A new digital fire lookout tower will soon be able to spot small fires before they threaten communities and infrastructure in the upper McKenzie River Valley, thanks to a new ALERTWildfire camera installed Monday on a communications tower owned and operated by the Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB).Find Out More
As part of EWEB's relicensing requirements for the Carmen-Smith Hydroelectric Project, we are reducing the risk of birds colliding with electricity.Find Out More
It's called an FUV, a fun utility vehicle. And we are so having FUN! We are proud to have a small fleet of electric vehicles. Two to be exact.Find Out More
As a public utility, it is important EWEB check in with customers to see how we are performing. We invite you to share your feedback and opinions.Find Out More
EWEB is offering an updated suite of environmental programs designed for customers who want to save money, water and energy while taking their commitment to sustainability to the next level. At the same time, EWEB is also injecting $100,000 of additional funding into our solar photovoltaic (PV) program.Find Out More
On April 12, EWEB dispatched a two-person crew with a bucket truck to assist with repairs and restoring electric service for Columbia River Public Utility District, which serves customers in Columbia County, north of Portland.Find Out More
EWEB is moving forward with analyzing four options to remediate the Leaburg Canal, ranging from full decommissioning to complete restoration, with two options in between.Find Out More
As a public utility, owned by the people of Eugene, it’s important for us to be open and transparent with our customer-owners. The following State of the Utility Address, delivered by General Manager Frank Lawson at the March 1 EWEB Board meeting, highlights key events, accomplishments and challenges of 2021.Find Out More
Here’s an hour of one-time tasks and a few more behavior change goals that will help you reduce your water use, save energy, lower your carbon footprint and save money on your EWEB bill!Find Out More
New programs provide customers opportunities to invest in local environment, watershed protection, and future climate scientistsFind Out More
Here in Eugene, where we are fortunate to have one of the cleanest power portfolios in the nation, electrification presents opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support climate recovery goals.Find Out More
EWEB is offering new programs to help Eugene electrify its transporation sector - tackling our largest source of carbon emissionsFind Out More
Just as high winds with gusts of more than 30 mph arrived in the Oregon Cascades early Thursday, EWEB has completed aerial trimming around its Carmen-Smith transmission line using a helicopter with saw attachments to trim branches and treetops.Find Out More
EWEB, City of Eugene project reduces City Facilities carbon footprint by 16%Find Out More
While world leaders debate climate action, EWEB reflects on our community's climate successesFind Out More
Eugene Water & Electric Board is exploring the impacts of widespread electrification on our community. In this study, EWEB will hypothesize various electrification scenarios and assess potential impacts to power supply, demand, local infrastructure, and community greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
It is fitting that EWEB announce the study during the 50th anniversary year of Earth Day, as the theme for Earth Day 2020 is climate action, a topic that is directly related to electrification.
Electrification is a term for replacing direct fossil fuel use (e.g., natural gas, heating oil, gasoline) with electricity in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Stabilizing Earth's temperature requires greenhouse gas emissions to reach net-zero by 2050.
Here in Eugene, where we are fortunate to have one of the cleanest power portfolios in the nation, electrifying end-use technologies presents both potential opportunities and challenges.
"Locally, our customers want to do their part to address the climate crisis, and they are looking to EWEB to enable a transformation to clean, sustainable energy use," said Frank Lawson, EWEB's General Manager. "However, without a thoughtful and intentional approach to electrification, we risk creating a diminished carbon benefit and unintended effects such as declining reliability of the grid, or price increases that make electricity unaffordable, particularly for low-income communities."
The impacts of electrification could be far-reaching, dramatically altering how much, when and where electricity is used. Locally and regionally, significant infrastructure investments will be needed to support changing demand. At the same time, the loss of capacity from coal plant retirements could affect the price and availability of electricity.
Despite these challenges, if done right, there are many opportunities to support our community's climate recovery goals through the smart electrification of transportation, space heating and water heating in both residential and commercial sectors. The study will help EWEB understand and prepare for various electrification futures, including the resources, technology, and infrastructure that will be needed to meet customers' changing energy needs, including fuel and electricity impacts.
The study aims to answer five questions:
The study is part of EWEB's larger and ongoing Electricity Supply Planning (ESP) effort. Electricity Supply Planning includes a broad set of actions, such as evaluating power portfolio options, negotiating power purchase agreements, managing infrastructure, and developing customer products and services, all with the goal continuing to serve our community over the long-term with clean, affordable and reliable power.
EWEB management and Board of Commissioners determined in March 2020 that an electrification study will be the focus of the utility's near-term efforts due to broad interest in electrification from customers and the Board.
"We have heard strong feedback from the Board and community that the most relevant and timely issue for EWEB relative to power resource planning should be electrification, specifically, how much electrification can EWEB handle, what kind, how fast, and what's the net carbon benefit," said Frank Lawson. "These are relevant and pressing questions given that most widely accepted solutions to the climate crisis involve aggressive electrification of energy end uses."
The electrification study will take priority over EWEB's previously scheduled Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) work, a process aimed at helping EWEB make decisions about long-term power generation resources. EWEB provides annual updates to the Board on the status of our existing IRP, with the last update on September 2019 showing that EWEB's portfolio remains adequate for meeting our resource needs for at least the next five years.
"EWEB has no immediate need for new power resources, so it makes sense to postpone the IRP for the time being," said Frank Lawson. "On the other hand, electrification of transportation and buildings can create opportunities and challenges for EWEB."
The electrification study will be completed in phases, with Phase 1 focusing on potential changes to demand and consumption patterns, generation needs, and environmental impacts from electrification of small vehicles, water and space heating. A first draft for Phase 1 review will be made available by mid-summer of this year, with the invitation for Board and public review and guidance. Phase 2 of the study will focus on infrastructure, costs and influence of energy efficiency and demand-side flexibility, and is targeted for completion in early 2021.
Throughout this work, EWEB will take steps to inform, educate and listen to customers.
"As we refocus our short-term efforts from an IRP to an electrification study, our goals for public engagement remain the same," said Frank Lawson. "We want to hear input that helps inform and guide utility decisions, and ensure that customers who choose to engage in the process have opportunities to do so."
We invite customers to sign-up to receive news and updates on EWEB's Electricity Supply Planning work.
With results of the electrification study in-hand, EWEB will be poised to direct our efforts back to Integrated Resource Planning. We expect to take up the next IRP in 2023.
4200 Roosevelt Blvd.
Eugene, OR 97402
Phone hours: 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.