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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Your electric rates at work: EWEB’s grid demonstrates resiliency during December’s winter storms
January 12, 2023 • Robyn Smith, EWEB Communications
Despite an ice storm and a few windstorms in Eugene and the McKenzie Valley in the past few weeks, EWEB has so far fended off widespread weather-caused power outages – largely because of investments in year-round system maintenance and infrastructure improvements.
And it’s all possible because of your electric rates.
The week before Christmas, the National Weather Service forecasted up to half an inch of ice accumulation in the Eugene area. When ice weighs down tree limbs, the limbs can snap causing outages. This is just one of the reasons why our crews trim more than 300 overhead line miles of vegetation each year.
So, EWEB staff activated our incident management structure to ensure we had crews on call and a strategy in place to respond to power outages through the holiday weekend. As predicted, ice blanketed Eugene and the surrounding areas, but power outages did not materialize.
In addition to vegetation management, we have a full toolbox of "grid hardening" strategies to improve our equipment’s resiliency to extreme weather conditions.
For example, this summer, crews reconfigured a span of overhead wires across 80 poles near the McKenzie Highway to a ‘slim line’ format (pictured). Modern equipment capabilities allow us to replace older double lines held up by wooden cross arms with a single wire. This new configuration both removes cross arms that can fail during winter storms and adds more clearance between wires and nearby vegetation. Ultimately, this reduces the chance of branches contacting the lines during high wind events and snowstorms.
Shortly after Christmas, we experienced relatively few outages from a 48-hour windstorm that blew through the Willamette Valley. Our crews were able to respond and restore power within a few hours. Other utilities in the area did not fare so well.
Because EWEB had minimal equipment to repair from the wind event, and tree related damage was manageable within one workday, we were able to respond to a request for aid from our neighbors to the north, Portland General Electric (PGE), after the initial impact of the windstorm left over 100,000 PGE customers without power. With our local outages restored, EWEB sent two, two-person crews to help PGE with outage restoration.
And with continual investments in our electric system, EWEB is prepared for whatever the winter weather has in store as we finish out this season.
“We are ready to respond to any isolated outages that customers may experience from tough winter weather. Our crews are dedicated to community response and safety, and we will continue to monitor and prepare for weather-related events. Our ability to rebound during severe weather has been a long-term effort that staff have focused on with dedication to our maintenance, compliance and improvements day to day,” said Tyler Nice, EWEB electric operations manager.
To learn more about how to prepare your home and family for power outages and emergencies, go to eweb.org/emergencyprep.
Your Rates Keep the Lights on and the Water Flowing
The clean, safe water and electricity we all rely on would not be possible without the infrastructure that delivers it.
From power plants to distribution and transmission lines, substations and transformers, pipes, reservoirs and pump stations — utility infrastructure is a complex system that requires investment and maintenance to provide constant, reliable power and water.
EWEB plans for major infrastructure investments through our Capital Improvement Plan, a 10-year plan for rehabilitating, replacing, or installing new infrastructure.
Visit eweb.org/rateinfo to learn more about what goes into your EWEB rates and what you get for your money.