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Economic and dam related articles

EWEB to Vote on Rate Increase

by Staff
KVAL, December 4, 2015

EUGENE, Ore. - The Eugene Water & Electric Board Commissioners are set to make a decision on a rate increase for all of its users in 2016 at a meeting Tuesday night.

EWEB says the hikes come after an increase in the cost of the electricity that EWEB (and all other Northwest public utilities) purchase from the federal Bonneville Power Administration.

EWEB has also reduced its operating costs by nearly $3 million to keep from passing through the entire Bonneville cost increase.

The board proposed a $10 hike in back in September, but after hearing from the community they went back to the drawing board and came up with the following four options.

Each option includes an overall 2.5 percent increase in electricity charges.

The four options under consideration are:

A $2.70 increase in the basic charge - equal to the Bonneville Power Administration "pass-through." All customers would share equally in the BPA increase.

An across the board increase of 2.5 percent of all four charges on the residential bill - basic charge, delivery charge and two energy charge tiers - to cover the BPA pass-through.

A $5 increase in the basic charge, to $25. The per-kilowatt-hour delivery charge and the two energy tiers would remain intact, but the consumption-based delivery charge would be reduced to offset the non-BPA portion of the basic charge increase.

A $5 increase in the basic charge, with a reduction of the consumption charges. The bill also would be simplified by eliminating the delivery charge and the second energy tier. Residential customers would have a single consumption-based energy charge.

In three out of the four options, the current rate structure would remain intact. The fourth option includes simplification of the bill by eliminating the delivery charge and the second, higher tier for consumption.

Based on the average bill, almost all residential customers will see an increase in monthly electricity charges, regardless of which option commissioners choose on Tuesday. Commercial customers also will be impacted by the BPA cost increase.

EWEB commissioners will also consider an overall average water price increase of 3.6 percent for commercial and residential customers.

For the average residential customer using 9,000 gallons per month, the increase would add about $1.50 to the water bill.

If an option is chosen tonight, the electric and water pricing modifications would go into effect Feb. 1, 2016.

EWEB Commissioners will be tonight at 5:30 pm, there will also be opportunities for public comment at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. before a decision is made.

December 2, 2014

EWEB to Vote on Rate Increase
KVAL, December 4, 2015

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