Company recognized for helping more than 8,500 households cut their energy bills during peak of the COVID-19 pandemic
Innovative, no-cost virtual services reached traditionally underserved population
Ameren Illinois’ success retooling a popular energy efficiency program to assist underserved customer populations earned the company recognition as Region III Innovative Energy Project of the Year by the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE). During the height of the pandemic in 2020, Ameren Illinois delivered low or no-cost energy-savings services to 8,500 income qualified customers, enabling those customers to cut their energy bills and stay comfortable while sheltering-in-place.
Pivoting away from conducting in-home energy assessments during the pandemic, Ameren Illinois created Safe and Virtual Energy Efficiency (SAVE) kits that contain energy saving LED bulbs, faucet aerators and advanced power strips. The SAVE initiative offered cash incentives to encourage customers to complete a virtually assisted installation of energy saving measures, including HVAC equipment and insulation. Customers who attended a webinar on how to install their energy-saving equipment received a $75 cash incentive. A $150 cash incentive was provided to those who completed a one-on-one assessment with an Energy Advisor using video conferencing tools. With this option, an Energy Advisor provided installation guidance on SAVE kit equipment and conducted a virtual “walk-through” of the home to identify additional energy-saving opportunities.
“The limitations on in-person consultations and the immense economic and social challenges faced by our customers meant we had to get creative quickly,” said Kristol Simms, senior director, Energy Efficiency & Regulatory Policy Implementation for Ameren Illinois. “I’m proud of our team for developing a virtual offering and delivering energy saving services to customers who needed our help the most.”
Through its virtual assessments and SAVE kit offering, Ameren Illinois served more than 8,500 income qualified customers between June and December 2020. These projects helped participating customers reduce their monthly utility bill and resulted in energy savings equivalent to the total amount of energy used by 582 homes.
“Our mantra is to go beyond traditional program offerings and provide ‘Energy Efficiency for All,’ which means eliminating barriers to participation in these programs for traditionally underserved populations,” said Richard Mark, Chairman and President, Ameren Illinois. “This was especially challenging during the pandemic, so to have our efforts recognized and validated by AEE is very rewarding.”
A complete listing of AEE award recipients can be found at aeecenter.org/regional-awards.
For more information on Ameren Illinois’ award-winning Energy Efficiency Program, visit AmerenIllinoisSavings.com.