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Water Emergency: 541-685-7595
EWEB Main: 541-685-7000
Eugene Water & Electric Board commissioners on Dec. 4 unanimously approved a $306.2 million 2019 budget that includes no residential electric or water price increases.Find Out More
With guidance and support provided through EWEB's commercial energy efficiency programs, the developer of a new five-story mixed-use building incorporated efficient LED lighting and a ductless heat pump system.Find Out More
Here in the Pacific Northwest, where we enjoy abundant, low-cost hydroelectric power, EVs are a smart economic choice and an important piece of the region's move away from fossil fuels.Find Out More
As a public utility, it’s important for us to be open and transparent with you—our customer-owners. Here are some highlights from this month’s meeting of your citizen-elected Board of Commissioners.Find Out More
As a public utility, it’s important for us to be open and transparent with you – our customer-owners. Here are some highlights for this month’s meeting of your citizen-elected Board of Commissioners.Find Out More
The University of Oregon, Eugene Water & Electric Board and City of Eugene are partnering with local auto dealers to bring the benefits of electric vehicles to more households.Find Out More
As a public utility, it's important for us to be open and transparent with you-our customer-owners. Here are some highlights from the April 3, 2018 meeting of your citizen-elected Board of Commissioners.Find Out More
Even small, shallow projects such as planting shrubs, installing a post or removing a root can be dangerous and costly if you inadvertently hit a power line, cable or pipe.Find Out More
Besides battling the western Oregon spring weather of 70 degrees and sunny one moment to torrential downpour the next, meter readers also find themselves faced with the additional challenges of meters blocked by spring vegetation growth and more unsecured dogs as summer approaches.Find Out More
As a public utility, it’s important for us to be open and transparent with you--our customer-owners. Here are some highlights from this month's meeting of your citizen-elected Board of Commissioners.Find Out More
Supporting vulnerable members of our community with conservation and efficiency programs is a priority for EWEB, which is why we are once again helping tenants and rental owners lower monthly utility bills through the Home Energy Score program.Find Out More
If your home is burning fossil fuels such as natural gas or oil, we have programs to help you upgrade to clean, efficient electricity.Find Out More
For many people, this is the highest energy consumption time of the year. We’ve got some low and no-cost tips to keep the bills down.Find Out More
Our Affordability Initiative is already delivering positive results for customers, with a water price decrease set to go into effect Feb. 1, 2018, and no electric price change for the second year in a row.Find Out More
The Oregon Residential Energy Tax Credit will expire at the end of 2017. If you’re considering these energy-efficient upgrades, make your purchase before Dec. 31 to take advantage of the tax credit.Find Out More
EWEB Commissioners in September will consider eliminating the second, higher-cost residential electric consumption tier and replacing it with a single flat price.
The utility currently assesses a consumption charge of about 6 cents per kilowatt hour for the first 800 kilowatt hours used by a customer. Once monthly usage goes above 800 kilowatt hours with the current structure, customers move into the second energy consumption tier at a kilowatt-hour price of 7.5 cents.
Under the price reform proposal, EWEB would eliminate that second tier price and charge all residential customers a flat price of 6.5 cents a kilowatt hour.
EWEB first adopted tiered pricing in 2003, following the volatile West Coast energy crisis that caused wholesale electricity prices to spike, and forced the utility to make expensive market purchases to meet customer demand. That tiered pricing structure no longer reflects our true cost for power. With current market conditions, we typically don't have to pay more for additional power, so we shouldn't pass nonexistent higher costs to our customers.
There are many good reasons to make this change.
Eliminating the higher consumption tier and going with a single residential price will stabilize bills year round, making it easier and more predictable for fixed-income customers to plan and budget. In addition, a single residential consumption price will help alleviate the "sticker shock" during the winter heating season when more than 60 percent of customers move into the higher-priced consumption tier. That second tier price effectively acts as a "heating penalty" for the majority of customers.
Another benefit to setting a flat consumption rate is that it will help incentivize electrification, allow EWEB to showcase its virtually carbon-free power portfolio and help the utility be more competitive with natural gas.
Plus, the second tier is invisible to customers, who don't know when they go above the 800 kWh threshold until they get their bill. Charging a slightly higher rate for winter heating is not a particularly effective conservation price signal or behavior motivator.
A more effective strategy to encourage conservation is through direct incentives such as rebates and loans for efficient heating/cooling systems and weatherization projects. EWEB continues to invest in conservation programs, and increased the 2018 energy efficiency budget by $250,000.
While low energy use customers will realize a marginal price increase of about a half-cent per kilowatt hour under this proposal, most customers will see lower bills during the heating season with the single flat rate. Based on consumption levels, some customers may see bills increase by $1 to $4 a month. The table below shows the difference in monthly expenses for a lower usage customer compared to a more typical customer using electric heating.
|Average Monthly Use||Current Electric Price||Proposed Electric Price|
It's important to note that low energy users do not necessarily equate to low income customers, as household size and heating systems are more indicative of energy consumption than income.
We remain committed to affordability of our products and services. 2019 will mark the fourth year in a row with no general increases to our electric prices. Commissioners and staff are also working on plans to restructure and reallocate low-income bill assistance and energy efficiency programs to ensure the highest benefit to our customers in need. We believe these tactics will prove more effective at helping customers reduce their bills while conserving energy compared with retaining arbitrary consumption tiers.
Before moving forward with this proposal, EWEB organized a Customer Pricing Committee to study different options to help make structural reforms to the manner in which the utility recovers costs. The committee recommended a gradual approach to these reforms, and endorsed the elimination of the second pricing tier.
Many utilities are moving to fewer tiers or outright flat rates in order to stabilize their financial positions as they prepare for a future where they cannot rely on the old model of consumption growth to meet the rising costs of delivering power to customer homes and businesses.
This incremental step will help position EWEB and our customers for a financially stable future given the fundamental and dynamic shifts taking place in the electric utility industry.
500 East Fourth Ave.
Eugene, OR 97401
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