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Our team is actively working to fix the issue. If you are experiencing a power outage, please check our Outage Map to see if it has already been reported. To report a power outage that does not appear on the map, please call 541-685-7000, select option 2 and follow the prompts.
Commissioners supportive of General Manager's recommendation to remove Leaburg DamFind Out More
On a chilly November day, third graders from Adams Elementary School in Eugene learned about the lifecycle of native salmon on a field trip to Lake Creek near Triangle Lake. The field trips take place all month as part of a program funded by EWEB grants. EWEB dedicates a portion of customer rates to inspiring kids to explore the wonders of science and learn about watershed health, water quality, and emergency preparedness.Find Out More
For EWEB, preparing for harsh winter storms is a year-round responsibility. While we can’t control the weather, we can make our electric infrastructure more resilient to withstand storms that bring snow, ice and wind to Eugene.Find Out More
At the Nov. 1st board meeting, EWEB Commissioners got an update on the budget and rates for next year and the EWEB quarterly report.Find Out More
Imagine if heavy snowfall and freezing rain hit Eugene this winter. Imagine damaged trees, road closures and widespread power outages. What would you do?Find Out More
Hundreds of landowners in the McKenzie River valley are working with EWEB to prevent future fires and protect the river by replanting burned properties and removing fuels like dead trees and underbrush.Find Out More
By partnering with ShakeAlert and the Oregon Hazards Lab, EWEB gets an early warning of the effects of earthquakes on hydropower facilities.Find Out More
EWEB works with watershed researchers, forest management agencies and local non-profits to identify threats to our water supply and public health, prioritize watershed restoration activities and help with long-term community recovery.Find Out More
EWEB held its Poster Contest for 5th grade students in our service territory for Public Power Week, October 2-8, receiving more than 100 entries from classrooms across the area.Find Out More
When access to pad mount transformers, cable, and smart meter chips tightened, EWEB only had one choice – double down on its core values, provide safe and reliable electricity. Below are the stories from EWEB staff about how they have navigated the ups and downs of this new frontier.Find Out More
EWEB's elected Board of Commissioners has voted to authorize General Manager Frank Lawson to pursue and negotiate the sale of the former EWEB headquarters building.Find Out More
EWEB’s Source Water Champions work year-round to protect our drinking water. They take water quality samples throughout the watershed, help our neighbors be better stewards, and coordinate multi-agency teams for restoration work and hazard mitigation.Find Out More
Local middle school students from around the area learned about the entire life cycle of salmon along the McKenzie River at Salmon Watch 2022, which was held at the EWEB spawning channel. The field trip took place during peak salmon spawning season, when fish that are at least two feet long are reaching the end of their journey from the ocean to their natal streams.Find Out More
EWEB is bringing back our annual poster contest for Public Power Week, and needs your help to select our top 5 winners!Find Out More
EWEB’s electric safety trailer is an interactive tool for the public to learn how to react in a potentially dangerous situation.Find Out More
Did you know that rental units comprise half of the available housing in Eugene? A 2017 study by the University of Oregon Business Consulting Group identified that more than 6,000 of those rentals are likely in need of energy upgrades. For this reason, our Customer Solutions team launched a new program this year to help tenants and property owners better understand the energy costs associated with their rentals, and to highlight savings opportunities from improvements such as duct sealing, insulation, and high efficiency heating systems.
For many of our customers, "affordability" is more than the cost per kilowatt hour for electricity. Energy efficiency plays an important role in how high an electric bill is. One way to measure efficiency is with a Home Energy Score (HES). Similar to the miles-per-gallon rating for a car, the U.S. Department of Energy's Home Energy Score communicates how efficient a home is based on its "envelope"—the ceilings, floors, walls and windows—as well as its heating, cooling and water heating systems. Tenants receive a Home Energy Score ranging from 1 to 10 after about an hour-long assessment by a state-certified home energy assessor. A score of 1 means the home would benefit from energy improvements, and a score of 10 means the home uses energy very efficiently. The report shows the home's current score, as well as the potential score after recommended upgrades. The report also shows estimated utility bill savings and carbon footprint reductions that could be achieved after investment in the energy-saving improvements.
