This week, Ameren Missouri is sending out more than 1 million energy reports to its residential and small business customers, with the goal of helping them reduce energy usage by showing them just how much they use.
This is the third year Personal Energy Reports have been sent out, but the first year small businesses will receive them, said Cara Dolly, Ameren Missouri energy efficiency expert. She said she hopes the reports will empower customers to take action to reduce their energy usage.
"You can't change until you know what your baseline is," she said.
The energy reports give customers their average daily electricity cost for 2010 as well as a graph illustrating their usage each month and that month's average temperature for 2010 and 2009.
"We want customers to have the power to keep the change back in their pocket," Dolly said.
Getting consumers to reduce their usage will help Ameren avoid having to build more power plants in the future, she said.
The decision to expand energy reports to more than 100,000 small business customers was due to the success Ameren has had with its personal energy reports, Dolly said. Small businesses that receive a postcard type bill will be mailed an energy report.
In a recent Ameren survey, 50 percent of residential customers surveyed said they took action to reduce their energy usage after receiving their personal energy report.
"We want you to build the good habits you do at home into your business," she said.
Energy saving tips listed on the business reports include switching to compact florescent bulbs, using automated occupancy sensors to turn off lights when rooms aren't in use, and activating sleep modes on computers and copiers.
"When you have a cleaning crew come in, the first thing they do is turn all the lights on. If they just use the lights in the rooms they're in, that would be a huge savings if you imagine that happening week after week and year after year," Dolly said.
Ameren also has set up an energy efficiency website, ActOnEnergy.com and toll free number, 1-800-552-7583.
Ameren's energy reports also contain information about rebates and discounts the company offers:
* Up to $850 discount to replace inefficient air conditioners or heat pumps.
* $35 rebate and free pick up of working refrigerators and freezers manufactured before 2002.
* $50 rebate for Energy Star-qualified appliances including freezers, window air conditioners, air purifiers and water coolers.
* $25 rebate on Energy Star-qualified dehumidifiers.
* Instant rebates on Energy Star-qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs at more than 250 retail locations across Missouri.
45 S. Minnesota, Cape Girardeau, MO