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Executive Summary

Introduction to the Climate Guidebook

EWEB’s Climate Guidebook v2.0 is a reference resource that articulates how EWEB is implementing its Board-approved Climate Change Policy (Strategic Direction Policy #15 – SD15) and how EWEB’s work intersects with climate issues. It is structured based on the five areas outlined in SD15, with a chapter for each:

  1. Climate Policy
  2. Power Supply & Transmission
  3. Customer Decarbonization
  4. Climate Impacts on EWEB – Resiliency & Adaptation
  5. EWEB’s Internal Operations

The Guidebook seeks to serve the needs of a variety of internal audiences (EWEB staff) and external audiences (customers and community members). It is a “living document” that will be updated periodically. Annually, readers can expect significant updates in April, in celebration of Earth Day.

EWEB staff have developed a public outreach plan to solicit and document public feedback and refine future content within the Guidebook to meet community needs.

Explore this webpage: Climate Policy | Power Supply & Transmission | Customer Decarbonization | Climate Impacts on EWEB -- Resilency & Adaptation | EWEB’s Internal Operations

Climate Policy

EWEB Climate Change Policy SD15 – Climate Policy Section

The Board authorizes, delegates, and directs the General Manager to participate in local, state, and regional efforts to encourage, develop and enact measures to minimize and/or mitigate GHG emissions that contribute to climate change. Consistent with Board Policy (GP13), prior to legislative sessions the Board develops and guides EWEB’s positions relative to legislation, including those related to climate and environmental policy supporting this directive.

Restoration work on the McKenzie River. Courtesy of Brent Ross, McKenzie River Trust Restoration work on the McKenzie River. Courtesy of Brent Ross, McKenzie River Trust

Strategic Importance & Connections with Other Guidebook Sections

Policy actions at the federal, regional, state, and local levels influence EWEB’s work on climate change and progress in meeting climate goals. These policies connect to all the other areas of SD15 including power supply and transmission, customer decarbonization, climate impacts on EWEB, and even EWEB’s internal operations.

Recent policies passed in Oregon and in neighboring states (especially in Washington and California) impact the types, costs, and quantities of available power supplies within regional power markets, as well as how we must account for power purchases to track progress towards policy goals. Regulatory and voluntary initiatives aimed at improving regional power adequacy and resiliency are also changing how western power markets operate.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) (sometimes known as the Infrastructure and Investment in Jobs Act, or the IIJA) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), as well as state incentive programs, are offering significant new funding sources for energy efficiency, electrification, new technology solutions, and much more. These relate to the programs EWEB offers our customers and those that EWEB can take advantage of to decarbonize our own operations. Many of these programs also seek to leverage opportunities to improve climate adaptation and climate resiliency while simultaneously addressing environmental justice and equity issues in our communities.

Content currently included in v2.0:

  • Policy summaries and links for climate initiatives at the federal, regional, state, and local levels
    • Global/Federal: The Paris Accord, BIL/IIJA, IRA, SEC Enforcement Task Force on Climate & ESG
    • Regional: Western Energy Imbalance Market (EIM); Extended Day Ahead Market (EDAM); Western Regional Adequacy Program (WRAP); Western Climate Initiative (WCI); Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI); Regional Climate Forecasts and Analyses
    • California: AB-32 Cap-and-trade; Low Carbon Fuels Standard; SB-100 100 Percent Clean Energy Act; Tailpipe Emissions Standards; California Independent System Operator (CAISO)
    • Washington: I-937 Energy Independence Act, Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA), Climate Commitment Act (CCA), Clean Fuels Standard
    • Oregon: Executive Order 20-04; Clean Electricity Standard; Clean Fuels Program; Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Plan; Renewable Portfolio Standard; Emissions Performance Standard
    • Eugene: Climate Recovery Ordinance; CAP 2.0
  • Principles to guide EWEB investment of staff time and financial resources:
    • Carbon Policy & GHG Reduction Principles
    • Distributed Generation Principles
    • Green Hydrogen Principles
    • EWEB Rate Design Principles

Content planned for future Guidebook Versions:

  • Additional details about federal funding opportunities under the BIL/IIJA and IRA
  • Additional principles to guide EWEB investment of staff time and financial resources

Power Supply & Transmission

EWEB Climate Change Policy SD15 – Power Supply & Transmission Section

The Board is committed to supporting a low-carbon electric power portfolio that maintains, on a planning basis, over 90% of annual energy from carbon-free resources and targets over 95% of annual energy from carbon-free resources by 2030 to the extent possible and practical without distinct adverse impacts to customer-owners.

Using the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) process including final adoption by resolution (GP7), the Board will work with the General Manager to establish the long-term (20-year) principles, priorities, approaches, definitions (including carbon-free, carbon intensity), measurements, and goals for the electric generation portfolio, demand response, conservation and energy efficiency, and customer impact limitations (including but not limited to reliability, cost, and equity) supporting this directive

Strategic Importance & Connections with Other Guidebook Sections

EWEB is unique in Oregon as a public utility that both owns generation resources and relies on the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) for a share of the federal power system. EWEB is also an active participant in the regional energy market.

