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Ameren Illinois Utilities' Farm Progress Show Exhibit Shows How to Turn any House into a 'Smart House'

DECATUR, Ill., Aug. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Engaging hands-on activities and memorable mascots will bring entertainment and education together at the Ameren Illinois utilities' Farm Progress Show tent, where visitors will learn how to transform their home into a "Smart House."

During the Farm Progress Show, which runs from Aug. 28 through 30 at Progress City, Decatur, the Ameren Illinois utilities will partner with Safe Electricity to present the "Smart House" in Tent #117, where two important themes -- safety and energy efficiency -- will take center stage.

As visitors enter the Ameren tent, their first stop will be the "Everyday Energy" station to learn about the impact a variety of electric appliances can have on home energy use. Using Kill A Watt™ measuring devices, people will see firsthand how much electricity an appliance uses.

Visitors may be surprised at the difference in energy use between an old, "energy-hog" refrigerator and a new, energy-efficient model at the "That Uses Watt?" station. At "Pedal Power," guests will be able to pedal a special energy bike to see whether incandescent light bulbs or energy-efficient compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs light up faster. The tent also will feature a special display of live trees and shrubs -- all varieties suitable for planting near power lines. The "Play It Safe" station will challenge visitors to learn more about natural gas safety.

Daily "Live Line" demonstrations at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. will vividly show visitors how fast 7,200 volts can cook a hot dog, and how a simple Mylar balloon can knock out power to a neighborhood. This dynamic presentation from former lineman Kyle Finley -- complete with sparks, arcs and explosions -offers visitors an unforgettable message about electrical safety.

In addition, Ameren representatives will offer special presentations to show how to safely use electric generators in the event of a power outage. Demonstrations will be conducted at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on each of the show's three days.

On hand to greet visitors will be Louie the Lightning Bug, the Energy Hog, and Sniffy the Sniffasaurus, who will help spread the word about electric and natural gas safety, and energy efficiency.

The Ameren Illinois utilities serve 1.2 million electric and more than 800,000 natural gas customers in a 43,700-square-mile area of Illinois.

SOURCE: Ameren

CONTACT: Natalie Hemmer, +1-217-424-7541, or Erica Abbett,
+1-314-206-0646, or Neal Johnson, +1-309-677-5284, all of Ameren