ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KFVS) - Ameren Missouri is providing $3.5 million in additional energy assistance funds to customers across the state.
Back in March, the company announced $1 million of support for families negatively effected by COVID-19.
The COVID-19 Clean Slate program will include $3 million to help thousands of Ameren Missouri’s customers pay off their past-due utility bills.
“Just a fresh start right now with all that’s going on," said Tara Oglesby, Ameren Missouri vice president of Customer Experience.
The program is designed to help income-eligible customers clear the remaining balance on their account after paying 25 percent of the current balance.
“That means more groceries since the kids are home or they can put it towards some other household needs right now since their income might be lower than it normally is," said Shanna Yount, East Missouri Action Agency Area Coordinator. “So I think it’s a big relief for them. Ya know we see everything. We get hugs and happy tears and everything else.”
For example, customers in a four-person household making up to $45,850 a year, or $3,821 per month, are eligible to apply.
“There are a lot of Missouri families struggling right now and having to make some tough financial decisions in light of this pandemic—we get that and we want to help,” said Marty Lyons, chairman and president of Ameren Missouri. “Our COVID-19 Clean Slate program is similar to one we had following the economic crisis in 2009, which helped thousands of Missourians pay off their energy bills. With so many customers in need today, we felt it was important to bring back the program, which is why we worked closely with the Missouri Office of the Public Council to make this happen.”
Lyons added: “The summer heat in our region can be extremely dangerous for people without access to air conditioning, particularly for seniors and those with medical conditions. Our partnership with Cooldownstouis.org, Cooldownmissouri.org and community action agencies from across our service territory helps ensure our customers can stay safe and healthy as temperatures begin to rise.”
“We know the economic impact of the coronavirus is far-reaching and worrisome for so many families,” said Tara Oglesby, vice president of customer experience for Ameren Missouri. “In some cases, this has led to high customer bill balances, which is why we created the $3 million COVID-19 Clean Slate program to stabilize the situation and help these customers in need get a fresh start by helping with their utility bill balances.”
Funding through the COVID-19 Clean Slate program will be available starting June 3 and is expected to benefit approximately 9,000 households.
Ameren Missouri has extended its suspension of service disconnections and late fees until at least July 1.
Customers are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to see if they are eligible and before their outstanding balance becomes overwhelming.
“When money is tight, people have to make decisions and prioritize. So we want to take this out of that equation just to make it a little easier for them," said Oglesby.
Information about the COVID-19 Clean Slate program can be found at AmerenMissouri.com/CleanSlate, or by calling Ameren Missouri at 800-552-7583.
Also starting the week of June 1, assistance dollars are available to eligible customers through the Missouri Family Support Division’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
- Customers who need help with their energy bills can apply for energy assistance through: COVID-19 Clean Slate Program – Apply online by visiting AmerenMissouri.com/CleanSlate, or by calling Ameren Missouri at 800-552-7583.
- LIHEAP – Contact your local Community Action agency or call 855-FSD-INFO (855-373-4636) to request an application.
- Cooldownmissouri.org – Funds are available for the elderly and physically disabled, and low-to-moderate income families.