Eugene Water and Electric Board plans to eliminate its tiered rate system for electricity. The 5 EWEB commissioners indicated their support for a fixed rate at Tuesday night’s meeting.
Currently, EWEB charges 5.9 cents per kilowatt-hour up to 800 kilowatt-hours. Anything above that is charged at 7.4 cents per kilowatt-hour. EWEB’s Joe Harwood says the system was set up in 2003 during the energy crisis. But, the utility has found the system is unfair to those who use more electricity.
“What we’ve found is that higher priced 2nd tier affectively acts as a heating penalty for the majority of customers and so by eliminating that 2nd tier and going with just a fixed consumption charge we’re more equitable between customers.”
Harwood says the hope is that a new fixed rate system of 6.5 cents per kilowatt hour will alleviate the sticker shock associated with electricity use. That should make EWEB more competitive with natural gas. EWEB will vote on the proposal at their October meeting.