule provides customers with the rights and responsibilities outlined in this brochure.

Back to Top

ALP UTILITIES RECOGNIZED AS A RELIABLE PUBLIC POWER PROVIDER

May 16, 2017

ALP Utilities has earned a Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3)® designation from the American Public Power Association for providing reliable and safe electric service. David Lynch, Assistant Director of Utility Operations at Marquette Board of Light and Power, Michigan and chair of the Association’s RP3 Review Panel, presented the designations on May 8 during the Association’s annual Engineering & Operations Technical Conference held in San Antonio, Texas.

The RP3 designation, which lasts for three years, recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four key disciplines: reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement. Criteria include sound business practices and a utility-wide commitment to safe and reliable delivery of electricity. ALP Utilities joins more than 220 public power utilities nationwide that hold the RP3 designation.

“Utilities that have earned an RP3 designation demonstrate public power’s emphasis on achieving leading practices and providing a high level of service to communities,” said Lynch. “We are proud to welcome all utilities earning this recognition for the first time and to those renewing their designations.”

“We’re honored to be recognized as a Reliable Public Power Provider,” said Al Crowser, General Manager of ALP Utilities. “Our staff works hard to provide reliable service and RP3 recognizes our commitment to serving the community.”

The American Public Power Association has offered the RP3 designation for 12 years now. The Association is the voice of not-for-profit, community-owned utilities that power 49 million people in 2,000 towns and cities nationwide. The Association advocates and advises on electricity policy, technology, trends, training, and operations.

Back to Top

2017 Public Power Essay Scholarship Contest

January 4, 2017

Application Deadline: March 15, 2017

LEROY MEYER MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP: ALP Utilities is offering a $1,000.00 scholarship to 2017 graduating seniors planning to attend an accredited post‐secondary institution and whose parents or legal guardian are customers on ALP Utilities service. Submit an essay to ALP Utilities by March 15, 2017 to be eligible for the scholarship contest. (The winning essay of the Leroy Meyer Memorial Scholarship will be submitted by ALP Utilities to Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association (MMUA), Tom Bovitz Memorial Scholarship Program, for an additional opportunity to win: $2,000, $1,500, $1,000 or $500.)

Click Here for Scholarship Information 

MISSOURI RIVER ENERGY SERVICES (MRES):Ten $1,000 Scholarships divided into two categories will be awarded. Five $1,000 scholarships will go to students whose parents are customers of MRES members (such as ALP Utilities) and are pursuing college degrees in fields related to the electric industry. Five $1000 scholarships will go to any student taking the Electrical Line Worker Program who could potentially be hired by MRES or a member utility. Apply on line at www.mrenergy.com 

Back to Top

Recycle Old Christmas Lights At ALP

December 13, 2016

Don’t know what to do with those old or no longer-working strings of holiday lights?  Making the switch to energy efficient LED holiday lights? Either way, recycle your old lights!

Recycle Your Holidays™ is a one-of-a-kind statewide holiday light recycling program in Minnesota created by the Recycling Association of Minnesota (RAM). 

 

Back to Top

ALP Utilities Public Power Scholarship Winner Announced

June 8, 2016

Katie Desautels of Alexandria, MN was presented with the ALP Utilities LeRoy Meyer Memorial Scholarship award of $1,000.00 on Tuesday, June 7, 2016. Her essay was also entered into Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association's (MMUA) Tom Bovitz Memorial Scholarship where she placed 2nd and received an additional $1,500.00.  Katie's essay was based on the idea that Public Power is Good For All Of Us. It can be read here. 

 

Back to Top

Customers Beware!

August 22, 2016

October, 2014: ALP Utilities is aware that there are companies sending invitations to a free dinner for two at local restaurants. Often times, these companies are selling technologies and equipment that are promised to significantly cut your energy costs. Sometimes equipment is overpriced and often times will not deliver the savings that are promised. If you ever have questions about a certain technology that could save you energy, DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT OUR OFFICE! We are here to look out for your best interest and will answer any questions that you have!

