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Eugene Water & Electric Board APPA Business and Financial Conference September 14, 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Eugene Water & Electric Board APPA Business and Financial Conference September 14, 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Eugene Water & Electric Board APPA Business and Financial Conference September 14, 2009

2 EWEB & the Roller Coaster Economy Wendi K. Schultz-Kerns Cash Accounting Supervisor EWEB Headquarters

3 A Few Eugene Facts Population 143,000 3 rd Largest City in Oregon University Town – 20,000 – 22,000 Students ** US Census Bureau & U of O Registrar

4 Who is EWEB? Largest Public Utility in Oregon 500+ FTE employees EWEB chartered through City of Eugene 5 Member Elected Board of Commissioners - Public Service 2008 Operating Revenue approx. $301mm

5 EWEB Services Provide electricity to a 238 square mile area 86,700 Electric customers 50,600 Water customers 75 Steam customers Wholesale water to local Districts Surplus electricity - EWEB resources sold in regional power markets

6 EWEB Mission Community Engagement Mission To be an outstanding provider of energy and water products that meet customers’ needs and benefit the citizens of Eugene. Legacy Statement focus on 4 specific areas: The customers’ needs The organization The community’s needs The Board of Commissioners Social Economic Environmental

7 Oregon Unemployment June 2009 Unemployment Rate 12.2% More than double June 2008 Above National 9.5% Unemployed Oregonians increased from 114,000 in June ‘08 to 241,000 June ‘09 ** Register Guard 07/14/09 pg. B5 – Sherri Buri McDonald & OR State Unemployment Dept. Eugene major employer closures – 13.2% Unemployed Eugene/Springfield ** US Census Bureau

8 Door Hangers JULY ‘09 YTD 8, YTD 11, YTD 12,344 Non-Pay Disconnects JULY ‘09 YTD 1, YTD 1, YTD 1,497 EWEB Historical Stats Jan- July ‘09 & prior YTD comparisons JULY ’09 YTD $189, YTD $256, YTD $202,557 Write-Offs

9 Walk In & Call Volume Phones (13-15 FTE) 150, , ,951 Lobby (5 FTE) JULY ‘09 YTD 39, YTD 61, YTD 66,927

10 EWEB Economic Creativity 2009 Critical Thinking Exercises Empower team members Outside the box solutions- front line Collection leniency – exceptions Alleviates supervisor turnovers Enhances employee morale – authority & trust to do the right thing Balance customer and organization needs

11 Staffing & Service Goals Re-evaluate performance & write off goals Focus on excellence Flex schedules - Extend business hours Hired 7 new CSA’s – 6 to 8 week training De-stress & breathing sessions for CS staff – on-site H/R Health & Wellness

12 Successful Modifications Re-designed lobby lines for shorter appearance Improved perception of wait time Implemented new Phone System July ’09 Testing Phone IVR Credit Card payments Potential to automate calls 2009 budget reductions all Sections 2010 anticipated – fiscal responsibility

13 Economic Improvements Customer Deposits Residential – 4 options Students 9 month credit year Consider 2 mo. avg. vs. 2 highest mo. service Increase LI Assistance DG % to 75% Commercial – 5 options Deposits 2 year vs. 3 year period Personal Guarantor for business account Guarantors can extend to Non-EWEB customers Water Leaks / Appeals Reduce catastrophic credit criteria

14 EWEB’s Social Commitment Renowned Customer Care Program Limited Income Customers – 60% OR State Median Income $1.7 mm – Assistance (ECC) & Education (ECCP) $200 assistance Incentives, Budget Counseling – up to $350 Deposit Guarantor - 2 years Senior/Disabled PIP Arrearage – Fixed Income 100% FPL $300k Energy Management Services Conservation & Weatherization referrals

15 EWEB Innovation Economic Assistance Bright Ideas from Beginning….. $300k Anonymous Donation October Grant Oregon Community Foundation – Administered by Saint Vincent DePaul Staff creativity – Program development To End…… $4.4mm Customer Assistance Package Board approval January 20, 2009

