Nine days without power: My ice storm story as an EWEB customer and employee
While beautiful and peaceful, buying a home on the edge of the forest and surrounded by trees has its tradeoffs. Moving “upriver,” I knew there would be more threats to prepare for, including Mother Nature’s seasonal surprises.Find Out More
Leaburg Decommissioning Action Plan
Plan details next steps through regulatory processes to begin dismantling Leaburg Dam by 2032.Find Out More
What’s ahead in 2024: General manager’s message to EWEB customer-owners
At the start of the new year, we back at accomplishments from 2023 and look ahead at what's to come in 2024.Find Out More
Start the New Year saving money with energy saving tips
We know that saving money is important to our customers. Using energy and water wisely is a great way to reduce your monthly utility bill, even as the costs of electricity and water rise. EWEB has several steps you can take to reduce your usage and even make your home feel more comfortable.Find Out More
Currin Substation: End of year update
EWEB Engineer Philip Peterson explains what's been happening in the final stretch to complete the substation rebuild.Find Out More
EWEB 2023 year in review
In 2023, EWEB invested in our community with grants, rebates and an array of other programs and measures aimed at fulfilling our core values of safety, reliability, affordability, environmental responsibility and community/culture.Find Out More
EWEB Recognized with Excellence in Communications Awards from American Public Power Association
We are proud to have been recognized with two Excellence in Public Power Communications Awards for 2023 from the American Public Power Association (APPA).Find Out More
EWEB To Hold First of Two Public Hearings on Proposed 2024 Budget and Prices
At the Nov. 7 Board of Commissioners meeting, EWEB staff will present a proposed budget that includes rate increases necessary to support utility operations and make needed infrastructure investments.Find Out More
EWEB now offering a Smart Thermostat rebate program
EWEB is excited to announce a new residential rebate program to provide electric customers with free or greatly discounted Smart Thermostats to customers whose primary source of heating is from an electric forced-air furnace or heat pump.Find Out More
Your EWEB Rates at Work: Investing Today for a Resilient Tomorrow
For more than a century, EWEB has planned, built, and maintained the systems that deliver safe, reliable, and environmentally responsible power and water to Eugene homes and businesses.Find Out More
Have an energy efficient and water conscious holiday season
The holiday season is officially upon us. Whether you are celebrating a special holiday or just sharing a meal with close friends and family, hosting can cause some unexpected energy and water usage increases – resulting in a higher utility bill. We’ve prepared some tips on how you can save energy and water this holiday season.Find Out More
River Road Substation returns to service after infrastructure upgrades
Supply chain shortages and proactive infrastructure investments, including constructing seismic foundations and implementing control modernization, have played a role in the substation's return-to-service timeline.Find Out More
Public Power Week Poster Contest Winners 2023
The results are in! View the winning posters from EWEB's 2023 Public Power Week Poster Contest.Find Out More
The importance of managed electric vehicle charging explained
EWEB has much to handle related to EV charging infrastructure. To ensure that the switch from gasoline-powered vehicles to electric vehicles reduces the most emissions possible at the lowest cost possible, we need to implement managed EV charging.Find Out More
Fall is the perfect time to prepare for winter storm season
Winter is coming, which increases the likelihood of storm-related power outages. It's important to be prepared, and there are simple actions you can take right now.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.