ST. LOUIS, July 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, AmerenUE is announcing the rollout of several residential energy efficiency programs to help customers manage their energy usage, lower their monthly electric bills, and reduce their carbon footprint. This multi-year effort will create a sustainable marketplace for energy efficient products with the goal to lower energy demand by 540 megawatts by 2025, equal to the output of a medium-sized coal-fired power plant.
"As prices for energy and other household necessities continue to rise, energy efficiency can help customers manage their usage and lower their monthly energy bills, without sacrificing comfort," said AmerenUE President and Chief Executive Officer Warner Baxter. "Customers have told us that they want more control over their energy costs. This program delivers."
Baxter explained that the program tagline, "It starts with U," highlights a collaboration between UE and its customers. UE is offering education and incentives to help customers make energy efficient choices. However, it will take customer participation to make a difference in energy usage across Missouri.
UE has launched a new Web site for residential energy efficiency, www.UEfficiency.com, to demonstrate how residential customers can save money through implementing specific energy efficient steps. The site will also direct customers to participating retailers and contractors trained to evaluate and deliver efficiency enhancements. Customers can also call UE's dedicated Residential Energy Efficiency contact center, toll free, at (866) 941-9692.
Two initial programs are ramping up now:
Future residential programs will focus on whole house energy savings improvements and the needs of low-income customers.
"Our programs are bringing prices down right now for ENERGY STAR® qualified CFL bulbs and are providing information and incentives for customer purchases of ENERGY STAR-qualified appliances," said Baxter.
Switching 10 standard light bulbs to CFLs can save a household $60 a year, and replacing an old window air conditioner with an ENERGY STAR unit could save $20.00 each summer, according to Baxter.
"The UE program helps retailers shift our inventory even further towards energy efficient models," said Matt Gagnepain, general manager of Metro Lighting, a UE residential energy efficiency program partner. "With the help of programs like this one, customers and retailers will make ENERGY STAR products the norm instead of the exception."
"One of the real strengths of this program is that UE has partnered with community retail stores to get energy efficient products into the hands of people who would normally not have access to them," said John Banback, sales manager for Genuine Maytag Home Appliance with stores in Arnold and Festus. Genuine Maytag is also a program partner.
"Our customers have asked us for cleaner and renewable energy," said Baxter. "In fact, there's nothing cleaner than the power that isn't used and isn't produced. Energy efficiency has become a key part of UE's energy portfolio, which also includes hydropower, nuclear, natural gas, coal and renewables.
"Active participation in energy efficiency programs by our customers will allow us to delay the need to build a costly new generating plant to meet their needs," said Baxter. "It will also provide more time for cleaner coal and renewable technologies to develop and give us greater options when the time comes to replace our aging baseload coal plants."
UE has committed $90 million to its residential and business energy efficiency programs through 2011.
UE has received 250 applications to-date for the business programs, which launched earlier this year. In just the first five months of the program, UE has provided $286,000 in cash incentives directly to business customers. Seventy-eight customers completed projects that, together, have reduced consumption by more than 9.4 million kilowatthours -- the equivalent of taking more than 700 homes off the power grid for a year. In addition, 30 to 40 new jobs have already been added to Missouri employment rolls because of these programs.
Information on UE business efficiency programs can be found at www.ameren.com/BIZefficiency or by contacting the business contact center toll-free (866) 941-7299.
AmerenUE, a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation, serves 1.2 million Missouri electric customers and 127,000 Missouri natural gas customers.
Web site: http://www.UEfficiency.com/