When I moved to Eugene in 1995 I was surprised at the size of my first EWEB bill. Perhaps I was unduly influenced by the songs of Woody Guthrie, but I assumed that with lots of hydro and rain, electricity and water wouldn’t eat into my mortgage payments much.
Woody steered me wrong. EWEB was a classic government protected monopoly gone bad, and the bills were steep. I had an $863 mortgage on an 1100 sq ft house with oil heat, and EWEB was charging another $120 for water and lights. I couldn’t make it work without my parent’s help – and I knew lots of people didn’t have that kind of help.
Things have now changed. A few years ago the EWEB board hired a new manager, who has cut costs and your EWEB bill. Now he wants to increase the use of “smart meters” which use cell-phone technology to record electricity use and calculate bills, freeing up meter readers for more productive work, cutting your bill even more.
And yesterday the EWEB board voted in favor of this, despite the testimony of a small group of tin-hatters who thought the radio waves would harm their already iffy brain functionality. The RG has the story: http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/36419454-75/eweb-decides-customers-must-opt-out-if-they-oppose-smart-meters.html.csp
In celebration, a reader sent me this fabulous video, showing how to put those redundant old electricity meters to a higher valued use. Woody Guthrie would be proud: