Ameren Missouri donates 850 air conditioners and $200,000 in energy assistance funds to Cooldownstlouis.org
Customers encouraged to register for Ameren Missouri programs designed to keep vulnerable neighbors safe and cool during the summer heat
ST. LOUIS (June 14, 2022) – In preparation for the hot summer weeks ahead, Ameren Missouri donated $200,000 to Cooldownstlouis.org and Cooldownmissouri.org to support the most vulnerable customers in St. Louis and eastern Missouri. The company also donated 850 Energy Star® rated window air conditioners and 750 four-packs of energy-efficient LED lightbulbs. On average, energy-efficient air conditioners cost less than a dollar a day to operate, allowing customers to stay cool and safe.
“We know that St. Louis experiences three days of triple-digit temperatures each summer on average – and plenty more days in the high 90s,” said Mark Birk, chairman and president of Ameren Missouri. “Our partnership with Cooldownstlouis.org and Cooldownmissouri.org will help protect the most vulnerable in our area when the weather inevitably becomes dangerously hot.”
This year’s air conditioner donation marks the 22nd anniversary of Cooldownstlouis.org and Cooldownmissouri.org’s “Save our Seniors” (S.O.S) Cooling Summer Project. It is Ameren Missouri’s 17th year of participation in the program. Since then, Ameren Missouri has helped deliver more than 9,000 window air conditioner units to qualified seniors and people with disabilities across the region.
“We in the first-responder fire community know that Cooldownstlouis.org has a long history of saving lives. These 850 donated Ameren Missouri energy-efficient air-conditioners represent another life-saving resource for our most vulnerable,” said Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson, representing the Fire Chiefs Association of Greater St. Louis. “This is a perfect week to encourage everyone to physically check on your loved ones. Make sure the A/Cs are functioning properly and the utility bills have been paid.”
“As temperatures rise, Ameren Missouri and Cooldownstlouis.org do important work to protect our region’s most vulnerable,” said St. Louis mayor Tishaura O. Jones, honorary chair of Cooldownstlouis.org. “From the Save Our Seniors project to providing utility grants to make sure residents can keep their air on, this unique partnership helps St. Louisans beat the heat while saving lives.”
Today, many volunteers prepared the donated units for statewide distribution to an already large waiting list of qualified seniors and clients with disabilities. Joining Birk were Ameren Missouri employees; Cool Down honorary board chair and St. Louis mayor Tishaura O. Jones; Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson, Greater St. Louis Area Fire Chiefs Association; Michael P. McMillan, president and CEO, Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis Inc.; corporate treasurer Reverend Earl E. Nance Jr.; Linda Fritz, NECAC program director; Tara Oglesby, vice president, customer experience for Ameren Missouri, and popular St. Louis television meteorologists.
“The Urban League is a proud partner with Cooldownstlouis.org and Ameren Missouri. They continue to be crucial lifelines in our effort each summer to make sure neighbors struggling do not choose between air conditioning during a heat wave, and putting lots of dollars in the gas tank and food on the table,” said Michael P. McMillan, president and CEO, Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis Inc., and a Cool Down executive board member. “It really does take a village to ensure the health and safety during these hot, dangerous summer days for our region’s most vulnerable.”
Other Ameren Missouri resources are available for seniors and those with medical concerns. Customers and their families are encouraged to visit AmerenMissouri.com/HealthAndSafety for information on:
· Medical Equipment Registry – Allows customers to register electrically operated life-sustaining medical equipment so Ameren Missouri can notify them about planned maintenance outages.
· The Caring Contact Program – Eligible customers may designate a person or agency for Ameren Missouri to contact prior to disconnection for nonpayment. Caring Contact helps protect the health and safety of older adults and people with disabilities who may need additional support in handling potential disconnection of service.
· Keeping Cool Program – Helps make summer energy bills more affordable for seniors, people with disabilities, the chronically ill, or households with young children. It includes up to five monthly electric bill credits in the summer months to keep customers cool and safe.
· Low-Income Weatherization Assistance – Income-eligible homeowners and renters can request weatherization improvements to their homes through local agencies. The improvements include caulking, water heater jackets, weather stripping and insulation.
Cooldownstlouis.org and Cooldownmissouri.org will also be distributing 200,000 cooling cards with helpful summer tips along with Ameren Missouri’s contact information to connect customers to available resources.
Older adults and people with disabilities as well as low- to moderate-income families are encouraged to apply for energy assistance funds by visiting Cooldownstlouis.org and Cooldownmissouri.org websites or by calling 314.241.0001 or 314.834.0034, which are their hotlines for seniors and people with disabilities only.
Energy assistance is also available to Ameren Missouri customers who need help paying their bills. Visit AmerenMissouri.com/EnergyAssistance to learn about various support options, including:
● Budget Billing Plan – Customers’ annual energy bill is averaged over the past year and a fixed amount is billed monthly, making it easier to budget.
● Pick A Due Date – Pick the day of the month that is most convenient for you to pay your Ameren energy bill.
● Energy-Efficiency Rebates – A variety of resources and rebates for energy saving products are available to help reduce energy usage. Visit AmerenMissouriSavings.com for details.
About Cooldownstlouis.org and Cooldownmissouri.org
Cooldownstlouis.org is a bi-state nonprofit dedicated to providing education and resources to help the most vulnerable citizens, especially seniors, low-income families and the physically disabled. The organization works with more than 34 agencies to make sure utility bills are paid and the community’s most vulnerable citizens have access to the energy-efficient air conditioners they need to stay safe.