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Ameren Illinois Utilities Submit Plan to Increase Energy Efficiency, Save Customers Money and Benefit the Environment

PEORIA, SPRINGFIELD and DECATUR, Ill., Nov. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Ameren Illinois utilities today filed an energy efficiency plan with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) intended to save customers money by reducing their electricity usage.

"Through this comprehensive energy efficiency plan, we will help customers save money by using less electricity without sacrificing personal comfort or safety," said Stan Ogden, vice president for Customer Service and Public Relations for the Ameren Illinois utilities (AmerenCILCO, AmerenCIPS and AmerenIP).

"The plan's goal is to help lower customers' monthly electric and natural gas bills, while benefiting the environment. By using less energy at home, we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and help protect our environment," Ogden said.

The energy used in a typical home can be responsible for more than twice the greenhouse gas emissions of the average automobile, according to the U.S. Energy Department.

During the plan's first year, slated to begin in June, the Ameren Illinois utilities will offer rebates and incentives that will help offset the cost of installing more efficient lighting, heating and cooling systems. In addition, the programs will help customers reduce the unnecessary loss of energy from their homes.

Customers will be given a variety of options from which to cut their energy costs. Residential customers will be eligible for incentives to install high-efficiency compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), Energy Star qualified appliances such as dishwashers and refrigerators and to properly dispose of old inefficient refrigerators rather than to continue to use them as second refrigerators.

The plan also provides incentives to homeowners and renters to encourage the proper maintenance of air conditioning units and the installation of high-efficiency central air conditioners.

There will be incentives for business customers to make lighting, heating and cooling systems more efficient, as well as incentives to improve industrial processes. Energy efficiency training will be offered to heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) professionals.

By the end of the first year of the program (June 2008 through May 2009), the Ameren Illinois utilities estimate their energy efficiency efforts will reduce electricity usage by an amount sufficient to power nearly 7,700 single family homes for a year.

In the second year ending May 2010, the goal is to reduce usage by an amount equal to the electricity needed to supply about 23,200 single family homes for a year. By the end of the third year, the target is to reduce usage by an amount equal to the electricity needed to meet the annual electricity needs of about 46,700 homes.

Under the terms of Illinois legislation enacted in August, the Ameren Illinois utilities (AmerenCILCO, AmerenCIPS and AmerenIP) are committed to reduce electricity usage by specific targeted amounts. The plan announced today is designed to achieve those targets. In addition, the law sets annual limits on the dollar amounts the utilities must spend to achieve the goals.

The energy efficiency program is expected to cost the typical residential customer 30 cents per month during the first year of the program. This cost will be applied to all residential customers. However, customers who take advantage of the energy efficiency initiatives should realize significant savings on their electricity bills that will exceed the cost of the program.

Over the long run, all electricity customers will benefit because reduced electricity usage will help the environment, while helping to delay the need for new power generation, transmission and distribution investment.

As programs are fully developed, the Ameren Illinois utilities will present details on their Web site (http://www.ameren.com/) and in their AmerenLines customer newsletter.

The Ameren Illinois utilities serve 1.2 million electric and 840,000 natural gas customers in a 43,700-square-mile area of Illinois.

SOURCE: Ameren Illinois utilities

CONTACT: Leigh Morris, +1-217-535-5228, or Erica Abbett,
+1-618-236-4329, or Natalie Hemmer, +1-217-424-7541, or Neal Johnson,
+1-309-677-5284, all for Ameren Illinois utilities

Web site: http://www.ameren.com/