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Eliminating Energy Phantoms Can Reduce Utility Bills
Ameren Illinois Utilities Offer Dollar Saving Advice

PEORIA, Ill., Oct. 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Almost any device that runs on electricity may be an energy phantom, adding dollars to home energy bills.

The Ameren Illinois Utilities (AmerenCIPS, AmerenCILCO, AmerenIP) urge customers to hunt down and disarm such energy phantoms as cell phone chargers, computers and DVD players.

The Ameren Illinois Utilities (AIU) reminds customers that energy phantoms can be eliminated easily by unplugging devices and appliances or by using a power strip with an on/off switch.

Energy phantoms, sometimes called "energy vampires," continue to use electricity even when their owners think they are off. It is estimated that energy phantoms may cost consumers $50 to $100 or more a year depending on the number of electrical devices they have in their home.

Devices such as TVs, digital converter boxes and DVD players remain in a standby mode when the device is turned off and therefore continue to use electricity. Devices such as computers and computer printers continue to use electricity when in the sleep mode. Cell phone chargers, power tool charges, laptop computers and any device with a transformer use electricity whenever they are plugged into an electrical outlet.

AIU customers also are encouraged to turn to AIU's Act On Energy® program (ActOnEnergy.com) for energy efficiency advice, incentives and rebates.

The Act On Energy residential programs include rebates for ENERGY STAR qualified air conditioning units, dehumidifiers, ceiling fans and ceiling fan light kits. Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs are available online and in selected retail outlets at sharply discounted prices. There also are discounts for heating, cooling and ventilation equipment. The Home Energy Performance Programs provide incentives for qualifying energy efficiency home upgrades.

Act On Energy will pay an AIU electric customer $35 for a standard size refrigerator or freezer manufactured before 1993. The appliance must be operating and used as a secondary unit typically located in a basement or garage. In addition to receiving $35, the customer will save more than $100 a year in energy costs by getting rid of the old refrigerator or freezer.

Eligible AIU electric customers should call 1-866-899-9088 to schedule a pickup of their refrigerator or freezer. The call center is open Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Complete Act On Energy residential program information is available on ActOnEnergy.com, by calling 1-866-838-6918 or by sending an e-mail to ActOnEnergyResidential@ameren.com.

In addition, Act On Energy offers incentive and rebate programs for AIU business customers. Complete business program information is available at ActOnEnergy.com, by calling 1-866-800-0747 or by sending an e-mail to ActOnEnergyBusiness@ameren.com.

AIU also has launched the WATT Solutions program in cooperation with the downstate Illinois library systems. Each WATT Solution kit has a Kill A Watt EZ power use measuring meter. Library patrons may borrow WATT Solutions kits through their local libraries at no cost.

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 meter, consumers may calculate cumulative electrical expenses by the day, week, month or even the year.

In many cases, people 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 people to obtain the information needed to make smart decisions regarding the replacement of older energy hungry appliances with new ENERGY STAR qualified appliances. For example, an ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerator can save about $70 a year in electricity costs as compared to an older refrigerator.

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/