For the second year, AmerenUE is contributing $400,000 to a Residential and Commercial Energy Efficiency Fund, which offers electric residential customers in those areas rebates for giving up old units when they purchase energy- efficient refrigerators. Through this program, AmerenUE Missouri customers also get free pick-up and disposal of up to two old refrigerators.
The program will be available from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, or until a total of 1,945 refrigerator units are picked up. Disposed refrigerators must be operating, at least 12 cubic feet in size and non-commercial units. Eligible residents must live in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St Charles County, Jefferson City or Cape Girardeau.
"Our goal with this program is to increase customer awareness of energy efficient appliances and to remove inefficient refrigerators from service," says Richard Mark, Ameren vice president, Customer Service, Energy Delivery. "An older refrigerator can be among the largest power consuming appliances in a household, and this appliance always ranks high on consumer lists for recycling and rebate programs."
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The program was developed as part of a settlement approved in 2002 by the Missouri Public Service Commission and other parties. The initial first year grant for the Residential and Commercial Energy Efficiency Fund was $2 million, with $500,000 being allocated each year through 2006.
Called the "Missouri Energy Efficient Refrigerator Bounty and Recycling Program," the three-month program allows customers to purchase a new refrigerator from any store that sells ENERGY STAR(R) labeled refrigerators. To pre-qualify for the rebate, customers must visit www.arcaincutility.com or call 1-866-706-3996, and schedule a pick-up time for their old, operating refrigerator. Customers can get an additional $50 rebate if they turn in a second operating refrigerator. Additional information about the program is available in the Products and Services area on Ameren's Web site, www.ameren.com.
An outside contractor \- Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) \- will provide the administrative, recycling and daily monitoring of the program \- essentially handling marketing, record-keeping and disposal of the old refrigerators in an environmentally sound manner. AmerenUE will cover the bounty costs and pay the MEEA management fees. AmerenUE will also provide funding to the Appliance Recycling Centers of America to recycle the units. Approximately 12 percent of an average household's electricity demand comes from a single refrigerator. Studies have shown that programs combining the removal and recycling of an older refrigerator with replacement by a new energy efficient model yield significant energy savings and can be cost-effective to customers \- saving the consumer up to $150 per year in annual energy bills.
AmerenUE is a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation. With assets of more than $17 billion, Ameren through its subsidiaries, serves 2.3 million electric and more than 900,000 natural gas customers in a 64,000-square- mile area of Illinois and Missouri.