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No Price Increase Again in 2021

January 13, 2021

Hands holding a pen and calculator, bills on the desk

EWEB's 2021 budget keeps prices steady once again, marking the fifth year in a row of no price increase for customers. The utility's budget of $331 million includes operation and maintenance of the electric and water systems that serve more than 200,000 people in Eugene and parts of Springfield and the McKenzie Valley, as well as customer bill assistance, energy efficiency incentives, school grants, drinking water source protection, and renewable energy programs.

"This past year has been difficult for our community, and I'm pleased that EWEB is able to deliver on our promise to bring affordable power and water to our customer-owners," said EWEB General Manager Frank Lawson. "I'm proud of our staff who continue to work hard to keep costs down and operate efficiently even as new challenges arise."

EWEB's residential electric rate will remain at 9.1 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in 2021, keeping it competitive with other northwest electric utility rates and below the national average of 13.6 cents/kWh.

Average price of electricity Eugene compared to other states and US 

Average monthly electric and water bill utility comparison

Electric and water prices for EWEB customers have not increased since 2016.

EWEB price changes over time

Although economic conditions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic have reduced utility revenue, we have been able to maintain sustainable spending levels by reducing costs, refinancing debt, increasing efficiencies, and reprioritizing select capital projects. 

Investing in our community

While customer prices have remained steady for six out of the last seven years, we've continued to invest in energy efficiency incentives, bill assistance programs, and infrastructure projects for improved reliability. Last year, we expanded payment assistance programs to allow more customers to qualify and delivered over $1.5 million in bill assistance to more than 5,000 customers, many of whom suffered pandemic-related job losses. Spending in 2021 to support a new customer portal and meter infrastructure upgrades will improve the customer experience and help EWEB respond more effectively to water leaks and power outages. The 2021 budget also includes funding for emergency water stations to provide potable water in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.

The 2021 infrastructure spending levels of $51 million for electric and $21 million for water are part of 10-year planned investments of $335 million (electric) and $244 million (water) respectively. As we move forward, we will work with the EWEB Board of Commissioners to understand the benefits and impacts of further expanding our infrastructure investments.

"We continue to be guided by our core values to provide safe and reliable drinking water and electricity, be responsible stewards of resources, and adhere to our commitment to serve our local community," said Frank Lawson. "The 2021 budgets position EWEB to maintain financial resiliency, rise to whatever challenges 2021 may bring, and continue efforts to enhance customer confidence."

*While water prices for EWEB customers remained flat, our wholesale water customers such as the city of Veneta and the River Road and Santa Clara Water Districts saw a slight increase in 2020 and a slight decrease in 2021.
**Tualatin Valley Water District serves Beaverton, portions of Hillsboro and Tigard.