Natural gas utility AmerenUE, at the request of the Missouri governor and state officials, has agreed to waive all reconnection fees and suspend deposit requirements for customers receiving assistance through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) or Missouri's Utilicare program as part of an initiative to help residents cope with expected high heating costs this winter.
The company's agreement with Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt's office and the Missouri Public Service Commission will begin Nov. 1 and run through March 31, 2006. Ameren companies serve 2.3 million electric customers and 900,000 natural gas customers in Missouri and Illinois.
AmerenUE also is planning to work with customers having difficulty paying their bills through payment arrangements or referring eligible customers to agencies that provide energy assistance. AmerenUE's Dollar More Program is the region's largest privately managed energy assistance program aimed at helping needy individuals and families cover their energy costs.
"While Ameren has adequate supplies of gas with firm contracts established, we must pass on higher prices on the gas we supply," said AmerenUE's Richard Mark, senior vice president, Missouri Energy Delivery. "We are encouraging customers to take steps to conserve, to call us if they are worried about paying their bills and to consider a range of payment options because we are concerned about the financial impact of high winter heating bills -- especially if there is a cold winter."
For information on the energy programs, visit www.Ameren.com.
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