Our Mission

The mission of Elk River Municipal Utilities is to provide our customers with safe, reliable, cost-effective, and quality long-term electric and water utility services. To communicate and educate our customers in the use of utility services, programs, policies, and future plans. These products and services will be provided in an environmentally and financially responsible manner.

Our Vision

Provide exceptional services and value to those we serve.

Our Fundamentals

Safety, Reliability, and Quality of Utility Services

Customer Service and Employee Development

Competitive Rates and Financial and Organizational Health

Our Values



Honest, accountable, and united in all that we do



Services that reflect excellence, dependability, and expertise



Respectful and engaged interactions that are timely and clear



A culture that protects our customers, employees, and assets



Provide the best value for the services we offer

Our History

ERMU has seen tremendous growth throughout the past century and into the next. Much has changed since our rich history began with a businessman who was determined to bring power to the Village of Elk River.

In June of 1915, businessman and real estate developer Fred Waterman incorporated the Elk River Power and Light Company, now known as Elk River Municipal Utilities. Construction began on the hydroelectric power plant, which included a 200-horsepower turbine engine housed in a 30-foot by 30-foot structure located next to the dam on Orono Lake. Elk River residents were eager to enter the world of modern conveniences that electric appliances could provide: incandescent lamps, flat irons, electric fans, vacuum cleaners, and much more. In 1920 the municipal water system was created, and the first water tower was constructed as a means to protect the city after several fires scorched the downtown area. This was just the beginning of providing quality long-term electric and water utility service to our beloved community.

Today, ERMU serves more than 13,200 electric customers in Elk River and the surrounding area. With 635 miles of electric lines, annual energy sales reach nearly 330 million kilowatt hours. ERMU’s water system supplies water to approximately 5,600 customers, with 126 miles of water mains and annual water sales exceeding 950 million gallons.

ERMU has played a large role in shaping the community of Elk River and surrounding areas and continues to grow.

Read A History of Elk River Municipal Utilities, published in 2015 in celebration of our 100 years of service, to learn more.

Energy City


In 1997, Elk River was selected from 30 other Minnesota communities by the Minnesota Environmental Initiative for the Energy City designation. A partnership between city government, local energy providers, and local businesses, Energy City serves as a geographic focal point for the demonstration of efficient and renewable energy products, services, and technologies in the state.

Learn more about Energy City and local initiatives.