ST. LOUIS (June 16, 2021) – Today, Ameren Missouri donated $165,000 to Cooldownstlouis.org and Cooldownmissouri.org to support the most vulnerable customers in St. Louis and eastern Missouri. The company also donated 800 Energy Star® rated window air conditioners and 800 four-packs of LED lightbulbs for distribution throughout Missouri. On average, the energy-efficient air conditioners cost less than a dollar a day to operate.
"We want to ensure that our customers stay safe and healthy as temperatures start to rise with the summer heat," said Marty Lyons, chairman and president of Ameren Missouri. "Our partnership with Cooldownstlouis.org and Cooldownmissouri.org is a key part of that effort, particularly for seniors and those with medical conditions."
This year's air conditioner donation marks the 21st anniversary of Cooldownstlouis.org and Cooldownmissouri.org’s “Save our Seniors” (S.O.S) Cooling Summer Project. It is the 16th year of participation by Ameren Missouri, resulting in more than 9,000 window air conditioning units delivered to qualified seniors and people with disabilities across the region.
"Some seniors and neighbors with disabilities are still sheltered in their homes due to COVID-19, and it's important that they stay cool. Many will do so because of the generosity of Ameren Missouri and the hard work of Cooldownstlouis.org, Cooldownmissouri.org and its partnering agencies," said Missouri State Senator Karla May, a new Cooldownmissouri.org board member also representing the state of Missouri.
"St. Louis summers have been known to be extremely hot, humid and often deadly," said Tishaura Jones, the first African-American mayor of St. Louis and honorary chair of Cooldownstlouis.org. "Today, Ameren Missouri, a good corporate citizen, is donating 800 brand new energy efficient air conditioners to Cool Down St. Louis. We encourage our most vulnerable to turn on the air and stay safe this summer.
Today, many volunteers prepared donated units for statewide distribution to an already large waiting list of qualified seniors and clients with disabilities. Joining Lyons were Ameren Missouri volunteers, Cool Down board members Missouri State Senator Karla May; St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones; Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson, Greater St. Louis Area Fire Chiefs Association; Michael P. McMillan, president and CEO, Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis Inc.; Corporate Treasurer Reverend Earl E. Nance Jr.; Linda Fritz, NECAC program director; and Cora Faith Walker, St. Louis County Chief Policy Officer; and popular St. Louis television meteorologists.
“When Ameren and Cool Down St. Louis team up, the community significantly benefits. That’s because Ameren takes a leadership role in charitable partnerships. They bring the financial resources, and Cool Down St. Louis has the drive; and passion to help keep our elderly neighbors safe each summer. The Urban League has been affiliated with Cool Down for 21 years, and they are good neighbors,” said Michael P. McMillan, president/CEO, Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Inc. and a Cool Down executive board member.
Ameren Missouri resources are available for seniors and those with medical concerns. Customers and their families are encouraged to visit AmerenMissouri.com/HealthAndSafety for information on Medical Equipment Registry (MER), the Caring Contact Program and energy assistance options including the Keeping Cool Program and low-income weatherization assistance.
Older adults and people with disabilities, as well as low- to moderate-income families, are encouraged to apply for the energy assistance funds by visiting Cooldownstlouis.org and Cooldownmissouri.org or by calling 314.241.0001 or 314.657.1599, which are their hotlines for seniors and people with disabilities only.
“The first thing you need to know is that Cooldownstlouis.org save lives each summer. The second, good corporate neighbors like Ameren take a leadership role, providing resources like these precious life-saving energy efficient A/Cs,” said Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson, representing the Fire Chiefs Association of Greater St. Louis. “I also encourage you to check on your senior neighbors, while social distancing. This includes wearing a mask, while visiting."
The Cooldownstlouis.org S.O.S. Summer Project encourages area residents to check on their elderly neighbors to make sure their air conditioners are on and working. Cooldownstlouis.org and Cooldownmissouri.org will also be distributing 150,000 cooling cards with helpful summer tips, along with Ameren Missouri's contact information, to connect customers with available resources.
“St. Louis County is delighted to hear the good news about Ameren providing these air-conditioners and the significant donation to Cooldownstlouis.org,” said Cora Faith Walker, St. Louis County Chief Policy Officer. “It’s all about neighbors helping neighbors. We encourage our County seniors to keep on those A/Cs, this summer.”
Energy assistance is available to Ameren Missouri customers who need help paying their bills. Visit AmerenMissouri.com/EnergyAssistance to learn about various support options, including federally funded COVID-19 relief programs. Select programs are offering increased income eligibility, allowing more Missourians to receive help even if they didn't qualify previously.
Assistance and account management programs include:
About Cooldownstlouis.org and Cooldownmissouri.org
Cooldownstlouis.org is a bi-state non-profit dedicated to providing education and resources to help the most vulnerable citizens, especially seniors, low-income families and the physically disabled. The organization works with more than 34 agencies to make sure utility bills are paid and the community's most vulnerable citizens have access to the energy-efficient air conditioners they need to stay safe.
About Ameren Missouri
Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than 100 years, and the company's electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. Ameren Missouri's mission is to power the quality of life for its 1.2 million electric and 132,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. The company's service area covers 64 counties and more than 500 communities, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information, visit Ameren.com/Missouri or follow us on Twitter at @AmerenMissouri or Facebook.com/AmerenMissouri.