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Ameren Missouri donates 800 air conditioners to Cooldownstlouis.org

Customers are encouraged to register for Ameren Missouri programs designed to keep vulnerable neighbors safe and cool during the summer heat.

ST. LOUIS (June 25, 2024) – In preparation for the hot summer weeks ahead, Ameren Missouri donated 800 ENERGY STAR certified window air conditioners to Cooldownstlouis.org and Cooldownmissouri.org to support the most vulnerable customers in St. Louis and eastern Missouri. On average, energy-efficient air conditioners cost less than a dollar a day to operate, allowing customers to stay cool and safe.

“It is critically important for our most vulnerable customers to have access to air conditioners ahead of the dangerous heat,” said Mark Birk, chairman and president of Ameren Missouri. “Thanks to this impactful partnership, we can continue to help keep our neighbors cool and safe this summer.”

This year's air conditioner donation marks the 24th anniversary of Cooldownstlouis.org and Cooldownmissouri.org’s “Save our Seniors” (S.O.S) Cooling Summer Project. It is Ameren Missouri’s 19th year of participation in the program. Since then, Ameren Missouri and its efforts have helped deliver over 19,000 donated energy-efficient window air conditioner units to qualified seniors and people with disabilities across the region.

As part of a pilot program, Ameren Missouri also donated 100 Google Nest smart thermostats to Cooldownstlouis.org and Cooldownmissouri.org for those with forced air HVAC systems, year-round. By programming a smart thermostat, customers can save up to 12% on their cooling costs.

“Cool Down Missouri, with great support from Ameren, works to provide public education, utility and A/C resources to keep those in the St. Louis area safe and cool during the hot summer months,” said Missouri Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe, co-chair of Cooldownmissouri.org’s board of directors. “Thank you to the many area businesses, first responders and volunteers for their consistent leadership and support of this great cause.”

"Summer can be challenging for seniors and the disabled, and air conditioning is essential to avoiding the sometimes unbearable heat," said Mayor Tishaura O. Jones, also honorary chair, Cooldownstlouis.org. "We are encouraging families to get utility assistance through Cool Down St. Louis and Ameren, who are working together to keep utility bills in check."

Today, many volunteers prepared the donated units for statewide distribution to an already large waiting list of qualified seniors and clients with disabilities. Joining Birk were Ameren Missouri employees and Cool Down St. Louis/Missouri board members; Cool Down co-chair Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe; honorary chair and St. Louis Mayor Tishaura O. 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.; Missouri State Senator Karla May; corporate treasurer Reverend Earl E. Nance Jr.; Janice Allan, St. Charles, Lincoln  Warren, and Pike Counties Service Coordinator, NECAC (Northeast Community Action Corporation); Shannon Koenig, executive director, St. Louis County Housing Authority;  Fire Chief Keith Goldstein, North County Fire & Rescue Protection District; Tara Oglesby, vice president, energy solutions and business development for Ameren Missouri, and popular St. Louis television meteorologists.

“The Urban League commends Cool Down and Ameren in their long and effective joint partnership in giving out critical cool resources to area seniors and the physically disabled. The energy-efficient air conditioners come at a perfect time this summer,” said Michael P. McMillan, president and CEO, Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Inc., and a member of the executive board for Cooldownstlouis.org. “The Ameren Cool Down A/C Caravan has become a regional lifesaver. The work you do cannot be duplicated around America. It is unique and deserves to be continued.”

“These are very weather challenging times. In other big cities and states people have lots of heat-related illnesses and casualties. The Ameren and Cool Down partnership works effectively in keeping our area residents cool and safe each summer,” said Missouri State Senator Karla May, and co-chair of compliance for the charity. “We can always use a little help, so go to any Commerce Bank and drop-off a check or money order payable to Cool Down St. Louis.”

“I can always attest that Cooldownstlouis.org saves lives and we, as first responders, welcome this unique partnership,” said Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson, Fire Chiefs Association of Greater St. Louis, and chair of the charity’s safety committee.

Other 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:

  • The Caring Contact Program – Eligible customers may designate a person or agency for Ameren Missouri to contact prior to disconnection for nonpayment. Caring Contact helps protect the health and safety of vulnerable customers who may need additional support in handling potential disconnection of service.
  • Medical Equipment Registry – Register your medical equipment so that we can notify you about planned maintenance outages. You should also have a backup plan in place for emergency outages.
  • Medical Hardship Extension – Sometimes a medical emergency can present a challenge in paying your bill on time. Call 800.552.7583 to learn more.
  • Critical Medical Need Program – In collaboration with the United Way and Spire, for Ameren customers with a serious medical condition where loss of utility service may aggravate the illness or prevent the use of life-support equipment. Certified medical providers must complete and submit the form. Call the United Way at 211 for more details.
  • Keeping Cool Program – This program provides up to five bill credits of $50 from May through September. Eligible customers include senior citizens, those with children under 5, or who have a documented chronic medical condition or a disability.
  • Weatherization Assistance – Qualifying homeowners and renters may also be eligible to receive weatherization improvements to their homes through local agencies.

Ameren Missouri also offers energy efficiency programs that are designed to benefit income-eligible customers, which helps them save energy and money without sacrificing comfort. Since the launch of the first energy efficiency program in 2009, Ameren Missouri has invested more than $700 million in energy and cost savings opportunities for its customers. Additionally, these programs create opportunities for community partnerships, including hundreds of retailers and trade allies statewide to implement multiple energy efficiency programs with residential and business customers.

Older adults and people with disabilities as well as low- to median-income families are encouraged to apply for energy assistance funds by visiting Cooldownstlouis.org and Cooldownmissouri.org websites or by calling 314.241.0001 or 314.834.0034, which are their hotlines for seniors and people with disabilities only.

The public is encouraged, beginning this summer, to make a tax-deductible donation to Cool Down St. Louis. You can write a money order or check payable to “Cool Down St. Louis” or “Heat Up St. Louis” and drop off at any of the 40 Missouri or Illinois Commerce Bank tellers. Those funds will go towards utility assistance for low- to median-income families or purchase a new A/C for seniors or the physically disabled only.

Cooldownstlouis.org and Cooldownmissouri.org will also be distributing 200,000 cooling cards with helpful summer tips along with Ameren Missouri's contact information to connect customers to available resources.

Energy assistance is also available to Ameren Missouri customers who need help paying their bills. Visit AmerenMissouri.com/EnergyAssistance to learn about various support options, including:

  • Budget Billing Plan – A free option that helps level out seasonal changes in customers’ energy bills by dividing the previous year’s usage into predictable baseline monthly payments. The result is more peace of mind and an energy bill that stays the same – even when the temperature outside does not.
  • Pick A Due Date – Pick the day of the month that is most convenient for you to pay your Ameren energy bill.
  • Energy-Efficiency Rebates – A variety of resources and rebates for energy saving products are available to help reduce energy usage. Visit AmerenMissouriMarketplace.com for details.

About Cooldownstlouis.org and Cooldownmissouri.org
Cooldownstlouis.org is a bi-state nonprofit 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 38 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 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 at @AmerenMissouri or Facebook.com/AmerenMissouri.