 Also note that the Minnesota Department of Commerce (DOC) issued a consumer alert encouraging Minnesota homeowners to think twice before installing radiant barriers in their attics. There have been dozens of reports of salespeople pitching radiant barrier products in flyers and at free dinners throughout Minnesota. The DOC wants all local consumers to know that radiant barriers are not an effective means to reduce heating and cooling loads in Minnesota homes.

 “Many Minnesota consumers have been duped into installing radiant barriers based on false promises of substantial energy savings” said Commerce commissioner Mike Rothman. “We strongly urge all consumers to be cautious, ask questions, and explore other reputable means to make their homes and businesses more energy efficient.”

 For more information on radiant barriers, refer to this article from the DOC: Radiant Barriers and Attics. (http://mn.gov/commerce/energy/topics/efficiency/Building-Envelope/Radiant-Barriers-Attics.jsp) If ever you are approached to purchase this type of equipment or any device that is guaranteed to save you energy, please do not hesitate to call our office to ask if it is viable. Quite often, if it seems too good to be true, it more than likely is.

 

Back to Top

ALP Utilities, recognized for exceptional commitment to protecting community drinking water supply

April 14, 2016

The City of Alexandria’s municipal utility, ALP Utilities is being recognized for its exceptional commitment to protecting the community’s drinking water supply. ALP Utilities wellhead protection team was presented a certificate signed by Governor Mark Dayton at ALP Utilities on March 12, 2016.

In a letter to the city, Commissioner of Health Edward Ehlinger commended ALP as a “leader and fine example for other communities in the state as they seek to safeguard their source of drinking water.”

ALP has taken an active role in protecting drinking water from leaking fuel tanks and industrial pollutants found in the area. The water meets all safe drinking water standards with treatment, yet ALP is working to pass an ordinance to prevent any future contamination of their water source. The ordinance has been reviewed during public hearings and will be brought to city council for approval in 2016.

 ALP Utilities has also aided the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency in studying a plume of petroleum from the Magellan Pipeline Terminal leak. The petroleum is not currently causing any problems for the drinking water, but ALP is helping state agencies monitor the encroaching plume.

 ALP has been active in monitoring, well sampling and analysis. Scott Deitz, ALP Utilities Operations Manager explains, being proactive is the best approach. “We have been keeping our ears to the ground.  If we have a vulnerability to our drinking water supply, we want to know about it.” They have over 15 years of analytical data and reports on file. Because groundwater mitigation efforts of pumping and contaminant removal haven’t stopped the plume, ALP has been kept on their toes in preparation.   As a result of this study, ALP has been active in supplying city water to residents whose wells have contamination.  Once they are connected, ALP has drawn on its own funds to seal the unused wells.

 According to George Minerich, MDH Principal Planner, “The wellhead protection team has accomplished one of the largest inventories by locating wells in source water protection history for the Northwest area.  They have identified and evaluated approximately 800 wells to date, and have submitted that information to MDH.  Furthermore, ALP has their own well sealing program where they pay the cost of sealing unused wells.  They have a process in place where as soon as a residence is hooked up to city water, they have a licensed well driller contracted to seal the wells.” Since 2005, in accordance with their WHP plan, the city has sealed 173 wells and spent $39,414.71 to protect their groundwater.

ALP Utilities plant supervisor, Keith Avery stated, “Achieving success through effort has been our emphasis from the very beginning of our wellhead protection.  Over a decade ago, with advice from Minnesota Rural Water Association Dave Neiman, we decided to create a tool instead of just a plan. And as such, we were able to use that tool as a resource for the future.”

Scott Deitz stated, “All of their success can be attributed to the dedicated, skilled professionals that encompass the wellhead protection team”. (These team members are: Scott Deitz-ALP operations manager, Keith Avery-ALP plant supervisor, Mike Weber-City planner, Jesse Wohlfeil-ALP GIS manager, Scot Spranger-ALASD plant superintendent, Steve Traut- Steven M. Traut Wells, Inc., Steve Henry- Douglas SWCD/ Local water management plan, George Minerich and Jenilynn Marchand-MDH, and Marilyn Bayerl-Bayerl Water Resources.)

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) works with public water suppliers to develop and implement wellhead protection plans. ALP is one of 433 public water suppliers implementing wellhead protection plans for their drinking water. The protection plans involve efforts to prevent contamination of the source of drinking water. Prevention is used as the first step in protecting public health, and is increasingly important as Minnesota faces threats to water quality.

