Ameren Illinois wants to alert customers that are struggling to pay their utility bills that assistance is available on a current deadline.
Mary Heger, Senior Vice President of Customer Experience at Ameren Illinois says people who meet certain income requirements should look to a federal program first: “The first program we want to make sure people are aware of is that at the state level there are almost $350 million worth of funding available through the LIHEAP program – the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. These dollars are available to customers that qualify based on income in the form of direct grants. So, customers that go to agencies and apply for this funding will get grants that we will apply to their energy bills – either their electric or their gas bill at Ameren-Illinois. That is a significant benefit that customers can take advantage of at the state level.”
Customers in the listening area can enroll for LIHEAP through May 31st at MCS Community Services in Jacksonville. Information on LIHEAP can be found online at HelpIllinoisFamilies.com.
Heger says the second program is for people with a past due balance on their current bills who simply need an extra shot at catching up: “We really encourage customers to act quickly because by taking advantage of a repayment plan that we have available, customers can up to only 10% down in order to establish a repayment plan if they come to us and sign up before the end of March. Beginning April 1st, the required down payment will increase to about 25% of their outstanding balance. Again, we encourage our customers throughout the state to really think about contacting us. We can get information to them about LIHEAP. We can help them determine if they are eligible for the LIHEAP program, and we can also make our programs available to them in order to help manage their energy bill moving forward.”
To establish a payment plan with Ameren, call their customer service hotline at 1-800-755-5000 and select ‘billing and payment’ from the menu options. Agreements can also be made by logging into an active Ameren Illinois account at AmerenIllinois.com.