PEORIA, Ill., Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- After seeing last winter's natural gas prices decline significantly from the levels of the previous winter, Ameren Illinois customers can expect a continuation of moderate natural gas prices during the upcoming 2010-11 heating season.
"We anticipate customer natural gas prices for this winter will be similar to prices paid last winter," said Ameren Illinois Vice President of Gas and Electric Technical Services Scott A. Glaeser. "This moderate trend is the result of the sluggish domestic and global economies coupled with soft worldwide demand for all forms of energy."
During the 2009-10 heating season, Ameren Illinois customers paid an average of $0.63 per therm. Ameren Illinois anticipates the 2010-11 heating season price to average $0.64 cents per therm.
Glaeser also stressed that Ameren Illinois has secured adequate natural gas supplies to meet customer needs during the upcoming 2010-11 heating season. He noted that Ameren Illinois has the majority its natural gas supplies hedged or "price protected" for the upcoming winter to insulate customers from market volatility.
Ameren Illinois does not profit from the cost of natural gas paid by customers. Natural gas is an unregulated commodity which Ameren Illinois purchases from producers for delivery to customers.
"While the expectation of stable natural gas prices are welcomed, we recognize and continue to be concerned about the impact the cost of heating may have on our customers," Glaeser said. "We will continue to help our customers understand this issue and provide the information they need to better manage their energy usage."
Customers are encouraged to adopt proven energy conservation and efficiency practices that will help reduce bills without sacrificing personal comfort. Glaeser said the place to begin is by visiting ActOnEnergy.com to review Act On Energy® savings tips.
At ActOnEnergy.com, Ameren Illinois customers can learn about important cash incentives. For example, an Ameren Illinois customer can receive an incentive of up to $200 when installing a qualified high-efficiency natural gas forced air furnace.
An energy-efficient home provides a higher level of comfort and cost savings. Before making energy-saving upgrades to your home, find out if you qualify for special discounts through the Act On Energy Home Energy Performance (HEP) program. The HEP program offers incentives to registered Act On Energy Program Allies, which they pass on in cost savings to homeowners. Qualified measures include attic and wall insulation and air and duct sealing.
In addition to the ActOnEnergy.com website, residential customers may obtain complete Act On Energy information by calling 1-866-838-6918 or by sending an e-mail to: ActOnEnergyResidential@ameren.com.
Customers may enroll in the Budget Billing plan as a way to better manage their energy bills. This plan allows residential customers to pay the same amount each month. By enrolling now, customers can begin leveling out their monthly payments. The plan allows customers to pay an average monthly bill amount based on the last 12 months of usage. The payment level is periodically reviewed and adjusted as necessary. On the 12th month, the account is reviewed to calculate the difference between the amount of energy used during the year and the amount paid under Budget Billing. If the amount paid exceeds the actual cost of providing the energy, the customer receives a credit. If the amount billed is less than the actual cost of providing the energy, the customer is billed for the difference.
Customers may enroll in Budget Billing by visiting AmerenIllinois.com or by calling 1-800-755-5000. Customers may enroll in the program or drop out at any time. There is no cost to enroll in Budget Billing.
Ameren Illinois has been providing energy delivery service for more than a century. We deliver energy to 1.2 million electric and 813,000 natural gas customers in Downstate Illinois, and our mission is to meet their energy needs in a safe, reliable, efficient and environmentally responsible manner. Our service area covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com
Heating Season Tips from Ameren Illinois
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SOURCE Ameren Illinois