 

 

Back to Top

ALP Utilities board member receives community leadership award from Missouri River Energy Services

May 18, 2016

Ed Rooney of Alexandria, MN., was recently honored with the Missouri River Energy Services (MRES) Community Leader Award. This award was established in 2003 to honor individuals who have provided many years of leadership and service to their communities and utilities.  MRES is one of ALP Utilities’ power suppliers and serves 60 municipal electric utilities in four states.

Rooney has served on the ALP Utilities Board of Directors from 1980 through 2015 serving as chairman for four years.  Ed has been an excellent community leader in Alexandria and has been a passionate advocate for Public Power in general and for ALP Utilities in particular. (Ed stepped down from the ALP Utilities Board earlier this year).

He is a small business owner yet has devoted a lot of time to our local municipal utility.  As a major owner of downtown property, Ed has been instrumental in maintaining a vibrant downtown retail sector. Also, he has served as a wonderful mentor for many other business owners as well as his many employees over the years.

Ed Rooney received the MRES Community Leader Award from Harrold Schiebout, President of MRES.

 

 

Back to Top

ANNUAL WATER MAIN FLUSHING BEGINS

March 18, 2016

This notice is for all City of Alexandria water customers. ALP Utilities will begin its spring/ summer water main flushing program within the City limits starting this week and continuing for approximately 6-8 weeks. You may notice brief periods of low water pressure or a discoloration in your water, however, this condition will be temporary. If discoloration occurs let your cold water tap run. This will help to clear it up. If you have questions, you may contact ALP at 320-763-6501.

Back to Top

Rebates now offered for Air Conditioner/Heat Pump Tune-ups

March 18, 2016

Rebates now offered for Air Conditioner/Heat Pump Tune-ups

Warmer weather is on the way, so now is the time to get your cooling system ready for summer.

ALP Utilities offers a $30 rebate when you have a contractor tune up your central air-conditioner or air-source heat pump. As part of the service, a contractor will clean coils and drains, check the refrigerant charge and belts, and inspect the entire system, including fins.

Having your cooling system tuned up helps ensure it is working as efficiently as possible, and helps prevent future problems and unexpected costs.

ALP Utilities offers a variety of cash incentives to customers who install energy-efficient equipment such as central air conditioners and heat pumps, as well as ductless mini-split systems. Rebates are also available for programmable thermostats, as well as variable speed motors in new furnaces or air handlers.

 

 

Back to Top

NOTICE OF SCHEDULED POWER OUTAGE: Tuesday, August 16 at 9AM

August 11, 2016

NOTICE OF SCHEDULED POWER OUTAGE: ALP Utilities will have a planned power outage along County Road 11 & West Lake Carlos on Tuesday, August 16, 2016 beginning at 9am. The estimated duration time is 2 hours. This outage is related to underground construction going on in this area. A map of the affected area can be viewed here:https://www.facebook.com/alputilities/?fref=ts 

Back to Top

Special Meeting of the ALP Utilities Board Of Public Works

June 7, 2016

The agenda is as follows:

1. Approve Construction Bid for 2016 Electric Distribution Improvement Projects.

Back to Top

ALP SCAM NOTICE

November 4, 2015

ALP Utilities (ALP) warns utility customers to be on guard for a scam targeting payment on their utility bill. At least three local businesses have been contacted at this point.

Customers are being contacted by phone and told that their power or water will be turned off in a short time if they do not make immediate payment on their utility bill.

Utility customers are being asked for personal and financial information to make the payment and may be directed to send a money order to an address other than our local business office.

You should know that ALP does not shut power or water off after our normal business hours. Also, customers with pending disconnections would have receive multiple letters from ALP prior to disconnection.

Any customer who receives a call demanding immediate payment should hang up and contact ALP at (320) 763-6501 before providing any personal information over the phone.

ALP asks that any customers that have given credit card information to someone over the phone, posing as an ALP employee, should contact the card issuer and alert the bank to the possible fraud.

ALP also asks that customers who suspect they've been involved in the scam to call ALP and local police.

 

Back to Top