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Ameren Illinois anticipates lower natural gas prices for the 2013-14 heating season

Ameren Illinois customers can expect a moderate reduction in natural gas prices during the upcoming 2013-14 heating season.

“Because of our price hedging and storage strategies, we anticipate that the gas supply portion of a customer bill will be lower this winter than last,” said Ameren Illinois Gas Supply Director Ken Dothage.

During the 2012-13 heating season, Ameren Illinois customers paid an average of $0.57 per therm.  Ameren Illinois anticipates 2013-14 heating-season average prices to be $0.53 - $0.55 per therm, approximately 5% less than last winter.

“We bought natural gas when prices were low and stored it for use this winter. Those savings are passed on to our customers,” said Dothage. “While the amount a customer pays will depend on winter temperatures and the actual amount of energy a customer uses, we have taken steps to insulate them from price volatility on the supply side.”

A monthly bill is calculated based supply costs – including the cost of interstate gas transportation, leased storage, and the natural gas commodity – and customer energy usage. Because of higher-than normal temperatures in 2012-13, residential customers used less natural gas.  If temperatures return to normal in the 2013-14 heating season, some customers could see higher overall bills than last year, even with lower gas supply costs.

Natural gas is a commodity which Ameren Illinois purchases from various producers for delivery to its customers. Ameren Illinois does not profit from or mark-up the cost of natural gas supplies purchased.  Dothage stressed that Ameren Illinois has adequate natural gas supplies to meet customer needs during the upcoming heating season.

Customers can take actions to reduce their heating bills without sacrificing personal comfort.  Information on energy saving practices and budget billing strategies are available at ActOnEnergy.com.

Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 806,000 natural gas customers in downstate Illinois, and our mission is to meet their energy needs in a safe, reliable, efficient and environmentally responsible manner. Our service area covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com

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CONTACT: Stacey Shangraw, 309.677.5073, sstockton-shangraw@ameren.com; Brian Bretsch, 618.343.8087, bbretsch@ameren.com; Marcelyn Love, 217.535.5116, mlove@ameren.com