EWEB’s long-term power supply decisions must be made within the context of state and regional climate policy and changing regulations, rising energy demands via customer decarbonization / electrification efforts, and the physical realities of a changing climate on temperatures and hydro conditions. Additionally, EWEB must live our values and maintain a focus on affordability.

The climate benefits of electrification depend on both the cost and the carbon content of electric power. Keeping rates low is climate action. If the shift to low-carbon power supplies causes a material increase in electric rates, customers will feel less incentive to electrify, and the overall cost burden on average customers will increase.

Your EWEB Bill - Where Does Your Dollar Go? (2023) Figure 1: Your EWEB Bill - Where Does Your Dollar Go? (2023)

Since power purchases represent the largest share of each customer dollar EWEB receives, this is especially important when thinking about how we source our power. Additionally, any carbon reduction benefit of electrification is directly related to the carbon emissions associated with generating electricity. EWEB’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) contains a requirement to meet the SD15 goal of getting to 95% carbon-free resources on a planning basis. Actual annual emissions will be influenced by real customer demand (driven by local weather patterns and customer behavior) and EWEB’s changing need to rely on market purchases to balance customer demand and resources continuously.

Content currently included in v2.0:

  • EWEB’s 2020 and 2021 Electrification Studies showing expected load growth through 2040
  • EWEB’s 2023 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP)

Content planned for future Guidebook Versions:

  • Conservation Potential Assessment and Demand Response Analysis
  • 2025 Integrated Resource Plan

Customer Decarbonization

EWEB Climate Change Policy SD15 – Customer Decarbonization Section

The Board further authorizes, delegates, and directs the General Manager to assist customers with achieving their GHG emission reduction goals through partnerships, technical assistance, resources, and programs that support, but are not limited to, energy efficiency, alternative fuels, electric and water conservation, electrification, and carbon offsets and sequestration.

Long-term conservation, energy efficiency, and demand-response goals are established as part of the IRP process. Additional program objectives, incentives and budgets will be established annually, as applicable, and/or through revisions to the strategic plan.

Strategic Importance & Connections with Other Guidebook Sections

Since 2011, EWEB has worked to offset load growth (community electricity demand) with investments in conservation and energy efficiency. Current circumstances require a deeper look at how EWEB will move forward with initiatives to support community and customer decarbonization goals. New drivers are changing both the availability of low-carbon energy options and the timeline that such alternatives might be implemented within EWEB’s customer base. These drivers include new regulations, new expectations from regulatory bodies (e.g., Securities and Exchange Commission), as well as end consumers, new ambitious corporate GHG reduction goals, federal and state incentive programs, and changing prices.

Connections also exist between EWEB’s IRP power supply planning process and our approach to customer programs as EWEB seeks to define the relevant price thresholds for “cost-effective” energy efficiency and demand response programs. As society undergoes the largest energy transformation since the industrial revolution, there are additional opportunities to simultaneously understand and mitigate impacts to diverse community populations and increase our resilience to natural disasters.

Content currently included in v2.0:

  • Information on existing Green Options customer programs and incentives that help customers decarbonize:
    • Live Green: Energy Conservation Programs for Residential Customers
    • Work Green: Energy Conservation for Commercial Customers (General Service)
    • Move Green: Programs to Support Electric Mobility
    • Lead Green: Advanced Solutions for Climate Innovators
  • Appendix D – EWEB’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Policy SD23
  • Appendix E – EWEB’s Carbon Intensity Guidance
  • Appendix F – EWEB’s Role in City of Eugene’s CAP2.0

Content planned for future Guidebook Versions:

  • Definitions and metrics regarding how EWEB programs reach and support diverse segments of our customer base
  • EWEB Enterprise Solutions (EES) implementation: the technology and process transformation needed to enable EWEB’s ability to deliver drinking water and electric services in a dynamic future
  • Rate design analysis

Climate Impacts on EWEB -- Resilency & Adaptation

EWEB Climate Change Policy SD15: Climate Impacts on EWEB – Resiliency & Adaptation Section

Consistent with resiliency initiatives included in EWEB’s approved strategic plan, the Board directs the General Manager to evaluate and enact measures, as necessary and appropriate, to prepare for and minimize the effects of climate change that could impact EWEB’s water and electric supply and infrastructure, damaging EWEB’s resiliency and reliability.

Strategic Importance & Connections with Other Guidebook Sections

EWEB defines resiliency as the ability to reduce the likelihood, magnitude, and duration of sudden or gradual disruptive events through risk mitigation, emergency preparedness and response, and recovery strategies.”

