Oregon: Affordability Initiative helps reduce water and energy prices


An initiative launched in 2017 by the Eugene Water & Electric Board has resulted in the utility reducing bills for water customers this February.

The Oregon utility is reducing water bills for residential customers by 4.5% as from February 1.

Eugene Water & Electric Board’s Affordability Initiative has also resulted in no changes in the utility’s energy tariffs for the second year in a row.

This year will be the third year in four years Eugene Water & Electric Board has kept energy tariffs flat for customers.

The Affordability Initiative aims to reduce operational costs for the utility without negatively impacting on customer services. Measures implemented under the initiative include prioritising projects and investments in line with their impact on the utility’s day to day operations.

For instance, the energy and water distribution firm has this year reduced annual budget by $6.1 million by allocating $300.9 million towards operations.

Labour cost has been reduced by $3.8 million from 2017 levels.

The energy provider is planning to help its customers to become more energy efficient by increasing investments in energy management and conservation. The utility company has increased its energy conservation budget by $250,000 compared to 2017.

The increase in consumer energy efficiency investment is to avoid incurring losses following the Eugene Water & Electric Board absorbing a $2.7 million increase in wholesale electricity from Bonneville Power without passing the charges to customers.

65% of electricity used by Eugene customers is supplied by Bonneville Power.

Eugene Water & Electric Board has reserved $1.5 million to help low-income customers pay their bills.


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