General FAQ

What access to my property must I provide to EPUD employees?

By law, if EPUD provides electric service to you, the utility has the right to enter your property to read and/or maintain its metering equipment without your permission. You are responsible for providing clear, unobstructed access to EPUD equipment for the installation, maintenance, and removal of its property.

What is a PUD?

A People’s Utility District is a not-for-profit business, existing only to provide reliable electric service at reasonable rates. Public power systems belong to the people they serve. In our community, the owners and users of our electric utility are the same. That means that your goals are also ours. There are no dividends to pay out-of-state stockholders, and all the benefits of our locally controlled electric utility remain here in this community. Visit our Power Generation page for more information on public power.

I want to put a tool shed or plant some shrubs near my transformer. Are there any guidelines I need to follow?

When you make plans to landscape or make other changes in your yard, please remember these important points regarding EPUD equipment:

  • Obstructing airflow can affect equipment cooling and cause damage
  • Obstructions can cause delays when restoring electric service
  • Do not paint EPUD equipment
  • Do not fence, landscape, or build any structures within 10 feet of the front and three feet from sides and back of EPUD equipment that would restrict access
  • EPUD will remove obstructions that impede work access

If you are unsure if your landscaping plans will interfere with our equipment, give us a call at (541) 746-1583.

I’ve heard that underground line is much more reliable than overhead line. Has EPUD considered changing its lines to underground?

Underground lines can be more reliable than overhead lines due to their resilience to being compromised by trees, winds, and other inclement weather. EPUD has moved some of the more problematic areas of our District to underground lines in order to bring the best service possible to our Customer-Owners. Moving all lines underground, however, is cost-prohibitive and is often not the correct action to take for other reasons as well. Following is a rough estimate of the difference in costs between building overhead and underground line, based on the capacity of the line:

6 megawatt (MW) line:

  • Build new overhead: $28 per foot
  • Build new underground or convert overhead to underground: $50 per foot

14 MW line:

  • Build new overhead: $30 per foot
  • Build new underground line: $125 per foot plus

In addition to these costs, there are add-in costs associated with flagging, special circumstances, etc., as it takes longer to build underground than overhead, which accentuates the difference in costs between overhead and underground.

It should also be noted that underground lines are not the perfect solution in all instances. It is problematic to read automated meters that are downstream of underground systems, and more importantly, underground lines severely limit our flexibility in operating and expanding the system.

EPUD makes the decision to install underground or overhead line based on what we feel is best for our Customer-Owners now and into the future.