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
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
Planning for a Future of Reliable, Affordable, Environmentally Responsible Energy
The challenges revealed by Eugene Water & Electric Board’s integrated resource planning process mirror those facing the Northwest.Find Out More
EWEB’s heat driven call to conserve energy yields major savings
EWEB is likely to implement similar, formalized “demand response” programs in the future.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
Please join your neighbors in reducing energy use today
With excessive temperatures and wildfire conditions affecting power generation across the region, EWEB is encouraging customers to safely conserve power.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
Planning for a Reliable, Affordable, Green Energy Future
EWEB General Manager Frank Lawson publishes an op-ed in the Eugene Weekly about EWEB's IRP.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
EWEB charts energy supply choices for next 2-3 years
After 18 months of study to assess Eugene’s future electricity needs, EWEB has identified next steps to pursue in the next two to three years.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
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
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EWEB’s Largest Power Supplier Visits Eugene to Discuss Costs, Climate and Changing Energy Needs
April 21, 2020
Here in Eugene, we are fortunate to have one of the cleanest power portfolios in the nation, with almost no electricity sourced from fossil fuels. While around 20 percent of Eugene's power comes from community-owned or co-owned projects, the majority of EWEB's power is delivered through Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and the federal Columbia River Power System.
For decades, we have relied on these clean, reliable power resources to serve our community's electricity needs. But in the coming decade, many of our power supply contracts are set to expire, including our largest contract with BPA.
While negotiations for a new contract won't begin in earnest for a few years, EWEB and Bonneville are already laying the groundwork for future conversations about new product opportunities. In early March 2020, BPA administrator Elliot Mainzer visited EWEB as part of his outreach to utilities that rely on power generated by Federal resources, including the Columbia River Power System.
In Mr. Mainzer's presentation to EWEB's Board of Commissioners, he outlined key elements of a recently published five -year strategic plan that calls for reducing costs and debt, modernizing systems and operating key assets more efficiently and developing new products to meet the region's changing energy needs.
"In developing our strategic plan, we not only looked at our competitiveness, we looked at the market," Mainzer told the EWEB Board. "We asked, what's going to be the modern version of the Bonneville Power Administration? How can we be an agile, responsive and competitively-priced utility, so that when we get into the next decade and start negotiating long-term contracts, we can remain that provider of choice for our public power customers?"
As Mainzer noted in his presentation, there's a lot of commonality between EWEB and BPA-many of the issues that EWEB is facing here locally, Bonneville is also addressing at a regional scale. This includes investments to protect listed fish species, a push toward decarbonization, concerns about resource adequacy as western coal plants retire, and a need to modernize systems and aging infrastructure. These issues are likely to play a significant role in future contract negotiations.
"When we look at updating EWEB's contract with BPA and other aspects of our power portfolio, we will be operating in the context of a changing climate, new technology, developing markets and evolving customer expectations," said EWEB General Manager Frank Lawson. "This dynamic landscape will create new challenges and opportunities related to power resources, electric infrastructure, and the products and services available to our customers."
Among those products and services will be different electricity service plans, said Lawson.
"I expect that in a few years, EWEB will offer several energy product choices to our customers with different attributes such as carbon content and price, and that certainly implicates our contract with BPA."
Elliot Mainzer said Bonneville is preparing for the next round of contracts by reaching out to its customers across the region to better understand the kinds power products those utilities want to make available to their retail customers.
"EWEB is already well ahead of the curve, thinking about what those customer choices might look like in the future—the carbon content, price structure, flexibility, etc.," said Mainzer. "As EWEB advances these concepts and is being very proactive about what the community here may be looking for, we [BPA] will go back to the drawing board and ask, what are the things that we can do to supplement that and keep EWEB's cost of delivery as affordable as possible."
Bonneville Power Administration, a nonprofit federal power marketing administration, provides about 28 percent of the electric power used in the Northwest. BPA markets wholesale power from 31 federal hydroelectric projects in the Northwest, one nonfederal nuclear plant and several small nonfederal power plants. BPA also operates and maintains about three-fourths of the high-voltage transmission in its service territory, which includes Idaho, Oregon, Washington, western Montana and small parts of eastern Montana, California, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.