Rate Setting Process is Customer Driven and Community Focused
EWEB’s Board of Commissioners is considering rate changes to help maintain reliable utility services and fund critical investments in Eugene’s water and electric infrastructure.Find Out More
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
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
How does EWEB recover the costs of serving customers
Here’s an overview of the three primary ways EWEB recovers the costs of serving customers and generates the funds needed to keep the power on and the water flowing.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
EWEB establishes multipronged resiliency policy
Disaster recovery and prevention are being embedded in all operations and processes.Find Out More
Trends that are impacting your utility rates
Needed infrastructure investments and rising costs of operations will require increases in the price of water and electric services.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
EWEB will close College Hill Reservoir site for Fourth of July
EWEB will continue the annual closure of its College Hill Reservoir over the Fourth of July holiday. For the past several years, EWEB has restricted access to the reservoir surface around the Fourth of July to ensure people do not set off fireworks which can damage the roof and potentially impact drinking water quality.Find Out More
EWEB and City finalize sale of former riverfront headquarters
The two buildings on 4.4 acres will transformed into Eugene's new City Hall. EWEB and the City signed closing documents and officially handed over the site keys on Tuesday.Find Out More
EWEB begins major water pipeline upgrades
This summer, EWEB is launching several construction water pipeline projects to enhance the reliability and earthquake resiliency of drinking water service for Eugene residents.Find Out More
Currin Substation - the origin of the name
Hugh Currin was hired as an engineer at EWEB in 1923. Later, he became the chief engineer for the utility.Find Out More
EWEB Safety Tip: Celebrate responsibly with balloons
If your graduation celebration involves balloons, make sure they are secured with a weight. Otherwise, they can float away and come into contact with overhead power lines.Find Out More
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The State of Your Utility
March 14, 2023 • Jen Connors, EWEB Communications
In his annual message to the Board of Commissioners, the public and EWEB workforce, EWEB General Manager Frank Lawson emphasized his appreciation for staff, highlighted many of the utility's accomplishments, and focused on what it takes for EWEB to meet our on-going, perpetual obligation to serve our community.
Lawson delivered his address at the March 7 public Board of Commissioners meeting.
You can listen to the address above (8-minute listen) or read the speech below.
2023 State of the Utility Address
President Carlson, Commissioners, EWEB staff, members of the public, I appreciate this annual opportunity to take a step back and give you some perspective on EWEB’s organizational performance, our results, our challenges, and our opportunities. I also appreciate the opportunity to thank you, Commissioners, for your leadership, and to thank staff for their leadership, hard work, and accomplishments throughout the year.
EWEB has an obligation to serve our community 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. That obligation doesn’t end tomorrow, next week, or ten years from now. It is perpetual. And it’s forever. I reinforce this ongoing obligation because it’s often easy to see the immediate--the here and now, the work on we do on pipes, pumps, tanks, water treatment, poles, wires, transformers, generators, answering customer calls or emails. That work is critical to achieving our mission. But it’s more difficult to see the efforts that support that work--purchasing, finance, information systems, security, workforce support, power purchasing, support services, field services, building and renovations, customer solutions. The list goes on.
It’s even more challenging to appreciate the work that ensures we meet our ongoing obligation in the future. We invest in the watershed, offer a multitude of customer programs, manage $1.3 billion worth of assets, and meticulously plan for and performance and analysis that’s needed in all areas of the organization for that ongoing purpose.
It is a significant part of our job to ensure that we can continue to meet our mission and adhere to our values over the long haul. By definition our strategic work should support the development of sustainable community benefits. Therefore, we plan and execute work that positions the organization to meet future challenges and opportunities safely, reliably, environmentally, and affordably all while recognizing the importance of community and organizational culture.
2022 was an incredibly productive year for EWEB, as we achieved virtually all of our primary annual goals along with many additional accomplishments. Because of people, we were able to keep the flow--the flow of electricity, water, money, information, collaboration, and ideas.
Despite experiencing many of the same challenges appearing across our society, including supply chain limitations (especially in raw materials or technology-centric parts and contracting), inflationary pressures, workforce scarcity in selected fields, cyber and physical security threats and challenges, polarizing social viewpoints, EWEB is a strong organization.
1. Both the water and electric utilities continue to be in good financial positions.
2. We pay attention to, and prioritize safety and reliability, and had one our statisically safest years in the past two decades.
3. A team from the IBEW, union stewards, and EWEB management reached agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement to guide our relationship over the next several years.
4. We are good stewards of the environment, considering both the impacts of the environment on our products and services and our impacts on environment.
5. On significant or impactful decisions, we analyzed the alternatives from a triple bottom line perspective, as exemplified in the decision to develop a plan to decommission the Leaburg hydroelectric project.
6. We expanded our Lead Green program.
7. An EWEB team worked through a robust process to select SAP for Utilities as the basis for our information systems technology platform going forward. When you process millions of transactions, including the processing of over 1.3 million bills alone each year, information systems are fundamental pieces of continuing to fulfill our organizational objectives.
8. EWEB’s public outreach in 2022 was significant and outstanding, led by our communications team who were instrumental in projects like the E. 40th reservoir, Integrated Resource Planning, headquarters sale, and countless other projects and programs from emergency preparedness to new Lead Green products.
9. Finally, we don’t rest on our laurels. In 2022 hundreds of employees participated in continuous improvement projects, improvement being a key ingredient in many of the transitions the organization is driving or facing, inside and outside of the organization.
So, EWEB had a great year. But, once again, the work is perpetual.
What still needs work? All of it.
Particularly, we need to continue to cultivate an environment that is inclusive, insuring we are equitable in our approaches and outcomes, and that we demonstrate our respect for diverse perspectives. As more of our processes and technology get modernized, we need to improve our cross-departmental and leadership communications on basis of decisions and direction. And, recognizing that we will continue to experience upward pricing pressures, we need to be good stewards of our customers’ money, making investments that support our continuing mission.
Before I dive into the operational and strategic results I’d like once again to thank you, Commissioners, for your leadership and guidance, the EWEB workforce for each of their own contributions to our ongoing mission and for their collaboration and teamwork, our local industry partners like Lane County and the City of Eugene, our suppliers and contractors, and finally those citizens that provide us with constructive ideas, perspectives, and feedback. In a world that seems so polarizing, it’s rewarding and encouraging to see and witness people who, while they celebrate their differences, are respectful to each other and work together toward a common goal.
It’s not just WHAT we accomplish that matters, it’s HOW we get it done that’s equally important.
We're continuously working to provide you with safe, reliable services, maintain utility infrastructure, and invest in system improvements that make your services better.