In 2012 EWEB became a Home Energy Score Partner with U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the first utility in Oregon to do so. Since then, the DOE program has steadily gained momentum nationwide. In 2016 the Portland City Council approved an ordinance that will require homeowners to get a Home Energy Score before they put their house up for sale.
EWEB has offered on-site energy audits for homes (both owner-occupied and rentals) and businesses for a number of years, but the new HES program is focused exclusively on rental housing during this launch period.
"We care about energy efficiency because it helps our customers manage their bills and make them more affordable," says Matt Lutter, a specialist in our Customer Solutions department. "The program focuses on rental housing because many rentals are inefficient and costly to live in, and there are often significant barriers to making efficiency improvements in these homes."
One barrier is what is known as "split incentives." Property owners don't make efficiency investments because the renters pay the energy bills, and renters don't make investments in property they don't own.
"When rental owners see the Home Energy Score report, we hope they will be more likely to invest in the efficiency upgrades that will make their rentals more comfortable and affordable, even if they are not paying the utility bills," says Matt.
A Home Energy Score has other benefits for both landlords and tenants. Property owners who are looking for a competitive advantage can use the Home Energy Score to "market" their units to prospective tenants. Renters can compare the efficiency and costs of various units before signing a lease. The expectation is that, over time, this kind of transparency makes energy-efficient rental housing the sought-after standard for both owners and tenants.
A sample Home Energy Score report.
To get the program off the ground, we partnered with the University of Oregon's Department of Sustainability and the City of Eugene. In late 2016, EWEB trained nine interns from UO to become state-approved Home Energy Assessors. The City of Eugene paid the interns' wages, making this a cost-effective effort for EWEB. The City considers energy score adoption to be a high-priority action for reducing greenhouse gas emissions (as outlined in their Climate and Energy Action Plan), so the partnership supports that action as well.
The partnerships make the program a potential win for customers, students, EWEB, and the planet.
"In order for the program to be a success, it has been important that the students learn some core skills so they are able to safely and accurately collect the necessary data while they are in tenants' homes," says Matt. "These skills will also be valuable to the students as they seek employment in the building industry, both locally and abroad, since all buildings use energy and many of the concepts apply to a variety of building types."
Interns worked in pairs, inspecting various access points such as the attic and crawl spaces, hot water heater, and windows.
"It's been interesting to learn about different ceiling construction types and how that actually plays into the efficiency of a home," said intern Janet Haselden. "And thinking about how to make spaces more efficient by not having huge windows; the design really matters in a home."
Home Energy Assessors also have learned how to "think on their feet" and communicate their knowledge to the tenants. "Being knowledgeable and able to meet the customer's expectations is important because they trust EWEB," intern Jenefer Heredia said.
Janet and Jenefer are third and fourth-year architecture students who jumped on the opportunity to work for EWEB. "One of the appealing things to me was the fact that we would become certified [with the Construction Contractors Board], and that looks really great on a resume," Janet said.
Since the program launched in January, the interns have completed 215 home assessments, averaging about 10-15 per week. Many homes have received poor scores. After the UO spring term ends, Matt says we will evaluate the program and determine next steps, which could include things like publishing Home Energy scores to help tenants shop for affordable housing, refining and continuing the program into the fall, offering Home Energy Scores for multifamily housing, and adjusting the program delivery to better motivate owners to take action.
Matt has seen some property owners take action as a result of the Home Energy Score program, and is looking forward to seeing more. "The program attempts to deliver affordability to the renters who need it by helping the owners with needed energy upgrades," he says. "The owners see improved tenant retention while tenants save money and enjoy better living conditions. Some rentals also have had fossil fuel equipment replaced with efficient heat pumps, which helps reduce carbon pollution. We hope to prove that the program benefits rental property owners, their tenants, and the environment."
If you have questions about the Home Energy Score program, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4200 Roosevelt Blvd.
Eugene, OR 97402
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