More Ameren Missouri customers eligible for utility bill assistance

Lake Sun Leader
Clean Slate will help eligible customers with up to $750 per account, after they pay 25% of the past-due balance.

Additional funds are now available for Missouri families struggling to pay their utility bills due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ameren Missouri is directing $1.2 million to its Clean Slate program to include support for moderate- income customers who do not qualify for low-income programs. The company is also directing $300,000 to support local agencies who administer these funds.

Due to the impact of COVID-19 across a broader range of customers, Ameren Missouri wants to ensure as many customers as possible take advantage of energy assistance options. These funds will make help available for more Missouri families.

"Customers receive a fresh start with the Clean Slate program," said Marty Lyons, chairman and president of Ameren Missouri. "We recognize there are families struggling and in need of assistance who don't qualify for many of the existing federal and state assistance programs. The Clean Slate program helps fill that gap."

Ameren Missouri's previous $3.5 million COVID-19 Clean Slate program helped thousands of customers pay off their past-due utility bills. This $1.5 million donation is on top of the $5 million previously pledged to COVID-19 relief in 2020.

“Ameren Missouri’s Clean Slate program has been a marvelous blessing for thousands of Missourians in need of energy assistance,” said Reverend Earl E. Nance Jr., treasurer and chair emeritus of Heatupmissouri.org and Heatupstlouis.org. “We depend desperately on these funds and it takes strong partnerships to continue helping families facing financial challenges. We can always count on Ameren Missouri.”

"This new round of Clean Slate funds will be a lifeline for many Missouri families as we head into the colder winter months," said Mark Sanford, executive director of People's Community Action Corporation (PCAC). "Many of our clients continue to navigate reduced wages, job loss and other hardships because of COVID-19. This support from Ameren Missouri will be the helping hand they need."

Clean Slate will help eligible customers with up to $750 per account, after they pay 25% of the past-due balance.

"The goal of this donation is to help more Missouri families dealing with financial hardship due to the pandemic," said Tara Oglesby, vice president of customer experience for Ameren Missouri. "From conversations with our customers, energy assistance agencies and the Missouri Office of the Public Counsel, we identified the Clean Slate program as a highly effective way to help even more people."

To be eligible for Clean Slate, customers must meet the following requirements:

• Household income up to 300% of the federal poverty level.

- For example, customers in a four-person household making up to $79,500 are eligible to apply.

• Pay 25% of the past-due balance.

• Self-declared hardship due to COVID-19.

• Have an active Ameren Missouri electric account that is past due, on a

payment agreement or in need of reconnection.

• Customers who received Clean Slate funding in 2020 are eligible to reapply.

"Ameren Missouri is serving a critical need with this $1.5 million by expanding tools to help more families get back on their feet, especially those who don't qualify for other low-income programs," said Kyrie Windsor, LIHEAP deputy director for Missouri Ozarks Community Action (MOCA).

Community Action Agencies and Heatupmissouri.org will administer the Clean Slate program and distribute the additional $1.2 million of energy assistance. Customers are encouraged to apply as soon as possible before their outstanding balance becomes unmanageable.

Customers can find more information at AmerenMissouri.com/CleanSlate or by calling Ameren Missouri at 800-552-7583.

Energy assistance is also available for customers with lower incomes. Missouri's Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is currently accepting applications from customers with an income at or below 60% of the state median income level. For example, customers in a four-person household making up to $51,021 are eligible to apply.

How to apply for LIHEAP:

• Contact your local Community Action Agency

• Call 855-FSD-INFO (855-373-4636) to request an application.

• Apply via a new online portal at MyDSS.MO.gov/energy-assistance.