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Natural Gas Prices

Impacts on Your Energy Bill

We've seen a global spike in the price of natural gas, which Ameren Illinois purchases and delivers to our customers. The cost of the natural gas itself makes up more than half of a customer's energy bill.

Why is this happening?

  • There has been a global spike in the price of all fuels. The price of natural gas, which is the primary fuel source used by most customers to heat their homes and run appliances, reached a 13-year high in the Ameren Illinois service territory.
  • The cost of the natural gas itself makes up more than half of a customer's energy bill.
  • Virtually every utility that buys natural gas on the market is experiencing higher commodity prices. There are several primary reasons for the increase in the price of natural gas:
    • Electricity usage by the industrial and residential sector has increased as the economy has recovered. Power plants use natural gas to make electricity, impacting available natural gas supply.
    • The general availability of natural gas has been relatively flat because producers curbed production at the onset of COVID.
    • During the record cold spell of February, 2021, customers in the Ameren Illinois service territory used 35% more natural gas to heat their homes than during the same period the year before. Demand for natural gas was up all over the country, driving up the market price of natural gas that utilities like Ameren Illinois purchased to meet the increased demand. Those increased costs, which Ameren Illinois was able to spread over 18 months, are factored into this year's natural gas prices.
    • When you have high demand, and supply is constrained, prices increase.

What is Ameren Illinois doing to help lessen the cost impact? 

  • Consumers have been the beneficiaries of consistently low natural gas prices over the last several years.
  • Ameren Illinois is able to help mitigate the impact of higher commodity prices through our storing and price hedging strategies. Approximately 60% of the gas we have been delivering during the heating season was purchased in the summer, at lower prices, and stored in our underground storage fields. As a result, the bill impact in the Ameren Illinois service territory has been less severe than in other parts of Illinois and the Midwest.
  • Ameren Illinois does not profit from the sale of natural gas. We buy natural gas at the lowest possible price and pass the costs directly, dollar-for-dollar.
  • The Ameren Illinois natural gas delivery system is well-supplied, and we have met customer demand throughout the colder months.

What can I do to manage my bill?

  • The impact on your bill will be a product of temperature and usage. The single best way to limit the impact is to turn the thermostat down. Set your thermostat at 68-degrees and save 3% for every additional degree it is lowered.
  • Manage your energy bill going forward through Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Programs.
  • If you are having difficulty paying your bill, please contact us to explore your options. 

Budget Billing

Budget Billing allows you to spread your energy costs over a longer period and avoid larger monthly bills. Under the payment plan, bills are calculated using the average monthly bill amount based on the last 12 months.

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Pick a Due Date

Pick a Due Date lets you pick the day of the month that is most convenient for you to pay your Ameren energy bill. You have the flexibility to align your due date with your paycheck or spread out your bills so you don't have too many bills due at the same time. 

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Ameren Alerts

Consider Ameren Alerts to keep you informed about your energy use while prices are higher than normal. Our Weekly Cost Summary includes bill estimates based on your usage for your current billing cycle. Cost and Usage Threshold alerts let you know when your usage exceeds the threshold you've established for your account. 

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Payment Agreements

Residential customers that owe a past due amount for service may be eligible for a Deferred Payment Agreement (DPA) with Ameren Illinois to make partial payments of a past due balance and stay caught up.

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LIHEAP

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) grants are available to income-qualified customers. For more information on financial guidelines, and to identify an assistance agency in your community, visit HelpIllinoisFamilies.com or call 1.877.411.9276.

Warm Neighbors Cool Friends

Warm Neighbors Cool Friends (WNCF) is a year-round heating and cooling assistance program to help those who generally do not qualify for financial assistance from other government or non-profit programs.

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