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Peak Time Rewards

Frequently Asked Questions

 
The Ameren Illinois Peak Time Rewards® program gives eligible residential customers the opportunity to earn bill credits by reducing electricity usage during times of high electricity demand, typically summer afternoons. Your participation also helps your neighbors, your community, and the environment by reducing emissions and improving grid reliability. There is no cost to participate, just the potential to earn bill credits.

 

Program Description

Peak Time Rewards is a program from Ameren Illinois that gives customers an opportunity to reduce energy use during times of high energy demand. When participants reduce energy use during events, they help give the grid a break which improves service reliability. Participants also earn credits on their bill when they reduce energy use during events. It’s simple: activate your Peak Time Rewards, receive notifications, reduce energy use, and save.

Most Ameren Illinois residential customers who have a smart meter are eligible for Peak Time Rewards. There are two ways to check your eligibility:

  1. Create or log in to your online account to see all of your eligible programs. 
  2. Check your bill and look under the Electric Service Billing Details. If you see “Smart Meter” noted, then you are very likely eligible for the program.

Customers who receive their electric supply from a Retail Electric Supplier (RES) or Power Smart Pricing are eligible. However, customers cannot be on a RES demand response program and Peak Time Rewards at the same time.

Customers are ineligible if:
  • Their smart meter is not yet using wireless two-way communication.
  • They participate in Ameren Illinois’ Net Metering program or have a Community Solar subscription.
  • They are commercial customers.

If you don’t know if your home has a smart meter or have other eligibility questions, please email us at PeakTimeRewards@ameren.com or call us at 888.596.5497 with your account number handy. 

You can make an impact on conserving resources and protecting the environment by taking a few simple actions to reduce energy use during Peak Time Rewards events. With Peak Time Rewards there is no cost to participate. When you reduce energy use, you help give the grid a break which improves service reliability during times of high energy demand. Participants also earn credits on their bill when they reduce energy use during events. Activate your Peak Time Rewards today! 

Activating Peak Time Rewards is quick and easy. All you need is your Ameren Illinois account number, which can be found on your most recent bill, and your contact information to complete the enrollment form. Activate your rewards before March 1 to become a Peak Time Rewards participant for the upcoming program year starting on June 1. Eligible customers are still encouraged to activate after the March 1 deadline. Activating after this deadline will enroll you in the next Peak Time Rewards program year and place you on a waitlist for the current year.

How Peak Time Rewards Works

  1. Peak Time Rewards events are announced in response to anticipated high energy demand.
  2. You will receive a notification of the event’s date and time via your preferred communication methods (email, text, and/or phone call).
  3. During an event, reduce your energy use to help give the grid a break which improves service reliability. To earn a credit on your bill, reduce your energy use below your baseline energy use.

*Ameren Illinois calculates your personal baseline energy use for each Peak Time Rewards event by reviewing your energy use on similar days prior to the event. For more information, see “How is my personal baseline energy use calculated?

Peak Time Rewards events are announced in response to anticipated high energy demand and could happen at any time during the year, but they typically occur in the summer months (June through September). Peak Time Rewards events most often occur on weekdays during the afternoon when the demand for energy is highest. There is a minimum of at least one event each year and a maximum of twenty total event hours each year. The frequency of events scheduled varies depending on the overall demand for energy.
You can choose to be notified of Peak Time Rewards events by email, text message, and/or phone call. We encourage you to select multiple notification methods, but all Peak Time Rewards participating customers must have at least one selected notification preference. You will be sent a notification via your selected method(s) the day before the Peak Time Rewards event. In rare cases, you may receive a notification from Ameren Illinois on the day of an event. As a courtesy, Ameren Illinois will not send notifications prior to 7 AM or after 9 PM.

This calculation entails four steps.

Step 1: Ameren Illinois identifies the previous 14 days that were not a holiday or a day with a previous Peak Time Rewards event.

Step 2: Ameren Illinois identifies the three days when you used the most energy during the same timeframe as the current Peak Time Rewards event. For example, if the upcoming Peak Time Rewards event is from 2 PM – 4 PM, Ameren Illinois will look at the three days when you used the most energy from 2 PM – 4 PM.

Step 3: Ameren Illinois excludes any of the three days with significantly lower or higher temperature and humidity compared to the forecasted Peak Time Rewards event day.

