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Help with High Energy Bills

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EUGENE, Ore. — As the temperatures drop, EWEB customers say their bills are rising.

Company officials say consumption has gone up nearly 45 percent. Some say their bills have doubled since the cold snap.

EWEB says not to worry; they have different resources to help those who are struggling to pay the bills.

Traci Ferguson walked out of the EWEB office satisfied.

“I got lucky today,” said Ferguson.

She only had to pay $145 for her bill. There was an unlucky part.

“Here on the 21st of this month, it’s going to be another $137,” said Ferguson.

Unlike the warmer months of the year, her bill now is higher.

“July, we can get away with like $70,” said Ferguson.

Customers like Ferguson say they’ve seen their EWEB bills spike recently.
“It’s a lot higher than it usually is. It usually ranges between $75 and $80 and now that’s it’s gotten so cold, I’m paying almost like $300, $200,” said Ferguson.

Company officials say bills usually see a spike around this time every year.

“We let all of our customers know that because everyone’s consumption was up because of the extreme cold weather, that they should expect higher bills just because the more you use, the more it costs,” said Joe Harwood, EWEB spokesperson.

EWEB says there are different ways to help bring costs down.

“Monitor your consumption. Use it when you’re home and don’t heat your house if there’s no one home,” said Harwood.

He also says they offer assistance programs for low-income homes or people who are unemployed and for those who’s bills are rising. If you don’t qualify for help, EWEB is willing to work with you.

“Give us a call. Let’s work out payment arrangements. We’re very willing to work with people. We understand this is a hardship,” said Harwood.

“It’s always fun to talk to people in here because they’re friendly,” said Ferguson.

Harwood says nearly $2 million are set aside every year for the assistance program. This year they received over $600 thousand extra for it.

 

5 comments

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  1. SAB says:

    If you’ve lived in a place for at least a year, go to EWEB and have them figure out how much you’ll pay per month on their equal pay plan. I did this and am sooooo happy. Our electric bill last winter tripled because our house is so hard to heat. Now, I pay the same amount every month. No surprises, no getting behind on the bill.

  2. Glenda says:

    This angers me to no end. It’s nothing but pure greed.

  3. Glenna says:

    When you did this story did it occur to you that SUB customers might like to know about their bills, also? We feel a little forgotten sometimes. Especially when you do a story about something in Eugene that Springfield is affected by also.

    Thank You

  4. Rox says:

    I wish I was on EWEB. Sadly I am an EPUD customer. They are extremely unpleasant to deal with and most unhelpful. I have been asking for 2 years for an equal-pay plan. They won’t even talk to me – nothing by phone, nothing in writing. I have good credit but suddenly being faced with a $200 bill when it’s usually around $80 would challenge most people and I’m under-employed as a temp with low wage though too much for LIHEAP which I understand is out of money already anyway. And EPUD customer service told me once they “didn’t believe in LIHEAP” as they had “their own help system” (which consists of their soliciting money from their customers to go into their “helping hands” system but when you ask for help you’re denied — or just ignored, like me — so who knows where that money actually goes).

  5. Sarahkate says:

    You know sometimes the cliches about power saving aren’t worth the web page space. There’s three things to consider. First no matter how frugal you are, a week of close-to-zero temps including a memorable 36 hours at minus 5, is going to drastically increase your power bill. Second, if you’re a renter, most of the time you could not get a landlord to do energy saving upgrades to your rental unit as they figure the utility bills are the tenant’s problem not theirs. For example – during the cold snap I kept my thermostat at 65 during the times I was home (early eve to early a.m.) and 62 the rest. It was so cold in my bathroom on the coldest days that the shower curtain froze to the tub although I left the tub and sink faucets dripping slowly to keep them from freezing. I wore longies and sweats and turtlenecks AND A KNIT HAT to bed to keep warm. I did not cook, I had some meals out mostly fast foods though I prefer to cook for myself. I did laundry at the laundromat did not use my washer/dryer. All lights off except the very room I was in and sometimes just used a flashlight. No tv was used at all. No computer either – everything off. My power bill was still nearly $300. I do not like the mealymouthed platitudes that say conserve conserve conserve because it does ot work – moreover if you DO conserve what the utility companies do is whine about lowered income and go get the rates raised.

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