Ameren is reaching out to its customers who are behind on their utility bills and who have past due account balances on their utility bills. They are communicating what options people have, and are encouraging them to take advantage of various assistance programs and payment plans as well as explore options that the Illinois utility rate relief programs may offer them.
If a customer needs to enter a payment plan, they are required to pay 25 percent of the past due balance before establishing this plan. In order to establish a payment plan with Ameren, customers may call their Ameren Illinois utility: AmerenCIPS – 1-888-789-2477; AmerenIP – 1-800-755-5000; and AmerenCILCO – 1-888-672-5252.
Another option for eligible Ameren Illinois customers are two Illinois rate relief programs. The Hardship Assistance for Residential Customers provides free cash grants of up to $600 based on the financial hardship that is being experienced by customers with household incomes of up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level. The second resource is the Bill Payment Assistance Program which provides energy bill assistance cash grants of up to $300 to low-income electric customers with household incomes of 150 percent to 200 percent of the energy assistance federal poverty level.
These cash grants are provided through your local community action agency that will administer the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). If you are not sure who that agency is in your area, customers may also call 1-877-411-9276 to obtain the name and address of their local community action agency and they can apply for assistance there.
Some Illinois Ameren customers also may be eligible for assistance through the federal government funded LIHEAP program, which is also administered by the local community action agencies. The LIHEAP program will provide eligible low and moderate income households, elderly persons and people with disabilities with energy services and bill payment assistance. These are grants that do not need to be repaid, and the amount of the grants will be based on the number of people in a household, the type of energy used, and total household income.
Other resources that people can turn to include the Dollar More and Warm Neighbors assistance programs that may help eligible Ameren Illinois residential customers with paying for their utility bills. Ameren customers should call their Ameren Illinois utility for information. This program is funded by donations, and Ameren Illinois customers may make contributions to these programs to help their neighbors pay their utility bills. Learn more about the Warm Neighbors assistance program.
A disconnection of your utility service will only occur after Ameren Illinois has attempted to contact the customer and after final service disconnection notice has been issued to the household.
The primary goal of the assistance program is to help people avoid utility service disconnection’s. They will only disconnect someone’s utility service when every reasonable effort to establish a payment plan has failed or the customer has not paid the agreed upon payment amounts, so they work closely with customers.
If you are a customer with a special need or a certified medical condition who receives a disconnection notice you need to immediately contact their Ameren Illinois utility.
Dollar More also uses donations. This program is administered by community action agencies in Illinois. Ameren works with these companies to help keep the heat and electricity on for very low income families. Read more.
Negotiated payment plans are offered as well. The company will allow qualified customers to pay off bills at reduced rates, eliminate past balances, and provide other forms of assistance. Read more.
Energy Saving Tips from Ameren
If you want assistance in how to reduce your utility bills, Ameren Illinois' Act On Energy® initiative is helping customers spend less on their energy bills by using less energy. Act On Energy offers customers free energy saving advice and tips, as well as incentives and financial rebates. For more information about the Act On Energy programs for residential customers, visit ActOnEnergy.com, call 1-866-838-6918 to learn more or apply.