Electric Outage: 1-844-484-2300
Water Emergency: 541-685-7595
EWEB Main: 541-685-7000
Electric mobility seems to be everywhere these days, but does availability equal accessibility? Here at EWEB we’ve determined that the answer is ‘no’ and are working to bridge that gap through EV car shares, community grants and electric bike rebates.Find Out More
In Eugene, we take pride in knowing we have one of the cleanest power portfolios in the nation. Roughly 90% of Eugene's power comes from carbon-free hydroelectric energy. And EWEB has a long history offering robust conversation programs. But we wanted to do more, so we launched Lead Green, a suite of programs for climate innovators looking to support renewable energy and take action on climate change. In the year since Lead Green was launched, we've accomplished a lot we can be proud of.Find Out More
Learn some of the many ways EWEB customers support local schools and help inspire kids to explore the wonders of watershed health and clean energy resources.Find Out More
Our skilled journeymen are experts in their field, with thousands of training hours and real-world experiences.Find Out More
National Infrastructure Week (May 14-20) may be a politically charged quip on the national stage, but for EWEB, the urgency and importance of infrastructure is no joke.Find Out More
A wrap up of the May 2nd EWEB Board of Commissioners MeetingFind Out More
Seventh graders in the Bethel School District put their handmade wind turbines to the test in a wind power challenge supported by EWEB grants last week.Find Out More
The application period is now open for the Electric Mobility Community Grants. Mobility Grants of up to $25,000 will be awared to five nonprofits, schools and academic intitutions, government and other public agencies to cover costs associated with their electric mobility projects.Find Out More
EWEB's Greenpower subscribers voted to award this year's Greenpower Grant to Friends of Trees, a local nonprofit that brings trees to areas of Eugene and Springfield with low tree equity.Find Out More
Today and every day, we celebrate and honor the hard work, innovation and dedication of electrical line workers.Find Out More
The EWEB Board of Commissioners discussed prefunding Leaburg, the 2022 State of the Watershed report, and the General Manager's performance evaluation at their April 4th, 2023 meeting.Find Out More
It’s spring-- the time of year when birds are nesting in our trees. EWEB crews take special care to avoid disrupting birds when they’re trimming trees. But tree trimming is a necessary part of delivering safe and reliable power. We went out with a crew to find out how it's done.Find Out More
EWEB is excited to announce the eligible candidates for the 2023 Greenpower Grant! The winner of the Greenpower Grant will be voted on by Greenpower subscribers. Learn more about each origanization and their proposal before casting your vote.Find Out More
Old reservoir leaks, threatening water quality, and will fail when a major earthquake strikes.Find Out More
Crews are identifying and addressing equipment failures before wildfire season and doing so mitigates risk of fire ignition.Find Out More
September 30, 2021
While most wildfires are started by lightning strikes or caused by human actions, utilities have a role to play in risk reduction -- and we are doing our part. And while we can't stop wildfires, we can make our electric infrastructure more resilient to better withstand fires by using new construction methods and materials and keeping our system maintenance up to date by replacing aging equipment.
EWEB employs a full menu of options for "grid hardening" strategies, including a robust vegetation management program, replacing older equipment on a regular basis, full system inspections, and in some cases, placing power lines underground.
One of the measures underway this summer and fall is the inspection and replacement of power pole crossarms. Our line technician crews have been working for the past several months to identify and replace older or deteriorating crossarms in the McKenzie River Valley service territory and on select circuits in south Eugene.
Replacing crossarms is a labor- and time-intensive process, where the crews are often working within a few feet of energized powerlines. However, this is one of the measures that could prevent EWEB facilities from becoming an ignition point for a wildfire.
During high wind events, such as the gusting, erratic winds seen during Red Flag Warnings, the failure of a crossarm could bring down energized power lines and potentially spark a fire. To help reduce that risk, crews are now finishing up the replacement of more than 100 crossarms in the McKenzie River and south Eugene areas.
"Our approach is to use multiple investment and replacement strategies to maintain reliability and increase resiliencies for all types of weather conditions the electric system must face," said Electric Operations Manager Tyler Nice.
"Most often mentioned as an improvement to mitigate fire risk is undergrounding lines, however, that option typically cannot be acted on right away, may not be feasible, or be cost prohibitive," Nice said. "Preforming inspections and turning around maintenance work quickly for high-risk areas and ailing equipment is not only a quicker option, but is financially responsible, and will provide reliable service for years to come."
Another risk reduction strategy is to replace wooden power poles with metal poles in areas that are at higher risk for wildfire.
This past spring, EWEB finished a project that used ductile iron poles to replace wooden poles in a section of its upper McKenzie River transmission line. The ductile iron poles are much more resistant to fire than wood. The project at Deer Creek is the first time EWEB has installed ductile iron power poles.
"Not only will the ductile iron poles prove more resilient in surviving a wildfire, but we actually improved habitat by placing the new poles away from Deer Creek, which is the largest tributary to the McKenzie River," Nice said.
Along with grid-hardening activities, we also conduct routine system maintenance to keep electric infrastructure functioning safely and properly throughout the year. The reliability work includes proactively pruning trees and removing brush to help keep our equipment clear of contact, and for access if an outage repair should be needed. In addition to the regular vegetation management, tree-trimming crews spend extra time pruning in areas at higher risk of wildfire.
Crews regularly inspect electric lines, poles, components and other equipment, replacing worn or older parts as needed. This work not only helps keep the system operating during snow, ice and windstorms, but reduces the likelihood of some types of equipment failure that may causing sparking that could ignite a wildfire.
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Mailing Address: 4200 Roosevelt Blvd., Eugene, OR 97402
Toll free: 800-841-5871
Customer service phone hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday - Friday