Customer partners – 2010
Click on the indicator numbers below to read more about our performance related to this topic.
|EU 7: Energy Efficiency and Conservation
|EU 19: Stakeholder Participation in Utility
Planning and Infrastructure Development
As a customer-owned municipal utility, EWEB sees our role in the community as more than just a
provider of water and electricity – we are an active and contributing community member dedicated
to serving the interests of the citizens of Eugene. Moreover, we recognize that improving our social
and environmental performance requires deeper engagement with our customers and the community.
EWEB enjoys much more community engagement with utility decision – making than most of our peer
publicly owned utilities. This is reflected in our legacy of investing in water and energy conservation
and efficiency as well as clean, renewable energy sources – decisions driven by the desires and values
of our customers.
In the future, it is anticipated that our customers will have an even more active relationship with EWEB.
Rapidly developing smart meter and grid technologies
hold the promise to transform the way electricity is
delivered to our customers and how our customers interact with us. It is also likely that in the future,
some of our customers will increasingly be generating their own power, by installing
on their rooftops or investing in community owned renewable energy projects.
Energy efficiency and conservation
Since 1982, EWEB and our customers have undertaken energy
efficiency and conservation measures roughly equivalent to the firm annual energy output of EWEB's two McKenzie River hydroelectric projects,
EWEB's share of the International Paper cogeneration project,
and EWEB's share of the Foote Creek Wind
and Harvest Wind projects combined.
In 2010 alone, EWEB acquired 25,566 megawatt-hours of electricity savings, an amount equivalent to the
average annual electricity consumption of more than 2,000 homes, by investing $6.8 million in programs
targeting residential, commercial and industrial customers – exceeding our efficiency and conservation
target of 2.38 average megawatts by 23%. These co-investments in weatherization and high
efficiency appliances and lighting
help lower customers monthly bills and reduce the region's dependence on
fossil fuel-fired power resources.
Since 1990, these co-investments have resulted in more than 50 average megawatts in energy savings,
roughly equivalent to one and a half times the firm annual energy output of EWEB's two McKenzie River
Hydroelectric projects. That translates approximately to a 15% reduction in our community's
electricity use, beyond what would have been expected, over the last 20 years.
Advanced metering and smart grid technologies
EWEB is actively exploring the possible deployment of "smart grid" technologies, such as advanced
metering infrastructure, which allow for two-way communication between a utility and a customer.
These technologies will improve the reliability and efficiency of the electric grid, allow for
better integration of renewable resources and give customers greater control over how much
electricity they use and when they use it. In 2010, EWEB's staff began investigating technology
options and associated costs and planning for community outreach and a "smart meter" pilot, anticipated
EWEB's current surplus power position, access to very low cost power from the Bonneville Power
Administration and uncertainty about the future of wholesale power prices together limits EWEB's
ability to aggressively invest in all cost-effective energy efficiency and conservation without
significant near-term increases to retail rates. As EWEB considers the future of its energy
efficiency and conservation programs, we will examine the trade-offs in acquiring different
levels of energy savings and the impacts near-term higher rates would have on the broader community.
The anticipated deployment of smart meter and new metering technologies could help Eugene become a
city where the sourcing and use of power react nimbly to market conditions of supply and demand,
are efficient and cost-effective, and further the community's environmental and social values.
However, new technologies and a new relationship to the use of energy in homes and businesses
will require change, making it even more important to enhance our relationship with customers
so that desired outcomes can be built in partnership.
EWEB has the opportunity to generate a comprehensive plan of action and educate customers and the
community on the costs and benefits of a new way of utilizing energy. A carefully planned and
open approach will reap both goodwill and a future worth aspiring to.
As part of our commitment to collaborate with our customers in shaping this energy future, EWEB began
work on the latest version of its Integrated
Electric Resource Plan in 2011. The plan development is
to be informed by a 13-member community advisory panel that will share their perspectives on
important future trends and community values that relate to resource-planning decisions.