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AMEREN CRP : Ameren Missouri Reminds Customers: Safety First, Check on Neighbors in Heat Wave

07/27/2011 | 12:25pm US/Eastern
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Jul 27, 2011

As the heat wave continues to bake the region, Ameren Missouri is advising customers to stay safe and cool and to watch out for others who may need help.

“The relentless heat can be dangerous, but our system is prepared to handle the increased demand from air conditioners and other cooling equipment running continuously during this heat wave,” said Richard Mark, senior vice president of Customer Operations for Ameren Missouri. “Safety is our top priority for our customers and our employees. It’s important that we keep an eye out for each other. We need to remember to check on the elderly and anyone with medical issues who may suffer from these extreme temperatures, especially if they don’t have air conditioning.”

Mark noted, “We fully understand and appreciate the concern customers have in saving money but the fact is that running a home air conditioner costs only a few dollars a day, and keeping cool in the heat can literally mean the difference between life and death.”

Mark said the need to lend a hand to customers who need assistance paying their energy bills is the reason why the Dollar More program exists. The program helps families in need with their home energy costs. Customers wanting to support Dollar More can simply check the Dollar More box on their utility bills and one dollar is added each month to their bill to support the program.

This year, Ameren Missouri committed $2.4 million in corporate funds to energy aid programs to benefit its customers. This donation is the final phase of the company’s $5 million commitment made in 2010. By partnering with the United Way and a network of 40 human service agencies, Ameren Missouri ensures 100 percent of all donations go to families in need within the Ameren Missouri service area. Since 1982, the Ameren Missouri Dollar More program has given more than $32 million to help more than 139,000 families with their energy bills.

In addition to assistance for customers with their energy bills, Mark offered advice on how customers can manage their bills:

• Turn up the thermostat on your air conditioner. Every degree you increase the temperature can cut your electricity use by almost three percent.

• Regularly wash or change (depending on type) air conditioner filters.

• Use low-cost ceiling fans or other types of circulating fans. Many customers find this can help them set their thermostats higher to 76 to 78 degrees.

• Keep out the heat by closing shades, curtains and blinds during the day.

• Replace incandescent light bulbs with Energy Star-qualified compact fluorescent lights (CFLs).

These lights emit little heat compared with incandescent bulbs and can last up to 10 years.

Go to Energy Advisor to learn more energy saving tips. Customers can also call toll-free 1.866.422.4605 to speak with an energy advisor Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (Central).

Plus, residential customers can enroll in Ameren Missouri’s Budget Billing program. This allows customers to pay the same amount on their bill each month. Enrollment is free. Customers can call 1.800.552.7583 to enroll.

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Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than a century, and our electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. We serve 1.2 million electric and 126,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. Our mission is to meet their energy needs in a safe, reliable, efficient and environmentally responsible manner. Our service area covers 63 counties and 500 towns, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information, visit AmerenMissouri.com.

Contact: Missouri Communications, 314.554.2182, missouricommunications@ameren.com

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