utility

People text donations, they text votes to reality shows, now they can text a power outage. In time for winter weather, the Eugene Water and Electric Board has launched a new reporting service.

EWEB spokesman Joe Harwood says when their system was overloaded in February’s snowstorm, they started working on a solution. During that storm they also had to educate some younger customers who didn’t know they had to tell EWEB when their power was out:

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A group of disgruntled citizens in Deschutes County has succeeded in getting a special recall election. Voters in the Terrebonne Water District will decide April 1st whether to keep four of the five members on their utility board.

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."

EWEB Approves Voluntary Smart Meters

Oct 2, 2013

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.”