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Rising Power Prices

Ameren Illinois Updates

Wholesale power prices (energy supply) are going up. The causes are varied: Global market issues, inflation, post-pandemic demand, and higher natural gas prices (the principal source of energy that powers electricity generation plants). Plus, renewable generation is not filling the gap being left as fossil fuel plants close or plan to close. All these factors are driving power prices higher.
 

What are ways I can save on my bill?

Reducing your energy usage is the single best way to lower your monthly bill. Ameren Illinois offers a variety of energy efficiency programs. Explore our Energy Savings Center at AmerenIllinoisSavings.com/WaystoSave.

I've heard there will be brownouts this summer. Is this true?


 
 


How can I manage my bill?


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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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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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 1.833.711.0374.

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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Energy Efficiency

Our Energy Efficiency Program helps our residential and business customers save money by implementing various energy efficiency solutions while providing discounts and incentives to increase comfort, manage usage and reduce costs.

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Why is this happening?

  • Supply and Demand – Inflation, increased consumption, and the closure of coal-fired electric generation facilities have caused a shortage in energy availability.
  • Energy shortages are driving wholesale power prices to record levels.

How are power prices set?

  • The Illinois Power Agency (IPA) buys wholesale electricity for residential and small commercial customers who have not made the switch to an alternative supplier. Utilities like Ameren Illinois are required to fulfill the IPA's pricing contracts and deliver that power to customers.
  • A subcomponent of supply, the capacity charge, is paid to electricity generators to ensure that there is enough power available on days when demand is high (like on extremely hot days). Capacity prices are set according to an annual auction conducted by the federal grid operator – MISO.
  • Important: Ameren Illinois does not profit from energy supply. The costs of energy supply are passed through directly to our customers, dollar-for-dollar.

How much more will the typical customer pay for power supply?

  • The typical Ameren Illinois residential customer will see a $626 annual increase on the power supply side of the bill, or an average of $52 or more per month throughout the year.
  • During months when temperatures are high and energy usage increases, the impact on customer bills could be even greater.

How will this impact Budget Billing customers?

  • To lessen the year-round impact on the monthly amount you owe, we are making a special adjustment to account for the current rise in energy supply costs.
  • Your Budget Billing amount is reviewed three times a year and adjusted based on your energy usage and changes in energy costs. This special adjustment will take affect at your next scheduled review.
  • Your increased Budget Billing amount still helps to stabilize your costs over a 12-month period.

How does this impact Power Smart Pricing customers?

  • Power Smart Pricing uses day-ahead hourly, market-based prices set by the Midcontinent Independent Systems Operator (MISO). Power Smart Pricing customers are also impacted by higher electric supply costs.
  • Keep an eye on the Day-Ahead Hourly Pricing page. It is still wise to manage your costs by planning ahead and shifting heavy energy use to lower-priced hours to help you save more money.
  • Consider Budget Billing to level out monthly payments and make your bill more predictable.
  • Check that your email address and your High Price Alert preferences are updated. If prices reach 12 cents/kWh or higher, we’ll notify you. If you’re opted in to receive emails, we will also send a monthly bill comparison so you can see how the higher rates are impacting what you pay.

What if I receive my power from an alternative supplier?

  • The price impact will depend on the agreement between you and your retail supplier (which Ameren Illinois does not have knowledge of). Approximately 60 percent of Ameren Illinois customers are served by a third-party supplier.
  • Neither Ameren Illinois nor the IPA establishes power prices for alternative suppliers.
  • As a delivery-only company, Ameren Illinois supports customers’ ability to choose an alternative electric supplier.
  • Customers can visit the Illinois Commerce Commission website at www.pluginillinois.org to learn more about electric choice and review a list of approved suppliers.
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