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Ameren Illinois Utilities Partners With Libraries to Help You Plug Into Energy Savings

WATT Solutions Helps Eliminate Energy Vampires

PEORIA, Ill., April 24 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to help you learn how to spend less on electricity by using less, the Ameren Illinois Utilities today announced the WATT Solutions program, a new partnership with downstate Illinois public libraries.

The Ameren Illinois Utilities have donated WATT Solution kits with Kill A Watt EZ power meters to the downstate library systems. This donation will allow library patrons to borrow WATT Solutions kits through their local libraries at no cost.

The WATT Solutions program was unveiled at special programs held today at the Forsyth Public Library in Forsyth and the O'Fallon Public Library in O'Fallon. Gov. Pat Quinn addressed audiences at both events.

"I am pleased to join the Ameren Illinois Utilities in giving Illinois citizens the tools they need to make their home a greener place," said Gov. Quinn. "Making these power meters available at local libraries will empower Illinois families to save money on their electric bill and make their home more energy efficient."

WATT Solutions is part of the Ameren Illinois Utilities Act On Energy initiative (ActOnEnergy.com), which is helping Ameren Illinois Utilities residential and business customers save money by using energy more efficiently.

"Using the Kill A Watt EZ power use measuring device, our WATT Solutions initiative shows you how much it costs to operate electrical appliances and devices. You also can learn how much it costs to leave appliances and devices on, such as computers, printers and modems," said Stan Ogden, Ameren Illinois Utilities vice president of Customer Service and Public Relations.

"The bottom line is that our WATT Solutions initiative provides an easy to use tool that can help you reduce your electric bill," Ogden said.

With WATT Solutions, a consumer simply plugs in an appliance or device and the meter shows the electric usage by the kilowatt-hour (kWh). With the power use measuring device, you may calculate cumulative electrical expenses by the day, week, month or even the year.

In many cases, you may be surprised to learn just how much electricity some common electrical appliances use. For example, an older second refrigerator typically kept in a garage or basement may use $100 or more in electricity during the course of a year. A big screen television set may cost $18 or more a month to operate.

WATT Solutions allows you to obtain the information you need to make decisions regarding the replacement of older energy hungry appliances with new ENERGY STAR rated appliances. For example, an ENERGY STAR rated refrigerator can save about $70 a year in electricity costs as compared to an older refrigerator.

WATT Solutions also is designed to help you find and fight phantom loads, also known as energy vampires. Many appliances and devices continue to use electricity even when they are turned off or left in the sleep mode, creating what is known as a phantom load. Televisions, computers, cable modems, printers and DVD players are among the most common energy vampires.

It is estimated that energy vampires cost American households $100 or more a year, depending on the number of appliances and devices in the household. Phantom loads can be eliminated by unplugging devices and appliances or by using a power strip with an on/off switch.

The WATT Solutions kit also contains detailed information on reducing electric usage, covering such categories as heating, cooling, lighting, home entertainment and appliances. There also is a glossary of commonly used electrical terms.

The WATT Solutions kit is available to be loaned out to library patrons in the same way they would borrow a book or video.

The Ameren Illinois Utilities (AmerenCIPS, AmerenCILCO, AmerenIP) have been providing safe, reliable energy delivery service for more than a century. The Ameren Illinois Utilities deliver energy to 1.2 million electric and 840,000 natural gas customers in more than 1,200 communities within a 43,700-square-mile service territory, while helping you spend less by using less through our ActOnEnergy.com initiative.

SOURCE: Ameren Illinois Utilities

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