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
Water conservation tips for a drought-stricken Lane County
It's a simple equation: Hot + Dry = Drought. Here's 10 tips to play your part in a drought-resilient community.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
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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We're prepared for extreme heat and high electric use. Learn how you can be ready too.
July 28, 2022
We are ready to deal with the stress that extreme heat may place on our electric system. We encourage customers to be prepared, stay cool and hydrated and practice safety by developing an emergency plan and checking in on neighbors.
In extreme temperatures, electricity is more important than ever
High temperatures can stress the electric distribution system, particularly transformers and underground power cables. When daytime highs near or exceed the 100-degree mark, which is more typical of late July and August, we have more underground powerlines fail.
Please keep in mind that underground cable failures often take longer to repair than overhead cables. The high temps, coupled with increased electric demand to run air conditioners, can overheat the oil in overhead and underground transformers, causing them to fail.
Underground cable failures, along with overheated transformers, can cause outages. Our crews know the temperature is forecasted to approach 100 degrees over the next few days and will be ready to respond to any outages.
If you do experience an outage, don't hesitate to let us know by calling our toll-free outage reporting line at 1-844-484-2300, or by texting "out" to TXEWEB (893932).
Extreme heat can impact the electric grid
EWEB has enough energy to supply customers, but extreme heat can create "peak demand" events that tax the regional grid as people crank up air conditioning units to stay safe and cool.
In Oregon, we are part of the Western grid, which connects 11 states plus the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. The interconnection of the western grid not only provides access to diverse resources (hydro, wind, solar and more) but also allows utilities to share power across a vast transmission system to help balance supply and demand.
With our wealth of hydroelectric sources and an interconnected grid across the west, EWEB customers have been relatively well-protected from widespread power shortages, even during surges in demand. However, the climate crisis is likely to create longer, hotter summers that can create problems for the grid.
Ensuring adequate power resources and reliable systems across the region
Here in the Pacific Northwest, EWEB is part of an organized effort involving multiple utilities to ensure that collectively we have adequate power resources and reliable systems across the region.
And our power resources team is proactively working to ensure that EWEB's portfolio of resources can absorb increased supply and demand uncertainty. For example, we proactively purchased additional energy on the wholesale market to cover expected demand and we have a program for working with major customers to shift loads away from the hottest parts of the day.
If you would like to learn more about efforts to optimize our power resources, infrastructure, and services so that we can continue to serve our community with clean, affordable and reliable power, check out our Integrated Resource Planning page.
EWEB customers can contribute to a more stable, resilient grid
Improving the overall energy efficiency of your home is critical. Homes with efficient heating systems and good insulation use less energy, which can be important in extreme weather events.
Using less electricity during peak usage times can also benefit our local grid and power resources. Shifting energy use to "off-peak" can be as simple as running the dishwasher, charging your electric car, or doing the laundry later at night (after 9 p.m.).
Finally, watching our water use can help the grid as well. It takes a lot of energy to treat and deliver the water you use every day. It takes even more energy to turn it into hot water. Saving water saves energy, which in turn reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Fixing leaks around the house, taking shorter showers, and planting "water-wise" landscapes are also great ways to take care of our water source, the beautiful McKenzie River.
Plan ahead for emergencies
EWEB crews are getting ready to deal with the stress that extreme heat may place on our electric system. While we hope to avoid power outages and will resolve any outages that do occur as quickly and safely as possible, we always encourage customers to plan ahead for staying cool, fed, and hydrated in the event the power does go out.
Have alternate plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices. Create an outage kit with a few basic items, such as:
- Stored or bottled water
- Flashlights and fresh batteries
- Back-up batteries for cellphones
- Battery-powered or hand-held fans
- Frozen cold packs
Plan ahead to relocate to a friend or family member's home or to a shelter, especially if you have a medical condition that requires electricity or you'll need to work or learn from home during an outage. Find more emergency preparedness tips and sign up for EWEB's Pledge to Prepare at eweb.org/emergencyprep.
Cooling tips for your home
Air conditioning is one way to cool your home, but the energy use can quickly add up on your utility bill. Fortunately for us in the green and temperate Pacific Northwest, we have many alternatives that can keep our homes comfortable in the summer with less energy use. A combination of proper insulation, energy-efficient windows and doors, shading, and ventilation will usually keep your home cool, with a low amount of energy use.
Some of our tips are free and can be used on a daily basis to increase your savings; others are simple and inexpensive actions you can take to ensure maximum savings through the warm months.