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
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 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
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
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
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
Electric vehicles benefit customers and the community
The rising cost of gasoline and growing consequences of climate change are driving more and more people to look for alternatives to gas-powered vehicles. And EVs offer benefits that go beyond the gas pump.Find Out More
EWEB preparing for expected surge in electric vehicles
Electric vehicle (EV) sales are poised to skyrocket in the years ahead as technology improves, more models hit the market, prices fall and regulations limit the sale of gas-powered vehicles. And EWEB is preparing for this surge.Find Out More
EWEB programs make electric mobility more accessible
Electric mobility seems to be everywhere these days, but does availability equal accessibility? Here at EWEB we’ve determined that the answer is ‘no’ and are working to bridge that gap through EV car shares, community grants and electric bike rebates.Find Out More
Lead Green annual summary
In Eugene, we take pride in knowing we have one of the cleanest power portfolios in the nation. Roughly 90% of Eugene's power comes from carbon-free hydroelectric energy. And EWEB has a long history offering robust conversation programs. But we wanted to do more, so we launched Lead Green, a suite of programs for climate innovators looking to support renewable energy and take action on climate change. In the year since Lead Green was launched, we've accomplished a lot we can be proud of.Find Out More
- Show More
Wildfire and Outage Prevention
September 10, 2020
On Monday, September 7, EWEB shut down four substations and delayed restoration to a feeder line in order to mitigate the risk of wildland fires, impacting more than 3,000 customers in the south hills and areas east of Thurston.
Conditions allowed crews to restore power to south Eugene residents by the following day. However, active fire, smoke and other hazardous conditions for several days thwarted attempts to assess and safely re-energize power lines serving customers from Thurston to Walterville.
Power lines can cause wildfires under a variety of "Red Flag" conditions when a combination of warm temperatures, very low humidity, and strong winds produce an increased risk of a rapidly spreading fire.
Our power distribution system contains fuses and circuit breakers that detect fault conditions and protect the system if something goes wrong, much like the breaker panel in your home or business but on a larger scale. Even as the protection systems do their job, arcs and sparks can happen before the electricity is removed and an arcing downed line can quickly ignite grass and other vegetation, particularly in very dry conditions, and the fire can spread rapidly in high winds or gusts.
Falling Tree Branches
Tree branches can cause fires in multiple ways. A tree falling across a line can tear the line down. If a limb falls on the line, it can ignite and may even produce an electrical arc. The arc itself can spark a fire, and if the branch remains in contact with the line, it can eventually break the line.
Equipment Failure and Operation
Equipment such as switches, insulators, and transformers can deteriorate as they age, causing arcing and sparking when they fail or are stressed. Also, the normal operation of some protective fuses can cause sparks to fall into the ground. In severely dry and windy conditions, the sparks can ignite nearby vegetation.
Wildfire and outage prevention
Here in the northwest, we are all too aware that wildfires often result in loss of life and property.
To help prevent tree-related outages and mitigate wildfire risk, we proactively prune trees to help keep our equipment clear. Crews trim around 300 line miles of vegetation annually to minimize falling trees and branches for ongoing reliability maintenance, with an additional 250 line miles inspected and pruned specifically for fire protection in high-risk areas.
When there is a high risk for a wildfire, we may temporarily shut off power to certain neighborhoods to prevent our electric system from becoming the source of an ignition. As each weather situation is unique, we work closely with other agencies such as Lane County Emergency Management, U.S. Forest Service, and Oregon Department of Forestry, and carefully review a combination of factors when deciding if power must be turned off, including:
- Red Flag Warning - Declared by National Weather Service
- High Wind Forecast - Sustained and gusting winds
- Wind-Related Outages - An indication of falling branches and/or downed power lines
- Low Humidity Levels
- Dry Material on the Ground - Can quickly ignite sparks
- Situational Awareness - Real-time observations by crews in the field
We realize this proactive approach of preemptively shutting off power can present challenges, especially for those who live in rural areas and rely on electric pumps for wells. If your power has been shut off, we will restore power as soon as the conditions permit, and crews have inspected the system to confirm it is safe to re-energize power lines.
You can help mitigate wildfire risks
Just as we manage vegetation to keep trees away from power lines, it's important for you to create a line of defense around your property by clearing dead trees and brush away from your property, particularly if you live in the south hills and other heavily forested areas of our community.
When selecting a new tree to plant, follow the "Right Tree, Right Place" approach. By picking the proper species and planting procedure, you can increase public safety, reduce power outages, reduce the need for routine pruning, and promote healthy, beautiful trees.
You should also have a plan for how you and your family will stay safe from wildfire. Find more information at https://www.ready.gov/wildfires.