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Power Smart Pricing

Program Details

Power Smart Pricing is an hourly electricity pricing program for residential customers served by Ameren Illinois. The price you pay for electricity will vary hour by hour based on actual market prices. Power Smart Pricing uses “day-ahead” prices, meaning the price for each hour of the day is set the night before. Your bill is calculated using the hourly, day-ahead market prices and your corresponding hourly usage. If you are able to shift your electric usage to different times of the day you can take advantage of lower priced hours. You can manage your electricity costs by using energy wisely during hours when prices are higher.

Program Details

You can leave Power Smart Pricing at any time by contacting us or by signing up with a Retail Electricity Supplier (RES). However, we highly recommend you remain in the program for at least one year as the pricing pattern and your usage change with the seasons. For example, you may see lower savings in the summer, and then see higher savings when the weather cools down. If you leave Power Smart Pricing, your account will be unable to rejoin an Ameren Illinois hourly rate for one year (12 billing cycles).
Power Smart Pricing participants are charged a monthly participation fee of $2.25 which is included on your electricity bill.
You will continue to receive your monthly utility bill from Ameren Illinois and you will remain on the same billing schedule. You will be billed on hourly pricing after the interval data recording meter is installed and a full month of interval data is recorded, but no sooner than the end of the monthly billing period. Once your account bills, you can use the Power Smart Pricing website to view more detailed information about your hourly usage and costs.
If you move or sell your home, the new owner or resident will automatically be put on the standard BGS-1 rate. If you move to another home served by Ameren Illinois, you will need to re-enroll in Power Smart Pricing in order to receive the advantages of hourly electricity pricing at that location.
Ameren Illinois will continue to supply your power, respond to service calls and issue your bill.

About Hourly Prices

Electricity prices typically fluctuate most during the summer months, driven in large part by demand for air conditioning. Prices are usually highest during the late afternoon and tend to peak between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Higher overall prices tend to occur on days when the weather is particularly hot. Prices are generally lower on weekends and holidays and on days when the weather is cool. You can manage your costs by keeping these price patterns in mind and shifting electricity usage accordingly.
Compared with summer prices, fall, winter, and spring prices are generally lower, and the price pattern is more stable. During the cooler months, there tends to be a small price spike in the morning and then again in the evening. On many fall, winter, or spring days the hourly price of electricity remains low all day long.
The weather can have a big impact on the hourly price of electricity, particularly during the summer when air conditioner usage drives up demand for electricity. This is why summer electricity prices tend to be highest during the afternoon. During the winter months, continuous days with very cold temperatures can also drive up natural gas prices, which can impact the hourly prices on Power Smart Pricing.
To help get the most out of Power Smart Pricing, participants will receive an alert between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. if hourly electricity prices will be 9 cents per kWh or higher for any number of hours the following day. This is most likely to occur on hot summer days, but could occur on any day of the year. You can receive alerts by phone, text message, or email. To update your contact information for alerts contact us at 888.596.5498 or PowerSmartPricing@Ameren.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

Power Smart Pricing is an hourly electricity pricing program for residential customers served by Ameren Illinois. The price you pay for electricity will vary hour by hour based on actual market prices.
Power Smart Pricing uses “day-ahead” prices, meaning the price for each hour of the day is set the night before. Your bill is calculated using the hourly, day-ahead market prices and your corresponding hourly usage. If you are able to shift your electric usage to different times of the day you can take advantage of lower priced hours. You can manage your electricity costs by using energy wisely during hours when prices are higher.
The best way to manage your electricity costs is to shift some of your usage from higher priced hours of the day to lower priced hours – typically nights and weekends. During the cooler months of the year, prices have historically remained low most hours of the day, with a small increase in prices in the morning and again in the evening. In the summer months, hourly electricity prices tend to be highest in the afternoon.
The hourly price varies each day, but prices tend to follow predictable, seasonal patterns. Most of the time, the hourly price is lower than the standard-fixed rate price. Prices tend to remain low during the fall, winter, and spring. Higher prices are most likely to occur during the summer on hot weekday afternoons.
Since the program started in 2007, customers who signed up for Power Smart Pricing have saved an average of more than 15% on the electric portion of their bills compared with what they would have paid on the standard rate. Individual savings vary based on customer’s usage and market conditions. The more you can shift electric usage to lower-priced times, the more you could save with hourly pricing.
Shifting usage to lower priced hours helps reduce peak electricity demand, which eases stress on the power distribution system, making service more reliable for you and your community. Shifting electricity use could also help reduce the need to build or operate additional power plants, contributing to a healthier environment.
Yes. Power Smart Pricing is an electricity supply option from Ameren Illinois. If you sign up for Power Smart Pricing, Ameren Illinois will continue to supply and deliver your power, respond to service calls, and issue your bill. 

