This unique opportunity to reduce the infrastructure footprint and maintenance costs will also improve wildfire mitigation because less infrastructure means less chance of ignition or damage from a fire.Find Out More
We are working to ensure our systems are ready to perform through extreme heat. Check out tips and resources to help you stay safe and comfortable while conserving energy.Find Out More
At this rodeo, power poles take the place of bulls and electric workers stand in for cowboys.Find Out More
EWEB's new map displays water quality sampling results and can advise McKenzie River recreationalists where to avoid areas with toxic algaeFind Out More
How has EWEB prepared to deliver power and water to all these athletes and spectators from around the world?Find Out More
Eugene Water & Electric Board Commissioners are looking to the future in an uncertain time.Find Out More
EWEB’s Board of Commissioners approved the utility’s first Wildfire Mitigation Plan during the July 5 Board meeting.Find Out More
EWEB will continue the annual closure of our College Hill Reservoir over the Fourth of July holiday and prohibit fireworks on the property grounds.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
On June 18, with the help of community neighbors, EWEB inaugurated a new emergency water station at the Lane County Fairgrounds.Find Out More
The tour focused on the coordinated response to the Holiday Farm Fire, emphasizing the effectiveness of large-scale floodplain enhancement projects for mitigating the impacts of sedimentation and increasing water temperatures.Find Out More
EWEB exceeded drinking water safety standards in 2021 for every type of contaminant regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Oregon Health Authority. The utility has never failed to meet the standards.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
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
“With over $1 billion in assets at EWEB, how do we know we're working on the right ones?”
That’s how EWEB Chief Operating Officer Karen Kelley opened her presentation to the utility’s elected commissioners at the July 5, 2022 public meeting.
“The answer is planning, and lots of it,” said Karen.
The July meeting kicked off a multi-month planning process that will culminate in December with adoption of a 2023 budget and rates for electric and water customers.
In 2022, residential rates increased for the first time in five years. Looking ahead, a variety of long-term critical projects coupled with short-term supply chain and inflationary pressures and a dynamic power supply market are likely to impact the prices customers pay for water and power.
“We’re starting to see more dynamics in the power supply market driven by climate change, evolving government regulations, and rapidly advancing technology,” said EWEB General Manager Frank Lawson. EWEB buys and sells power on the wholesale market, and those power prices are increasing and becoming more volatile. “They vary by minute, by hour and pretty significantly by season,” said Frank.
The cost for EWEB to purchase power and bring it to Eugene represents a significant portion of the electric utility's budget—almost 40 cents of every dollar in your EWEB bill goes to purchased power costs. We generate around 20 percent of the community's power using EWEB-owned or co-owned resources, and the remaining 80 percent comes from Bonneville Power Administration, other power purchase agreements, and wholesale market purchases. In the 2022 budget, purchased power costs were $21 million higher than the previous year.
Following purchased power costs, the second largest utility expense is electric and water infrastructure investments, which comprise around 20 percent of your total utility bill.
EWEB plans for major infrastructure investments through our Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), a 10-year plan for rehabilitating, replacing, or installing new infrastructure and spreading the costs over many years to avoid having to raise rates significantly in any one year to pay for those improvements.
“The 10-year capital plans are updated annually to meet our customer expectations on the stewardship of their resources,” said Karen Kelley. “We must consider employee and public safety, consequence of equipment failure, probability of failure, current condition and operability, anticipated future condition, customer demand and load both present and future, regulations and compliance, and life cycle costs, all while leaving flexibility to address emergent needs and much, much more.”
To meet the current and future needs of our community and ensure reliable service, some of the projects we are planning and budgeting for include:
Although these are long-term, multi-year projects, the planning work is impacted by current economic conditions. Early projections for next year’s budget indicate $102 million in spending for capital projects, an increase of about $18 million over 2022 projections, primarily due to inflation and supply chain impacts.
The July meeting was the first in a series of public meetings during which your elected Board of Commissioners will provide feedback and direction on spending for major capital projects and potential price changes for customers.
Summer through fall, EWEB staff use direction from the Board to develop a proposed spending budget for the following year. With the exception of funding for large infrastructure projects, EWEB aims to keep rate increases in line with general inflation.
The final budget is adopted in December following public hearings during which our customer-owners are invited to provide testimony on any proposed adjustments. The first public hearing on the upcoming budget is scheduled for Oct. 4, 2022.
4200 Roosevelt Blvd.
Eugene, OR 97402
Phone hours: 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.