The three-year, $165,000 program offers AmerenUE's 114,000 Missouri gas customers rebates for a portion of the cost of Energy Star(R) qualified products, including programmable thermostats, residential natural gas furnaces and boilers, combined hot water heater/furnace units and commercial natural gas equipment. The program also provides rebates for low-cost energy saving measures\-specifically, low-flow shower heads/aerators, water heater wraps and hot water pipe insulation.
Developed by a collaborative team that included representatives of AmerenUE, the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) staff, Missouri Office of Public Counsel, and Missouri Department of Natural Resources Energy Center, the pilot is aimed at promoting more effective use of natural gas by encouraging the replacement of inefficient gas equipment with highly-efficient Energy Star(R) products.
After the first year, the collaborative team will evaluate how well the program worked and make adjustments, as necessary, for the next two years. AmerenUE is funding the program as part of a natural gas rate case settlement approved by the PSC and other parties in 2003.
Under the program, AmerenUE is allocating $55,000 per year to provide rebates on the following energy-efficient products:
• Programmable auto setback thermostats. The rebate will provide 50 percent of the cost of purchasing one Energy Star(R) qualified thermostat, up to a maximum rebate of $25.
• Low-flow shower heads/aerators, hot water heater wrap and hot water pipe insulation. The rebate will provide 50 percent of the cost for any combination purchase of up to three low-flow shower heads/aerators, one water heater wrap, or one hot water pipe insulation (five feet in length), up to a maximum rebate of $10.
• Energy-efficient natural gas furnaces. Customers may receive a maximum rebate of $200 for the purchase and installation of a qualified Energy Star(R) natural gas boiler, $250 for the purchase and installation of a qualified Energy Star(R) natural gas furnace, or $400 for the purchase and installation of a qualified combined water heater/furnace unit.
• Energy-efficient commercial natural gas utilization equipment. Commercial customers may receive a rebate of 50 percent of the cost of purchasing and installing one qualified product\-such as a specialty oven, stove, fryer, laundry dryer, water heating system, or heating and ventilating system\-up to a maximum rebate of $1,000.
AmerenUE customers can obtain rebates by purchasing Energy Star(R) qualifying products and then submitting a rebate form with required documentation to the address given on the form. For the higher-cost items\-Energy Star(R)-rated furnaces, boilers and hot water heaters, and commercial natural gas utilization equipment\-the products must be installed, and there are certain prequalification requirements described on the rebate form.
Rebate forms and full program details are available by visiting the Ameren Web site (www.ameren.com), and then clicking on "Residential" or "Commercial." The Web site provides a link to a list of Energy Star(R) products that qualify for the rebates. Customers can also get information and request rebate forms by calling 314-342-1111 in the St. Louis area, or 1-800-552-7583 elsewhere.
Rebate checks will be mailed within eight to 10 weeks after the submission of a completed rebate form.
Energy Star(R) was originally introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1992 as a voluntary market-based partnership to reduce air pollution through increased energy efficiency. Today, with assistance from the U.S. Department of Energy, the program offers businesses and consumers energy efficient solutions to save energy and money, and to help protect the environment. More information about Energy Star(R) can be found at the following Web site: www.energystar.gov.
AmerenUE is a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation. Ameren, through its subsidiaries, serves 2.3 million electric customers and 900,000 natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area of Missouri and Illinois.
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