You will receive information and support to make it easy to manage your costs.

Each evening, prices for the following day are available online and by phone. You will receive day-ahead alerts (by email, phone, or text message) to let you know in advance when prices will be high (typically during summer months only).

Online tools will help you understand and manage your electricity use. A support team of Power Smart Pricing specialists is available to answer questions and help you get the best possible value from hourly electricity pricing.

Customers who select Power Smart Pricing will be charged a monthly participation fee of $2.25. This fee will be included in your electricity bill. Even after paying this monthly fee, Power Smart Pricing participants have saved an average of more than 15 percent on the electric supply portion of their bills.
You can leave Power Smart Pricing at any time by contacting us or by signing up with a Retail Electricity Supplier (RES). However, we highly recommend you remain in the program for at least one year as the pricing pattern and your usage change with the seasons. For example, you may see lower savings in the summer, and then see higher savings when the weather cools down. If you leave Power Smart Pricing, your account will be unable to rejoin an Ameren Illinois hourly rate for one year (12 billing cycles).

Some of the individual line items and charges are the same both for Power Smart Pricing participants and for customers on the standard-fixed rate. Some line items are different, or are calculated based on different rates. All residential electric service bills include three main sections: 1. DS-Residential (DS-1); 2. Electric Supply; and 3. Taxes.

  1. The DS – Residential (DS-1) section will remain the same with the exception of the two following additions:
    • A Rider PSP – Power Smart Pricing notation
    • The $2.25 Participation Charge (see “Is there a fee?” FAQ for an explanation of this charge).
  2. The Electric Supply section will change from Basic Generation Service (BGS-1) to Real-Time Pricing (RTP-1). Some of the charges in this section will remain the same on RTP-1, and others will change or will be calculated differently. The following line items will appear on your bill:
    • The Purchased Electricity Adj and Rider PER Supply Cost Adj charges will remain the same on RTP-1 and on BGS-1.
    • The Summer (or Non-Summer) Energy Charge that appears on the BGS-1 bill will be replaced by two charges: the Day Ahead Energy Charge and the RTP Supplier Charge.
    • The Day Ahead Energy Charge will be the sum of your hourly electricity use multiplied by the corresponding hourly prices. You can log in to your online account anytime to view details about your hourly electricity usage. Your high price alerts will make it easier to manage the Day Ahead Energy Charge portions of your bills.
    • The RTP Supplier Charge covers the costs of the additional services required for providing electricity. The RTP Supplier charge rate is a cents per kWh value and during non-summer months (effective 1/1/2016) is only applied to your first 800 kWh of usage during a billing period. During the summer months the RTP Supplier charge rate is applied to all kWh during a billing period. The charge rate typically changes between the summer (June through September) and non-summer months (October through May). Any updates or changes to the charge rate will be posted to the Power Smart Pricing news page. Note that the RTP Supplier Charge could be as large as 50 percent of the Day Ahead Energy Charge for PSP customers. On BGS-1 bills, this charge is factored into the Energy Supply Charge, so the effect on PSP savings should be minimal. You can reduce the impact of the RTP Supplier Charge by using electricity efficiently throughout the year.
    • The Transmission Service Charge will be calculated slightly differently for Power Smart Pricing participants than for customers on the standard-fixed rate (BGS-1). For customers on the standard-fixed rate, the Transmission Services Charge is based on total kWh used in the billing period. For Power Smart Pricing participants, the Transmission Service Charge is based on their individual electricity use during the highest system peak demand hour of the billing period. The system peak hour typically occurs between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on hot afternoons in the summer, and between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. in the winter. In the spring and the fall, the peak hour times could follow the summer or the winter pattern, depending on the weather. As a result of the different charge methods, the charge for Power Smart Pricing participants could be higher or lower than it would be on the BGS-1 rate. You can reduce your Transmission Service Charge by using energy wisely when electricity demand and prices are high.
  3. The Taxes section will be the same for both Power Smart Pricing and the standard-fixed rate.
As a Power Smart Pricing participant, prices you pay will vary from hour to hour, depending on the actual market price for electricity. The prices are set a day-ahead by the hourly wholesale electricity market run by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO). Follow the link to learn more about the Midcontinent ISO. www.misoenergy.org
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