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 fulfiling 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
Let's talk turkey. If a disaster strikes, is your family ready?
Many of us avoid discussing politics over the dinner table in the spirit of family peace and harmony. But here's a topic that can bring everyone together: emergency preparedness.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
EWEB lead annual "Spill Drill"
EWEB coordinates drill as part of protecting Eugene’s drinking waterFind Out More
EWEB seeks public input on electric vehicle, demand response standards
EWEB is seeking public input on the potential adoption of updated standards for electric vehicles (EVs) and demand response programs. The potential standards are derived from the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, or PURPA.Find Out More
As prices increase, what can you do to take control of monthly utility bills?
EWEB’s Board of Commissioners is considering rate changes in 2024. Here are some ways to save money and manage your bill, and how EWEB can help.Find Out More
Public Power Week Poster Contest 2023
It’s that time of year again! October 1-7 is Public Power Week. To celebrate, EWEB is holding our annual poster contest for fifth graders in our service area. Help us pick the winners.Find Out More
- Show More
EWEB's New EV Programs Forward the Charge to Decarbonize Eugene
November 05, 2021
Over half (53%) of Eugene's greenhouse gas emissions come from gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles (according to the City of Eugene's 2019 Community Greenhouse Gas Inventory). That means we must decarbonize our transportation sector to meet our climate goals.
We can take cars off the road by using public transit, carpooling, teleworking, and using alternatives like bicycles. And as more people transition to electric vehicles (EVs), they directly swap out gas guzzlers for low-carbon electricity to power their vehicles.
EWEB is helping our customers make the transition to EVs for their personal and commercial transportation needs. For years, EWEB has promoted EV education through the rEV UP! program to help our customers choose their next car. EWEB also supports EV infrastructure by installing free-to-use EV charging stations at our facilities and offering Smart Charge Rebates to help people install their own charging stations at home.
EWEB is also rolling out a new suite of programs to help make EVs more affordable, more available, and more equitable in Eugene. EWEB Business Line Manager Juan Serpa Muñoz is in charge of developing these programs and has some updates to share about what's coming up.
Q: What inspires you to work on EWEB's EV programs? How do you think EVs will change Eugene?
A: A shared commitment to our customers, community, and the environment is what drives me to do this work; there is no conflict with who I am and what I believe to be right and needed for our community when working on these efforts. Additionally, EWEB completely supports this work and allows staff like me to put energy into programs for the benefit and betterment of our community and environment.
Electric vehicle adoption continues to increase in Eugene and in the US. We saw a 42% increase in EV adoption in EWEB service territory in 2020. This means a total of 1,887 EVs, which translates to over 5,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent reduction per year.
EVs are changing Eugene, but it is not just EVs, it is electric mobility in general. I now commonly see electric bikes and scooters, Lane Transit District brings us electric buses, and I was recently driving my Bolt EV and there were two Nissan LEAFs next to me; I have not experienced that before.
This change and evolution to electric transportation is so comprehensive, however; from charging infrastructure, to policy, to programs, to accessibility and equity, to providing cleaner transportation and reducing emissions, to addressing the load impacts of EVs and maintaining a reliable grid, to education and awareness, etc.; this is a true revolution that is changing Eugene and the world, and I feel privileged to play a role in this change.
Q: What EV programs are you developing for EWEB customers?
A: We have already expanded our programs, including our commercial charging rebates that now include fast charging or direct current fast charging (DCFC), and we look to continue to increase our efforts year after year. The aim is to provide an ongoing comprehensive suite of programs that increases electric mobility, brings equitable access to this technology, provides affordable charging options, creates value for our customers, and helps EWEB prepare to meet the increasing energy demands of this growing sector in a safe and reliable way.
- Charging Stations: A major area of investment will be EWEB-owned charging infrastructure. This will include level 1 for micro-mobility such as electric bikes, and level 2 and direct current fast charging (DCFC) for electric vehicles. Level 2 stations can offer speeds of 20+ miles per hour of charging, and DCFC can provides of 150+ miles per hour. This will be comprehensive work that is a key effort in increasing EV adoption in our service territory; access to charging infrastructure can be a barrier to EV adoption, especially for underserved populations, including non-homeowners and residents in multi-family buildings. Additionally, by EWEB having its own charging infrastructure, we will be able to provide affordable costs for public charging that is equitable and accessible.
