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Missouri Begins Two-Year Low-Income Pilot

Low-income residents may see some relief when it comes to paying their electric bills thanks to a two-year pilot program as part of an agreement reached during AmerenUE's electric rate case before the Public Service Commission in April.

The "Keeping Currently Low-Income Pilot Program" is part of an agreement reached by several parties, including electric utility AmerenUE, and it went into effect this month.

The program provides for tiered bill credits, overdue payment forgiveness and a requirement for eligible customers to apply for LIHEAP and weatherization assistance.

The program is funded by AmerenUE shareholders and its customers at about $1 million, with the average residential customer contributing $0.03 a month.

Program eligibility is income-based and all customers whose income is at or below 100 percent of the federal poverty level will be eligible to participate. Customers who are LIHEAP-eligible at 135 percent of the federal poverty level, who use electricity for cooling and who are elderly, disabled or with a chronic medical condition or live in households with children 5 years of age or younger will also be eligible to participate.

Also to be eligible, an electric customer must be registered with a designated Keeping Current Agency, which includes community action agencies in AmerenUE's electric service area and additional social service agencies that also administer AmerenUE Dollar More energy assistance funds.

The pilot program was created to address concerns that surfaced during AmerenUE's rate case hearings regarding low-income residential customers throughout Missouri.

Source:  Missouri PSC