National Preparedness Month: Older adults take control in 1, 2, 3
We know older adults can face greater risks when it comes to the extreme weather events and emergencies we face, especially if they are living alone, are low-income, have a disability, depend on electricity for medical needs, or live in rural areas.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
Bethel neighbors boost emergency preparedness during Emergency Water Station event
Staff gave out about 300 emergency water containers to enthusiastic community members eager to learn more about the water station.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
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
Women in STEM: Meet the water quality specialist who ensures the safety of Eugene's drinking water
Brenda Casarez began working at EWEB in 2009, collecting samples from all over the water system testing for different contaminants.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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Public Power Equals Local Control
October 04, 2021
Every year, more than 2,000 community-owned utilities - like the Eugene Water & Electric Board - across the nation observe Public Power Week during the first full week of October. The week-long event is a celebration of these not-for-profit electric utilities that serve the power needs of 49 million Americans.
This week, Oct. 3-9, we honor our 110-year history of serving the Eugene community with reliable, affordable and safe electric services. There are three types of utilities: public power, rural electric cooperatives and investor-owned utilities.
Unlike for-profit utilities who serve their investors, EWEB and other public power providers are community-owned and do not operate to earn a profit or benefit stockholders. Our prices are based on the costs to serve our community with safe, reliable water and electricity.
EWEB, owned by the citizens of Eugene did not increase electric prices in 2021, marking the fifth year in a row of no price increase for customers. That's not to say prices won't go up next year or in future years, rather, it is a testament to the hard work we do to keep prices affordable, and our elected commissioners and staff are dedicated to being good stewards of our customers' funds.
We are able to provide reliable electricity at affordable prices while still investing in our infrastructure, offering energy efficiency incentives, bill assistance programs for limited-income customers, and significant support for local school districts through grants. Last year, EWEB provided more than $1.5 million in bill assistance to more than 5,000 customers - many of whom suffered pandemic-related job losses.
All of this is made possible because EWEB is governed by five elected commissioners who live and work here in the community. Commissioners, who volunteer and are not paid, are directly responsible to Eugene voters. In fact, commissioners hold a public meeting the first Tuesday of each month, where any member of the public can directly speak to their elected representatives about utility business. Those served by investor-owned utilities do not have that option.
That local control has not only kept pricing affordable, but it also plays the decisive role in past, present and future decisions, policies and priorities.
Reflecting the community's strong ethic to protect the environment, our power portfolio is 90% renewable and carbon-free. Our investments in renewable energy - hydro, wind, biomass and small-scale solar have served our customers well, and will continue to do so for decades to come.
In 2019, we received a new 40-year federal operating license for our largest utility owned generation source, the Carmen-Smith Project on the upper McKenzie River. That new license triggered a series of investments that will upgrade the powerhouse and substation, rebuilding the fish spawning channel along with three campgrounds and other recreational, environmental and habitat improvements. We anticipate we invest more than $116 million over the next several years to maintain this carbon-free renewable generating facility.
EWEB was one of the first utilities in the Pacific Northwest to consider its watershed part of its drinking water infrastructure, and our significant investments to protect the McKenzie River over the past 100 years will benefit present and future generations.
Following containment of the Holiday Farm Fire in 2020, EWEB staff were among the first on the ground to stabilize the charred banks of the McKenzie. Partnering with other local groups dedicated to protecting the river and its floodplains we worked with landowners to keep toxic ash and other hazardous materials from entering the McKenzie.
The partnership has since replanted 90 riparian properties with 210,000 native trees and shrubs to begin restoring McKenzie River riparian zones.
Our strong commitment to our community can also be seen in how our employees - the people behind public power - work hard to provide the best customer service every day. These individuals from many departments including human resources, administration, accounting and finance, community relations, field crews, and engineering and operations, come together and serve our neighbors and the community in which we live.
And we are here, ready to respond 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year in service to more than 200,000 people in Eugene, parts of east Springfield and the McKenzie River Valley.