Nine days without power: My ice storm story as an EWEB customer and employee
While beautiful and peaceful, buying a home on the edge of the forest and surrounded by trees has its tradeoffs. Moving “upriver,” I knew there would be more threats to prepare for, including Mother Nature’s seasonal surprises.Find Out More
EWEB achieves power restoration milestone over the weekend
Crews have so far restored power for 92% of customers who originally lost power at the height of the ice storm.Find Out More
Reenergized McKenzie River Valley transmission lines allow EWEB crews to restore power upriver
On Friday, a majority of EWEB crews tackled power restoration efforts upriver, after federally managed transmission lines were reenergized Thursday.Find Out More
EWEB estimates one week to complete power system restoration
On Wednesday, EWEB crews restored power for about 10,000 customers by repairing large equipment first.Find Out More
Second round of ice and ensuing thaw prompt mass power outages
On Wednesday, all EWEB crews, who have been working nonstop since Saturday, traversed EWEB’s service territory assessing the damage and restoring transmission lines and main power feeders.Find Out More
Power restored at EWEB’s water treatment plant
Crews restored electric power at EWEB's Hayden Bridge Water Filtration Plant Monday evening, allowing operators to switch off the generators and rely again on the grid. Meanwhile, EWEB crews brace for additional outages amidst second round of ice and during the coming thaw.Find Out More
EWEB crews making downed lines safe and restoring power across Eugene and the foothills
As EWEB works to restore electric service to customers affected by the ice storm, the customer-owned utility is following established policies and its “hierarchy of repair” to prioritize repairs that restore electric service to the greatest number of customers.Find Out More
Leaburg Decommissioning Action Plan
Plan details next steps through regulatory processes to begin dismantling Leaburg Dam by 2032.Find Out More
What’s ahead in 2024: General manager’s message to EWEB customer-owners
At the start of the new year, we back at accomplishments from 2023 and look ahead at what's to come in 2024.Find Out More
Currin Substation: End of year update
EWEB Engineer Philip Peterson explains what's been happening in the final stretch to complete the substation rebuild.Find Out More
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 fulfilling 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
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
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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.