EWEB

Leaburg Dam
12:43 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

High Pricetag To Fix Old McKenzie Dam

The Leaburg Dam on the McKenzie River.
Credit USGS

The Eugene Water and Electric Board hopes to start repairing Leaburg Dam as soon as May. The cost to fix the 83-year-old structure on the McKenzie River is projected to be $2.8 million. That's about twice the previous estimate.

The motor in one of the dam's three roll gates failed in 2012. The gate has been in the down position ever since.  The roll-gates regulate how much water flows through the dam, which generates power for about 10-thousand homes. Joe Harwood is spokesman for EWEB. He says it's not surprising the first cost estimate of $1.2 million was off.

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weather
11:57 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Crews Work to Restore Power to Thousands After Storm

Credit EWEB Facebook page

Thousands of Oregonians were still without power Monday morning after Saturday's ice storm. Crews from local utilities have been working long hours to restore it but for a few people the wait may go into tomorrow.

As of Monday morning about 14 hundred Eugene Water & Electric customers were without power.  EWEB's Joe Harwood estimates Saturday morning about 6 thousand had their power out. Harwood says Saturday's ice storm was unprecedented:

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Power Outages
10:34 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Ice Storm Causes Hundreds Of Downed Trees, Thousands Without Power

A fallen tree on Jefferson St.
Credit KMTR News, Eugene

Following last week's snow and freezing rain Saturday, utility companies have been dealing with power outages throughout the South Willamette Valley.

According to the Eugene Water and Electric Board, thousands of customers are without power particularly in the South hills, the Laurel Hill Valley, and a portion of southwest Eugene. EWEB Spokesman Joe Harwood says crews have been working through night.

Harwood: "It's one of those things where we take two steps forward and three steps back."

Harwood says multiple crews worked until around 3 AM trying to restore power.

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Weather
3:58 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

EWEB Has Some Tips To Keep Your Pipes From Freezing

The last winter storm in December left hundreds of Eugene residents with frozen or burst pipes. That means more work for plumbers and utility workers, but the costs can be expensive for homeowners or renters. Joe Harwood is the Communications Coordinator for the Eugene Water and Electric Board. He has some tips for keeping your pipes from freezing.

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Utility Bills
8:26 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Record Lows Will Mean Higher Utility Bills

Credit NWCU.com

Last week's record lows will mean higher-than-normal utility bills for Eugene Water and Electric Board customers. The cold also wreaked havoc on plumbing for many residents.

EWEB Public Affairs Manager Lance Robertson says between 70 to 80 percent of homes in the area are heated by electricity. He says EWEB noticed a 30% increase over a five day period compared to average usage.

Robertson: "Whenever temperatures drop to a really extreme temperature, people are going to use more electricity no matter how much insulation they have in their house."

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Environment
11:10 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Drill to Prevent Further Worse Spills

Members of the Army Corps of Engineers and EWEB worked together Wednesday in an oil spill response drill at Dexter Dam. The scenario depicted the failure of the dam’s powerhouse transformer, causing 58-hundred gallons of insulating oil to spill into the Middle Fork Willamette River. EWEB and the engineers were joined by fire departments and response teams from the surrounding towns and counties. EWEB spokesman Joe Harwood says the main goal of the exercise was to be prepared ahead of time.

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Utility Rates
4:19 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

EWEB Proposes Rate Increases

Come February, Eugene Water and Electric Board customers will be paying more for their utilities, if the board approves proposed rate increases.

EWEB’s management has recommended increases of 4.5% for electricity and 3% for water. For a single-family home, that’s about $6 more per month for electricity and $1 more for water. Spokesman Joe Harwood explains one reason for the rate hike:

Harwood: “EWEB continues to face diminishing revenues due to the continuing low prices that we receive for selling surplus power to other utilities.”

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Science & Technology
7:32 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

EWEB Approves Voluntary Smart Meters

Smart meter.

After a crowded public hearing, the Eugene Water and Electric Board voted to install smart meters only for customers who request it. A number of people spoke in opposition to the wireless meters citing health concerns. EWEB spokesman Joe Harwood says there is no risk.

Harwood: “I’m frankly speechless. I don’t know how to respond to people that think that radio waves are going to somehow cause a health effect. It’s patently ridiculous.”

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