More than 100 years ago, EWEB was created to enable local control of vital community resources in the face of a public health emergency when a typhoid epidemic struck Eugene in the early 1900s. Now, the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute (OCCRI) has identified a series of specific threats expected for Lane County based on best practices in climate modeling. These threats include heat waves, heavy rains, flooding, wildfire, changes in ocean temperatures and chemistry, coastal hazards, drought, expansion of non-native invasive species, reduced air quality, and loss of wetlands. EWEB is planning for these threats in coordination with local partners through the Eugene-Springfield Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan, as well as through EWEB’s Wildfire Mitigation Plan. EWEB also has a robust watershed protection program to reduce the threats to the McKenzie River, which is Eugene’s sole source of drinking water, while simultaneously planning for a second drinking water source on the Willamette River.

These resiliency initiatives are influenced by climate policy and incentive programs and provide EWEB with an opportunity to adapt to climate change within our own operations and in ways that can provide us with knowledge that could support EWEB customers in their climate adaptation efforts as well.

Content currently included in v2.0:

  • Expected physical changes for Lane County, via Oregon Climate Change Research Institute
  • Eugene-Springfield Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan (NHMP)and other planning efforts at the State and County levels
  • EWEB’s Wildfire Mitigation Plan
  • EWEB’s Watershed Protection Program
  • Second Source of Drinking Water Development on the Willamette River
  • Appendix C – EWEB’s Resiliency Policy (SD22)

Content planned for future Guidebook Versions:

  • Research results from EWEB’s Forest Carbon Lab investments in partnership with University of Oregon

EWEB’s Internal Operations

EWEB Climate Change Policy SD15: Internal Operations Section

The Board further authorizes, delegates, and directs the General Manager to continue efforts to minimize and/or mitigate GHG emissions from EWEB’s operations that contribute to climate change. As initially established in 2010, EWEB adopted a goal to reduce the Scope 1 and 2 (direct GHG emissions and energy) greenhouse gas emissions associated with its operations and facility management activities.

Accordingly, and as formally established by this directive, EWEB plans to reduce our net Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions from operations relative to 2010 levels by:

- 25% by 2020,
- 50% by 2030,
- Achieve carbon neutrality from our operations by 2050.

Strategic Importance & Connections with Other Guidebook Sections

EWEB has been tracking our internal GHG emissions annually since 2009, in accordance with industry standards and the World Resources Institute Greenhouse Gas Protocol. EWEB’s Climate Change Policy (SD15) set specific GHG reduction goals for EWEB’s internal operations.

While there has been variation in annual emissions due to a number of factors, EWEB has met its 2020 goal of 25% reduction in 2010 baseline emissions consistently since 2014.  In 2020, emissions dipped below the 2030 goal of 50% reduction compared to our 2010 baseline, but some of those reductions were temporary as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and work-from home orders.  In 2023, EWEB is pleased to report our emissions once again fell below the 2030 50% emissions reduction goal. In 2023, EWEB is reporting a drop of 54% compared to 2010 baseline emissions.  This drop is due to a lower electricity emissions factor, as calculated by Oregon DEQ for EWEB in 2022, lower fleet emissions, lower natural gas emissions due to the sale of the headquarters building in June 2023, and no recorded refrigerant or industrial gas recharge in 2023.

Figure 2: EWEB Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Internal Operations and progress towards climate goals (MT CO2e), 2010-2023 Figure 2: EWEB Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Internal Operations and progress towards climate goals (MT CO2e), 2010-2023

Progress towards EWEB’s internal GHG goals is calculated using a market-based approach to electricity emissions and using the EWEB-specific emissions factor as calculated by Oregon DEQ’s GHG reporting program.

EWEB’s voluntary Board-approved goals align with goals set by both the State of Oregon and the City of Eugene, and EWEB seeks to be an active partner in these efforts to both decarbonize our operations and support our community in further decarbonization efforts. By developing a plan for carbon neutrality by 2050 and piloting various technologies in our operations, EWEB can gain the kind of firsthand knowledge that will be helpful as we support our customers in their decarbonization efforts. Additionally, since EWEB’s internal electricity consumption makes the utility one of the largest electricity consumers in our community, we also have an opportunity to apply new rates, programs, policies to our own bills first – giving us valuable insights from a customer perspective.

Finally, EWEB seeks to stay aware of all relevant grant, tax, and incentive programs available from state and federal programs to maximize GHG reduction opportunities and simultaneously improve resilience and climate adaptation and we regularly work with our local partners to advance community approaches to emissions reduction efforts.

Content currently included in v2.0:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions inventory results for calendar year 2023

Content planned for future Guidebook Versions:

  • Internal Climate Action Plan and Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality by 2050

The different sections contain the specific language from each of the five areas outlined in SD15, as well as their importance to the Guidebook and how they are addressed in this version as well as what is planned for future versions.

The McKenzie River. Adam Spencer, EWEB

Next Section: Chapter 1 - Introduction (coming soon!)

Climate Guidebook Table of Contents (coming soon!)