- E-bikes: One of our new programs will be an electric bicycle (e-bike) rebate. E-bikes use very little energy, which in EWEB service territory is already about 90% carbon neutral. This means that e-bikes can be a big part in reducing emissions by displacing internal combustion engine vehicles (ICE) and EVs, when doing light commuting, errands, and for getting to places around town. Additionally, because e-bikes have a much lower cost than an EV, they can present an easier and more affordable opportunity for individuals to explore electric mobility. Lastly, these things are fun, and there is even evidence that e-bikes are helping older riders be more active and improve their overall health.
- Accessibility & Equity: Availability does not equal accessibility and as I work on our EV efforts, I look at that concept and at the equitable access to technologies we support, including EVs. Two ways that our efforts will address social equity in the electric mobility space is through an EV sharing pilot and a community grants program.
Q: That all sounds so exciting! I'm sure our community can appreciate the focus on equity and accessibility, too. The ride-sharing idea sounds like a great program - how would the EV-sharing program work?
A: One of the barriers to EV adoption is their cost, which makes vehicle-ownership something that is not accessible to every member of our community. The EV sharing pilot looks for a solution outside of that model. The pilot will be over two years involving three locations. The effort will be in partnership with Forth Mobility, the City of Eugene, Saint Vincent de Paul, and Lane Transit District. One location will be at an affordable housing site and available only to tenants, and the other two will be open to the general public.
The program will provide an EV and dedicated level 2 charging station at each location. Users will be able to download a phone app and use it to check out the EVs. All sites will offer a free first two-hour ride-per unique user-plus a nominal fee per hour after that. The pricing for the affordable housing site will be reduced to offer greater access.
It is our hope to use this pilot to expand the program to other sites in the future, especially to other affordable housing locations. The first public EV should be available in a couple of months and the other two in February 2022. Lastly, in response to the pandemic, these vehicles will be cleaned regularly, provide safety messaging, and follow Centers for Disease Control guidelines, including pausing the effort if needed.
Q: Well, I'm sure people will really look forward to the opportunity for an affordable opportunity to try out an EV for their errands. Could you share more about the electric mobility community grants EWEB will offer?
A: Yes, this is an exciting effort to give access and support to community agencies on their own electric mobility work. These agencies are experts at what they do and the populations they serve, and we see an opportunity to increase equitable access to electric mobility by supporting them through our grants program. One fun part for me will be reading the various ideas and proposals and learning from them. We intend to have a panel of grant reviewers that is comprehensive and neutral, including government entities and local community groups. We are still working on the grant program details, including amounts and launch date. We are almost ready to release those details though, and we hope to start taking applications at the end of 2021 or in January of 2022.
Q: Along with helping our residential customers and community organizations transition to EVs, what are ways EWEB is helping businesses electrify their transportation operations?
A: One way we are doing this is through our various commercial charging station rebates, but also through guidance by our Field Specialists and Distribution Engineering team as businesses look to implement their own charging infrastructure.
Our commercial rebates cover level 2 ($1,500) and direct current fast charging (DCFC) stations ($10,000 for single port and $15,000 for multi-port) for fleet, public, multi-family, and workplace charging; customers can learn more about qualification requirements by calling us or at our EWEB webpage.
Installing these stations can be very comprehensive work because it is not just the installation of the station, but also the potential panel and service upgrades that may be needed in bringing power to the station. We offer guidance to our customers in this area, including capacity assessments for commercial sites and loans if upgrades are needed. Below is an image that shows the distribution infrastructure for a charging station.
As a business begins to explore their EV charging needs, there are also other considerations they may not realize, including user pricing, models, connector standards, networking requirements, Clean Fuels credits, etc., and EWEB can be a valuable and neutral resource to help our customers understand these components and help them explore potential solutions.
Q: When can people expect these programs to be available, and how can they sign up?
A: Efforts will have various launch dates and some, such as our charging station rebates are already available. Some projects, including the public EV sharing location will start being available in late 2021 and the rest in early 2022. We will definitely make announcements to the public as these new efforts come online and the best way to stay tuned and to apply is to join our EV newsletter. Our website has dedicated pages for EVs, and they are broken down by residential and commercial sectors.