ST. LOUIS – Ameren Missouri has created a new energy assistance program in partnership with United Way of Greater St. Louis to offer $500,000 in income relief energy assistance funds for its electric and gas customers across Missouri who are experiencing a hardship with reduced hours or a job layoff because of the Coronavirus situation. Ameren Missouri is also increasing its commitment to Heatupmissouri.org and Heatupstlouis.org, under its Energy Outreach Program, for a total of $500,000 to further support existing energy assistance programs for seniors, disabled and financially challenged customers in these difficult times.

The new Ameren Missouri Coronavirus Income Relief Program was developed to offer assistance to workers from a variety of businesses such as restaurants, daycare facilities, retail stores and other organizations who normally do not qualify for energy assistance.  Under the new program, Ameren Missouri customers with an active account can apply for $250 toward payment on their account. Applications must be submitted through United Way's website at 211helps.org/AmerenRelief. We also are partnering with Heatupstlouis.org and Heatupmissouri.org and questionnaires must be submitted through their website, as well.

Customers can apply for energy assistance by visiting 211helps.org/AmerenRelief if you are an Ameren Missouri customer who has been impacted by COVID-19 at your job and meet the qualifications based on household size and income (about $30,000 to $60,000 per year, per household).

They can also visit Heatupmissouri.org or Heatupstlouis.org or call Heat-Up Crisis Hotline at 314-241-0001 or 314-657-1599. Funds are available for elderly and physically disabled individuals, and low-to-moderate income families; or individuals with their delinquent Ameren bills in Missouri, who may also be impacted by COVID-19, with income levels from $0 to $29,000 per year.

In addition to its energy assistance programs, and this new income relief program, Ameren Missouri also recently announced that it has suspended all disconnections for non-payment and is forgiving any late payment fees for both residential and business customers who are struggling to make payments on time due to the Coronavirus situation until further notice.  Normal billing for customers' usage will continue as usual.  Customers having difficulty paying their bill should contact Ameren Missouri's Customer Care team, go to the Missouri payment Assistance page on AmerenMissouri.com, or investigate the various programs available. It's also very important that customers visit AmerenMissouri.com to ensure contact information, including phone and email are current should the company need to notify you.

Send questions and comments to athorp@pikecountynews.com.

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