With high humidity and temperatures forecast to approach the 100-degree mark again today, AmerenUE encourages customers to take care of friends and neighbors in the heat and consider several options to manage higher energy bills. If you’re able to help others, UE asks that you consider donating to its energy assistance program, Dollar More, which combines voluntary contributions from customers with UE corporate donations to help needy families cope with higher energy bills.
UE and the United Way of Greater St. Louis handle all Dollar More administrative costs, so every dollar a customer contributes to Dollar More goes to help someone in need—right in their own community.
For safety, UE urges everyone to run air conditioning during extreme heat. On average, a window unit costs only $1 to $2 a day to run, and under current conditions air conditioning can be a matter of life and death, so no one should be reluctant to use it.
To help minimize the impact of these temperatures on energy use and customer bills, UE offers Budget Billing, which “averages” the cost out throughout the year. Information about Budget Billing is available at www.amerenue.com.
This summer UE has again joined forces with a network of social service agencies for an initiative called "Meet the Heat Head On," which promotes the need for safety during times of extreme heat. The program encourages customers to be "Heat Buddies" by checking in on their elderly or disabled friends and neighbors. People are also urged to help make sure no one leaves children or pets in a hot car unattended for any length of time.
For more information about "Meet the Heat," call 1-800-427-4626, or use the United Way's "211" system by dialing 211 for help locating financial assistance for utility bills.
Here are some tips for homes without air conditioning or those working outdoors:
• During the heat of the day, avoid activities that would add heat and humidity to your home, like drying clothes or using your dishwasher.
• For maximum efficiency and comfort, fans should be positioned to blow air out of the house during daylight hours and pull cooler air into the house after dark.
• For a window fan to work properly, there should always be another window open in the area the fan is meant to ventilate.
• Drink plenty of fluids to keep hydrated, even if you aren't thirsty.
• Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing to help stay cool.
• Slow down. Avoid strenuous activity and too much direct sunlight.
• Go to cooling centers if the temperature in your home gets too high.
• Watch for signs of heat-related illness: difficulty breathing, dizziness or fainting, excessive sweating, headaches, confusion, nausea. If you suspect someone has a heat-related illness, have them lie down in a cool place, give them sips of cool water and call for help.
• Think cool and stay relaxed. Remaining calm in times of stress can help moderate your body temperature.
AmerenUE, founded in 1902, provides electric and gas service to approximately 1.2 million customers across central and eastern Missouri, including the greater St. Louis area. UE serves 57 Missouri counties and 500 towns. The company's electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. For more information, visit www.amerenue.com.
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Mike Cleary 573-681-7137, Lisa Manzo 314-554-6157, Tim Fox 314-554-4335