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Ameren Missouri Reminds Customers during Heat Wave: Safety First, Check on Neighbors

Staying cool means staying safe while the heat wave settles in on the St. Louis region. Ameren Missouri advises customers to follow simple steps to stay healthy, manage their energy costs and to look out for others who may need help.

“Record-setting heat such as what we’re experiencing this week can be unhealthy, but our system is prepared to handle the increased demand from air conditioners and other cooling equipment that run continuously during this heat wave,” said Michael Moehn, senior vice president of Customer Operations for Ameren Missouri. He notes safety is a top priority for Ameren Missouri and its customers. “We’re asking our customers to exercise caution in coping with the heat and to find ways to stay cool, whether it means running your air conditioner or finding a cooling center.” A list of area cooling centers is available online.

Furthermore, Moehn reminds everyone to look out for one another. “Please check on the elderly and anyone with medical issues who may suffer from these extreme temperatures, especially if they don’t have air conditioning.”

Moehn says customers can manage their energy costs with Budget Billing. This allows customers to pay the same amount on their bill each month. Enrollment is free.

The United Way also offers a list of area agencies that can provide customers with energy assistance and air conditioners. Customers can call 2-1-1 or link to the United Way’s website for a list of services.

The bottom line, according to Moehn, is not to cut financial corners when someone’s health is at stake. “Running an efficient home air conditioner unit can cost under a dollar a day.”

More information on managing energy costs and staying cool during the heat wave is available by going to AmerenMissouri.com.

In addition to assistance for customers with their energy bills, Moehn 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.

Customers also can report and track local outages by calling 800.552.7583 or by checking Ameren Missouri’s online outage map, which is updated 24/7. “We have the resources necessary to respond quickly in case of an emergency,” Moehn said.

Ameren Missouri also offers Energy Advisor, a service to help customers learn about energy saving tips and answer energy-related questions. 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).

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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 127,000 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 more than 500 towns, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information, visit AmerenMissouri.com.

CONTACT: Missouri Communications, 314.554.2182, MissouriCommunications@ameren.com