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Ameren Illinois, Public Libraries Helping Residents Plug into Energy Savings
1,100 WATT Solutions Kits Now Available

In an effort to help residents learn how to spend less on electricity by using less, Ameren Illinois today announced it is expanding its WATT Solutions program in partnership with the six Downstate Illinois library systems.

To mark National Library Week (April 10-16), Ameren Illinois is donating an additional 550 WATT Solutions kits to the library systems. With a kit, a person can then plug appliances and other electrical devices into a Kill A Watt EZ meter that measures power usage. With this donation, there are now 1,100 WATT Solutions kits available for library patrons to borrow at no cost through their local public libraries.

Beginning this year, WATT Solutions kits are now available to school libraries that belong to one of the six library systems.

“Our school libraries responded immediately to our offer of free WATT Solutions kits from Ameren Illinois. All of the meters were claimed within 24 hours. They will be used in teaching math, science and energy conservation,” said Janice E. Sherman, executive director of the Alliance Library System based in East Peoria.

Launched in 2009, the award-winning WATT Solutions program is part of the Ameren Illinois Act On Energy® initiative (ActOnEnergy.com), which is helping Ameren Illinois residential and business customers save money by using energy more efficiently.

With the Kill A Watt EZ power use measuring meters, the WATT Solutions initiative shows how much it costs to operate electrical appliances and devices. This easy to use tool provides people with information that can help them reduce their electric bills.

With WATT Solutions, a consumer plugs an appliance or device into the power use meter, which then displays the electric usage by the kilowatt-hour (kWh). The meter allows users to calculate cumulative electrical expenses by the day, week, month or even the year.

Often, people are 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 also helps people find and eliminate phantom loads. Many appliances and devices continue to use electricity even when they are turned off or left in the sleep mode, creating a phantom load. Televisions, computers, cable modems, printers and DVD players are among the most common sources of phantom loads.

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 free of charge to library patrons in the same way they would borrow a book or video.

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Ameren Illinois delivers 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.

Contacts: Leigh Morris, 1-214-535-5228, lmorris@ameren.com; Victoria Busch, 1-618-346-1286, vbusch@ameren.com; Neal Johnson, 1-309-677-5284, njohnson@ameren.com