Step 4: Ameren Illinois averages the remaining days to reach your baseline energy use.

baseline-grid

*Baseline energy use = (10 kWh + 11 kWh)/2 = 10.5 kWh

To calculate your rewards, Ameren Illinois looks at your energy use during a Peak Time Rewards event and your personal baseline energy use.* Ameren takes the difference between those two numbers to calculate your reduction and then multiplies it by the current credit per kilowatt-hour** (kWh) to calculate your rewards.

Below is an example of a possible rewards calculation:

A Peak Time Rewards event was called for 2 PM – 4 PM
Your baseline 2 PM – 4 PM energy use = 10.5 kWh
Your energy use during the Peak Time Rewards event = 8.5 kWh
Your energy reduction = 2 kWh
Your earned bill credit = 2 kWh x current credit per kilowatt-hour

The bill credit amount changes from year to year. Each spring, Ameren Illinois obtains the market prices for peak time electricity to determine the credit amount for the program year. Between June 1, 2020 and May 31, 2021, participants can earn 12 cents per kWh reduced during event hours. Remember, whatever the credit amount, Peak Time Rewards gives you the opportunity to help your community by giving the grid a break which improves service reliability during times of high energy demand.

*Ameren Illinois calculates your personal baseline energy use for each Peak Time Rewards event by reviewing your energy use on similar days prior to the event. For more information, see “How is my personal baseline energy use calculated?”

**Energy use is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). One kWh of electricity is equal to 1000 watt-hours and will power a 40-watt lightbulb for 25 hours (40 watts x 25 hours = 1,000 watt-hours = 1 kWh). Large appliances like your air conditioner, dishwasher, and laundry machines use a lot more energy than lightbulbs.

There is no limit on how many bill credits you can earn through Peak Time Rewards. The more energy you reduce compared to your baseline, the more you earn with credits on your bill. The following table shows how many kilowatt-hours* (kWh) on average your appliances may use.

How Much Energy Your Appliances Use Average kWh Used
Electric clothes dryer** 3.0 kWh
Cooking with your oven** 2.4 kWh
Turn your thermostat up 4 degrees*** 2.0 kWh
Dishwasher 21.8 kWh
Vacuum 1.4 kWh
Laundry machine 0.5 kWh

Avoiding using large appliances during Peak Time Rewards events, along with tools like a programmable thermostat and light timers, can help you reduce your energy use. You can also use Ameren Illinois’ other energy-saving programs to help you take the right actions to earn more rewards. The Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency programs offer tips and additional incentives to help you save. Learn more at AmerenIllinoisSavings.com.

*Energy use is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh). One kWh of electricity is equal to 1000 watt-hours and will power a 40-watt light bulb for 25 hours (40 watts x 25 hours = 1,000 watt-hours = 1 kWh). Large appliances like your air conditioner, dishwasher, and laundry machines use a lot more energy than light bulbs.

**Assuming an electric oven or dryer.

***Assuming a 3-ton air conditioning unit and an average insulated home.

Your bill credits should display as a “Peak Time Rewards Credit” line item on your next Ameren Illinois bill.

You can also view your estimated credits after an event via your Ameren Illinois online account:

  1. Create your Ameren Illinois online account
  2. View your Usage Details
  3. Your estimated credits will be available under “Insights”*

*Your credits are estimated until your next Ameren Illinois bill is calculated.

To change your notification preferences or overall contact information for program updates, please log in to your online account or give us a call at 888.596.5497 to speak with a program specialist.

Keeping your notification details up to date is important so you can keep participating in events. At least one working notification method is required to remain enrolled in Peak Time Rewards.

More Program Information

Peak Time Rewards will not be automatically activated on your new Ameren Illinois account. To activate Peak Time Rewards on your new account, simply log in to enroll or call us at 888.596.5497 when you get a new Ameren Illinois account number.
Yes. However, you can only participate in one demand response program at a time. A demand response program (like Peak Time Rewards) provides an incentive to reduce or shift energy use based on the demand for energy.
There is no penalty for not reducing energy use or for using more energy than your baseline. If you do not reduce your energy use during an event, you simply miss out on an opportunity to help give the grid a break and earn a bill credit. However, if you would like to stop receiving notifications or opt out of the program, please log in to manage your account, email us at PeakTimeRewards@ameren.com or call us at 888.596.5497 for assistance. 
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