With so many customers spending time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, potentially increasing energy use, Ameren Missouri wants to give families tools to help them save money. That’s why the company has developed a way for the whole family to find energy savings around the house.

With so many customers spending time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, potentially increasing energy use, Ameren Missouri wants to give families tools to help them save money. That’s why the company has developed a way for the whole family to find energy savings around the house.

At Ameren Missouri's Facebook page, families can find the new Energy Efficiency Scavenger Hunt. By following the downloadable information page, parents and children will be led room-by-room to find simple low- and no-cost ways to reduce energy use all while maintaining comfort.

"As a parent, I'm dealing with the challenge of keeping my kids engaged in educational and constructive activities while not sitting in front of a screen all day," said Bill Davis, director of energy solutions at Ameren Missouri. "By involving them now, I know they'll be more thoughtful energy consumers today and for the rest of their lives."

Some of the scavenger hunt activities include:

Counting light bulbs and tracking which ones are used more often.

Observing when natural light is more abundant in each room and changing lighting habits.

Learning which appliances use the most energy.

Finding and unplugging chargers when not connected to a phone or tablet.

As participants in the game learn more about their energy use, they'll be able to find instant savings at AmerenMissouriSavings.com. Low-cost upgrades include lights, smart thermostats and energy-saving power strips. Offers right now include LED bulbs for about $1 each and up to $100 instant savings on smart thermostats for qualifying customers.

"We've had mild weather in the past month," Davis said. "At the same time we know the summer heat is coming. When those higher temperatures arrive, steps families take now can save money over the next few months and for many years to come." Finding energy savings are as easy as installing LED bulbs and replacing HVAC air filters.

"Using just one ENERGY STAR® certified LED bulb instead of an old incandescent bulb will save you about $55 over the LED bulb's lifetime," Davis said. "Replacing your home's five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with ENERGY STAR certified models can save you about $75 each year."

Replacing a dirty, clogged air filter with a clean one can lower the air conditioning system's energy consumption by up to 15 percent. Davis recommends cleaning or replacing the filter every month or two during the cooling season. In addition to energy savings, Ameren Missouri has additional resources to help customers with their energy statements. A full list of resources are available at Ameren.com/COVID19.

Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than 100 years, and the company's electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. Ameren Missouri's mission is to power the quality of life for its 1.2 million electric and 132,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. The company's service area covers 64 counties and more than 500 communities, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information, visit Ameren.com/Missouri or follow us on Twitter at @AmerenMissouri or Facebook.com/AmerenMissouri.