In Missouri, the Ameren Illinois Utilities are promoting assistance programs for families and individuals who are delinquent on their utility or gas bills during the current economic slowdown. They strongly encourage all of those in need to take advantage of these programs.
The utility companies, which serve the Metro East area as well as much of the rest of Southern Illinois and central Illinois, have various assistance programs and payment plans for those who have been unable to pay all of their utility or heating bills. To establish a payment plan with Ameren or another utility company, customers need to contact their utility company and ask for help.
In addition to the utility companies themselves, various local community action agencies and other charities also offer some relief from high utility bills. Information about those utility bill assistance programs is available by calling 800-252-8643.
While unfortunately not all Ameren customers in Missouri will be able to get assistance, it is always worthwhile to call to ask for help. Individuals should contact the energy company as soon as possible, and that is usually as soon as they think they may start to struggle. If you have missed paying a few bills and have received a shut off notice, as that time it may be too late.
Representatives from Ameren will need to get some information from the customer on their financial condition, including total household income, family members, and other key information. They will then review the menu of utility bill assistance programs that they run to see if a customer qualified or not. Read more on Ameren assistance programs.
If it turns out that a customer doesn’t qualify for aid, the customer service representative will try to refer someone to a state or federal government sponsored program, such as LIHEAP or weatherization. Last, but not least, the utility company may direct an individual to non-profits across Missouri, such as the United Way or charities like the Salvation Army.
Dial 800-252-8643 to apply or learn about energy assistance.