Rate Setting Process is Customer Driven and Community Focused
EWEB’s Board of Commissioners is considering rate changes to help maintain reliable utility services and fund critical investments in Eugene’s water and electric infrastructure.Find Out More
National Preparedness Month: Older adults take control in 1, 2, 3
We know older adults can face greater risks when it comes to the extreme weather events and emergencies we face, especially if they are living alone, are low-income, have a disability, depend on electricity for medical needs, or live in rural areas.Find Out More
Women in STEM: EWEB Engineer Laura Ohman's second degree brings a lifetime of benefits
EWEB Engineer Laura Ohman shares how getting her second degree was one of the most difficult and rewarding things she's ever accomplished.Find Out More
Bethel neighbors boost emergency preparedness during Emergency Water Station event
Staff gave out about 300 emergency water containers to enthusiastic community members eager to learn more about the water station.Find Out More
How does EWEB recover the costs of serving customers
Here’s an overview of the three primary ways EWEB recovers the costs of serving customers and generates the funds needed to keep the power on and the water flowing.Find Out More
Stay cool during extreme heat events
With temperatures forecasted to reach over 100 degrees over the next several days, we've prepared some tips and tricks to help you stay cool.Find Out More
Women in STEM: Meet our servant leader and maker of tough decisions
Karen Kelley, Chief Operations Officer at EWEB, describes herself as a "servant leader," offering support and mentoring to four division managers at EWEB.Find Out More
Women in STEM: Meet the woman responsible for managing our wholesale energy agreements to ensure we meet our customers energy needs
Megan Capper, the Energy Resource Manager at EWEB, began her career working in economics at BPA before joining the power planning department EWEB, ensuring we can meet the energy needs of our our customers today, tomorrow and 20 years from now.Find Out More
EWEB establishes multipronged resiliency policy
Disaster recovery and prevention are being embedded in all operations and processes.Find Out More
Substations – The resilient spine of EWEB’s electric system
The substation redundancy ensures reliable power continues to flow to homes and businesses despite unexpected equipment failures and routine maintenance.Find Out More
Trends that are impacting your utility rates
Needed infrastructure investments and rising costs of operations will require increases in the price of water and electric services.Find Out More
Women in STEM: Meet the water quality specialist who ensures the safety of Eugene's drinking water
Brenda Casarez began working at EWEB in 2009, collecting samples from all over the water system testing for different contaminants.Find Out More
Wildfire season is here – tips and safety precautions
Temperatures are heating up with weather forecasts anticipating temperatures up to 99 degrees in Eugene and the surrounding areas on the 4th of July.Find Out More
EWEB will close College Hill Reservoir site for Fourth of July
EWEB will continue the annual closure of its College Hill Reservoir over the Fourth of July holiday. For the past several years, EWEB has restricted access to the reservoir surface around the Fourth of July to ensure people do not set off fireworks which can damage the roof and potentially impact drinking water quality.Find Out More
EWEB and City finalize sale of former riverfront headquarters
The two buildings on 4.4 acres will transformed into Eugene's new City Hall. EWEB and the City signed closing documents and officially handed over the site keys on Tuesday.Find Out More
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Another Record Month for EWEB’s Bill Assistance Program
May 07, 2020
EWEB's Customer Care bill assistance program re-opened on Friday, May 1 at 9 a.m. By 9:04, 205 online applications were complete, and by 9:20, nearly 600 customers had applied online.
One year ago, this stunning rate of applications for assistance would have been unthinkable. For one thing, no one would have anticipated that a global pandemic would put thousands of EWEB customers out of work within a six week period. Since mid-March, more than 300,000 Oregonians have filed unemployment claims, according to the Oregon Employment Department.
Another reason—the operations behind the Customer Care program could not have handled that volume and pace of call-in applications one year ago.
In January of this year, EWEB made a major overhaul of the assistance program, bringing the intake process in house, creating a self-service web application that allows customers to upload their proof of eligibility, and automatically qualifying LIHEAP recipients.
"We've not only made it easier and faster for customers to apply for assistance, but we've also reduced administrative costs by around $350,000 over the past two years," said Anna Wade of Customer Solutions. "As a result, more funds are going directly to those in need, and less to administration."
In the first quarter of 2020, EWEB delivered $539,000 in bill assistance. Of that, $452,000 came through the rate-funded Customer Care program, and $87,000 resulted from customer donations to the Energy Share program.
Within 20 minutes of opening, the web app for Customer Care bill assistance had processed nearly 600 applications.
Utilizing the self-service web app is key to a speedy application process, says Anna.
"We really encourage customers to use the online application because it can accept hundreds of applications simultaneously, compared to Customer Service Agents who can only help one person at a time over the phone."
Just a few minutes into the program opening on May 1, EWEB's phone queue was at maximum capacity, with 140 customers waiting to speak to a Customer Service Agent (CSA). Some customers waited more than 30 minutes.
"The first business day of the month is go-time for CSAs who sign people up for bill assistance, and the coronavirus has amplified the financial problems in our community, even for people who have traditionally been rock solid," said Customer Service Lead Mark Duvall. "With so many customers in need and limited resources to go around, it creates a lot of stress on our phone system, but we are all doing our part to assist as many as possible in these difficult times."
By the time all applications are processed, EWEB will have distributed over $225,000 in the month of May, assisting more than 865 customers. Another $200,000 in assistance funding will be available in June, and by year-end, nearly 7,000 households could receive the EWEB bill credit.