Ameren Missouri encourages customers to act soon to access funds if needed
For Ameren Missouri customers who are facing financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic, there is help in sight when it comes to their electric and natural gas statement. Ameren Missouri is encouraging customers to apply for the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which is administered by the Missouri Department of Social Services and was recently expanded in the national CARES Act. The changes in the program are intended to help those who are struggling to pay their energy bills because of lost wages or reduced hours because of the coronavirus.
“We know people are anxious about making ends meet, and we’ve worked with our partners to help customers who have faced employment hardship due to the coronavirus,” said Connie Taylor, general supervisor of customer advocacy at Ameren Missouri. “This program is just another way we are connecting our customers to resources that can help them save on their energy statements, so they can instead purchase groceries, pay their rent and secure other essential needs for their families.”
The application period for the LIHEAP heating program has been extended to May 31, 2020, and offers a one-time payment of up to $300 for a heating bill from November 2019 through May 31, 2020. LIHEAP also includes an Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP), which helps pay up to $800 toward fuel bills when a household’s energy is shut off or at risk of disconnection.
To be eligible, customers must:
- Be responsible for paying home heating costs.
- Have $3,000 or less in bank accounts, retirement accounts or investments.
- Have a household income less than 135% of the federal poverty level (a monthly income of $2,400 for a family of three or $2,897 for a family of four).
- Be a U.S. citizen or legally admitted for permanent residence.
To apply for one or both programs, customers will need to provide copies of income documentation, such as paystubs for the current month or current award letter, a letter from their employer on letterhead stating how their employment status has been impacted by the coronavirus, a recent heating bill, a payment reminder letter (to qualify for ECIP) and copies of Social Security cards for all members of the household, in addition to completing the application form. Find more information and an application at dss.mo.gov/fsd/energy-assistance.
Customers who are not eligible for LIHEAP and ECIP still have options from Ameren Missouri to manage their account:
- Down Payment Flexibility – Allows customers to make a down payment toward their energy statement, then spread their remaining balance over 12 months.
- Alerts – Stay up-to-date regarding bills and service with text and email alerts.
- Pick A Due Date – Pick A Due Date lets customers pick the day of the month that is most convenient to pay an Ameren energy bill.
- Low Income Weatherization Assistance – Reduce energy bills by weatherizing a home. Income-eligible customers can call the United Way at 211 to learn about weatherization assistance agencies in an area.
- Budget Billing Plan – Customers’ annual energy bill is averaged over the past year, and a fixed amount is billed each month making it easy to budget energy dollars for the year.
- Energy Efficiency Rebates – A variety of energy-efficiency rebates and offers are available to help reduce your energy usage. Visit AmerenMissouriSavings.com for program details.
For a complete list of energy assistance programs, visit AmerenMissouri.com/energyassistance.
Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than 100 years, and the company’s electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. Ameren Missouri’s mission is to power the quality of life for its 1.2 million electric and 132,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. The company’s service area covers 64 counties and more than 500 communities, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information, visit Ameren.com/Missouri or follow us on Twitter at @AmerenMissouri or Facebook.com/AmerenMissouri.