Eligible to participate in this one-time program -- as long as funds are available -- are customers who are: ?? AmerenUE Medical Equipment Registry low income customers. ?? AmerenUE Registered Program low income customers. ?? All other low income elderly customers.
??Our goal with this program is to continue to help these customers stabilize their AmerenUE utility situation to help them get back on their feet -- and stay there,?? says Richard Mark, AmerenUE senior vice president, Missouri Energy Delivery. ??The Missouri Public Service Commission has been our partner in this effort, offering advice on ways we can analyze our success in turning around the lives of customers who have struggled to pay their bills. In addition, we are very grateful to the many energy assistance agency representatives who have participated in Dollar More and are working to make this program a success.??
Customers must apply at a Dollar More agency to qualify. Participating agencies may define age limits and eligibility using poverty guidelines and other circumstances. Registered AmerenUE customers are those that have completed a form approved by AmerenUE attesting to the fact that he or she is age 65 or older or disabled. Medical Equipment Registry customers are customers who have completed a physician-supplied form approved by AmerenUE attesting to the fact that they must have electricity to maintain life or health.
The program was developed as part of a settlement approved in 2002 by the Missouri Public Service Commission. Through that settlement, AmerenUE Missouri electric customers received $110 million in phased-in electric rate reductions, in addition to other programs to encourage energy conservation and jobs creation. The settlement called for $9 million in funding allocated for Dollar More programs benefiting low-income customers ?V money spent on energy assistance programs between 2003 and 2006. In May 2003, AmerenUE helped 5,700 families and households clear up past due amounts through the first ??Clean Slate?? initiative.
With the program announced today, each qualified potential participant who is an active AmerenUE customer is being asked to pay 10 percent of the delinquent amount on his or her AmerenUE bill to qualify for a Dollar More Clean Slate pledge that will cover the rest of the outstanding balance.
Inactive qualified customers---those who have been disconnected for nonpayment---will be required to pay 20 percent of their arrearages. Once the qualified customer has paid that portion, Dollar More Clean Slate will pay the entire balance on an AmerenUE customer??s account. The United Way will administer the program, but the approximately 40 participating agencies will determine criteria for recipients and have the discretion to waive some of the regulations governing participation.
Through Dollar More Clean Slate, eligible customers can sign up for AmerenUE??s Budget Billing, which allows them to pay a regular monthly amount--avoiding the peaks that come with either summer air conditioning or winter heating.
Customers looking for a participating agency should visit the Ameren Web site at www.ameren.com or call the United Way Information and Referral number 1-800- 427-4626. In addition, Ameren??s automated voice response program offers information to customers who call into the Customer Contact Centers, providing them lists of participating agencies when they dial or say their zip codes. Customers can get this information by dialing 314-342-1111 or toll-free 1-800- 552-7583 and choosing the menu option number ??4.??
AmerenUE is a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation. Ameren companies serve 2.4 million electric customers and nearly one million natural gas customers over a 64,000-square-mile area of Missouri and Illinois.
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