ST. LOUIS (Dec. 12, 2022) – Ameren Missouri announced a new energy assistance pilot program, New Start Energy Relief, to help unhoused electric customers return to permanent housing. Through this program, the company plans to provide $500,000 annually to customers in need, for a total of $1.5 million over the next three years.
The New Start Energy Relief program will provide up to $1,000 for eligible Ameren Missouri customers who are unhoused or have spent time in a homeless shelter in the past year, to reestablish service. Funds may be used to pay off past due energy balances, including late-pay charges, that are a barrier to a customer's permanent housing.
"We know many who are unhoused have outstanding energy bills and trying to pay off past debt can be a barrier to establishing a new residence. By removing the barrier of energy debt, families throughout our service territory will be better positioned to secure permanent housing," said Mark Birk, chairman and president of Ameren Missouri. "We are committed to the customers and communities we serve and offer a variety of energy assistance programs and services to help those in need."
Ameren Missouri has partnered with agencies who serve the unhoused to offer this pilot program, including the Saint Louis Crisis Nursery, DOORWAYS, Guardian Angel Settlement Association, Loaves and Fishes for St. Louis, Nurses for Newborns, Saints Joachim & Ann Care Service, St. Patrick Center, and United Way of Greater St. Louis.
"St. Patrick Center has always focused on solving homelessness in the St. Louis region, so we're excited to see the good that Ameren Missouri's New Start Energy Relief program can do for our community," said Anthony D’Agostino, CEO of St. Patrick Center. "Utility debt can now be one less barrier to housing for those who are unhoused and looking to rent or buy once again."
To be eligible for the New Start Energy Relief program, applicants must have been an Ameren Missouri customer with previous electric service, have an outstanding bill and have been unhoused or spent time in a homeless shelter in the past year. To learn more about the New Start Energy Relief program, visit AmerenMissouri.com/NewStart.
Customers struggling to pay their energy bills should visit AmerenMissouri.com/EnergyAssistance to learn about a variety of energy assistance options available, including flexible payment options, Clean Slate, Keeping Current, Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and Pick A Due Date.
Ameren Missouri customers can also support neighbors in need by donating to the Dollar More program. Program participants can add $1 (or more) per month to their energy bill, which helps provide energy assistance funding to neighbors in need.
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 135,000 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.