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First Class of Building Operator Certification Training Students Completes AmerenUE-Funded Program
AmerenUE today said that 40 students have completed the first level of the Building Operator Certification Training Program, a nationally recognized program that teaches facility managers energy conservation techniques and efficient lighting fundamentals.

AmerenUE announced last fall that it was contributing $300,000 to initiate the program in Missouri. AmerenUE's support will help 210 applicants attend 80 hours of classroom training and project work to earn their Building Operator Certification (BOC).

This training provides an overview of preventive maintenance, energy efficiency principles and the fundamentals of building systems equipment and operations for commercial building operators. It focuses on energy conservation techniques and efficient lighting fundamentals. It also covers heating- ventilation-air conditioning systems and controls, indoor air quality and environmental health and safety regulations.

The Energy Center of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, with the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, provides BOC training at a cost of $2,300\- but qualified applicants who are working at organizations in AmerenUE's service area will pay $1,150 thanks to the AmerenUE support.

The next round of BOC classes will be offered in St. Louis at AmerenUE's 1901 Chouteau Ave. Downtown St. Louis headquarters with 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. sessions set for May 18, June 15, July 13, August 10, Sept. 13-14, Oct. 12 and Nov. 16. For more information or to register online, visit www.boccentral.org.

"The BOC campaign has a simple message: improving energy efficiency through operator training. The companies who sent students to participate in this program now have employees who better understand how to efficiently operate their facilities," says Richard Mark, AmerenUE senior vice president, Missouri Energy Delivery. "It has made them more efficient users of electricity and natural gas, which benefits everyone in our communities."

The program was developed as part of a settlement approved in 2002 by the Missouri Public Service Commission and other parties. Through that settlement, AmerenUE committed to $110 million in phased-in electric rate reductions and programs that help low-income customers and encourage energy efficiency.

This program was one of many endorsed by state government leaders and Ameren management who met for several months to discuss the structure and roll-out of these initiatives. Other programs that resulted from these collaborative sessions included:

The $3 million, one-month-long AmerenUE Clean Slate Program, conducted throughout the month of May 2003 to allow needy AmerenUE Missouri electric and natural gas customers to eliminate past due bills and get a fresh start in handling their utility payments.

A $340,000 residential lighting initiative---the Change A Light Program in 2003 and 2004---that offered electric residential customers throughout Missouri a rebate on ENERGY STAR(R) lighting products found in hardware stores across the state.

A $400,000 grant to a newly established Residential and Commercial Energy Efficiency Fund, which offered in 2003 electric residential customers in the St. Louis area discounts for purchasing energy-efficient refrigerators and bounties for giving up old units.

A total $4 million contribution to the Low Income Weatherization Assistance Program administered by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Energy Center. The contribution is earmarked to help low-income AmerenUE Missouri electric residential customers reduce their bills by conserving energy. This ranks as the single largest private contribution ever made to this program in Missouri.

AmerenUE is a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation. Ameren companies serve 2.4 million electric customers and about one million natural gas customers over a 64,000-square-mile area of Missouri and Illinois.

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