16 Eugene Water & Electric Board Community Care Rate Rebate - $2.2mm Job Loss - $1.0mm Low Inc. Housing - $350k Crisis - $100k Shelter Care - $15k Senior / Disabled - $40k Deposit Guarantor expanded Weatherization Expansion -$400k Small Bus. Lighting - $135k Weatherization Loan deferrals

17 2009 EWEB Community Care Rate Rebate - $2.2mm As COU – EWEB responsibility Re-invest surplus hydropower sales revenues back into community Electric customers $30 credit Rebate – “Give back” campaign Bill stuffer – Prepaid post card donate back to core program

18 2009 EWEB Community Care Job Loss Program - $1.35mm L. I. Housing rolled into Job Loss $350k Job Loss NO income qualifications $200 Assistance – Acct. Holder, Spouse or Domestic Partner Proof of UI payments – 14 days Application on-line, fax, lobby computer kiosk Partnerships – ESD & LCC

19 2009 EWEB Community Care Crisis Program - $100k Income qualified program Seek core program assistance prior Unforeseen event last 90 days 3 rd Party certification Customer payment last 90 days Create financial hardship – At risk of immediate disconnect Max $500 – must relieve Crisis

20 2009 EWEB Community Care Shelter Care Program - $15k Utility Customer in EWEB territory Proof of 501c3 Shelter Facility Stipend $20 per permanent bed Application on-line, fax, lobby Partnerships – Community Resource Network meetings

21 2009 EWEB Community Care Weatherization Loan Deferral & other Bill Pay Assistance Wx Loan Deferral 6 months Loans piggy back on Job Loss application EWEB internal process customer ease $40k Expand Senior & Disabled PIP Annual arrearage up to $1,000 max EWEB Deposit Guarantor Increase from 50% to 75% - $300 max

22 2009 EWEB Community Care Other Wx Expansions - $535k Weatherization – Targets Single Family Rentals 1- 4 Units Increased Income to 80% OR State Median U.S. DOE rolled out 200% FPL Approx. 74% OR median Energy Efficient Lighting – Small Business Owners up to 75% cost for retrofits

23 EWEB Community Care EWEB Public Affairs – media –TV/radio, print ads, customer interviews C.S. Queue - Muzak on-hold message EWEB lobby display – applications, website City of Eugene – Shared Property Owner lists Weatherization mailings Marketing

24 EWEB Community Care Valued Partnerships Employment Security Dept. - displays Lane Community College – Job Resource Center EWEB Community Resource Network Meetings Lane County HSC, St. Vincent DePaul, Celeste Campbell Senior Center and Catholic Community Services of Springfield - Agency coordination

25 EWEB Economic Contributions 03/10/09 – 07/31/ customers Donated $30 rebates - $52, customers Job Loss - $361, customers Loan Deferral - $9, Shelter Care facilities - $14, families sought Crisis - $8,623 72,388 Residential Electric accounts received $30 Rebate – total $2.2mm

26 2010 Economic Proposals Expand Income guidelines to 80% Increase Assistance - $200 to $300 EWEB Customer Care & Community Care Job Loss Shelter Program – increase Utility stipend $20 to $40 per bed Crisis Program extension Rapid Re-housing Program Partnership with Lane County Wx considering alternative expansions Wx – Targets Multi- Family Rentals 5+ Units Small Business Lighting may increase to 100%, caps apply Eugene Water & Electric Board

27 The EWEB Challenge: Make a Difference in your Community Advocate for Customers in need Seek Board / Executive Support Fundraisers - “EWEB Run To Stay Warm” Parking Raffle, Bake Sales, Dept. contests Be creative – LOW or NO cost solutions Care about the “Public” in your Public Utility Exercise compassion & understanding for customers during economic challenges Eugene Water & Electric Board

28 Questions ? Thank you. Call


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