Letter to the Editor

Underground service is optional

To the editor:

The Southeast Missourian's July 1 article titled "Project may cost some Ameren customers up to $750" may have led customers to believe participation involved a payment from them. The pole-to-pole undergrounding of services does not involve payment from customers. Through Project Power On, AmerenUE is spending $300 million to bury power lines that have been most vulnerable to outages during severe weather. Many times these are lines that run from pole to pole behind or in front of homes and businesses. The customers who are fed directly from the power lines being put underground will have the option to bury the line from the pole to their house. If you are one of those customers, you will get a letter from AmerenUE providing you with specific information about what you need to do. Because these projects require moving, switching out or changing customer-owned equipment, the work must be done by a qualified electrical contractor at the customer's expense.

Customers will benefit from the pole-to-pole undergrounding regardless of whether they choose to bury the line from the pole to their house. However, should customers choose to underground their service drop, AmerenUE is offering a $750 rebate to help offset the cost of that work.

Providing safe, reliable power is AmerenUE's No. 1 commitment. Through Project Power On, AmerenUE is also spending some $200 million to trim more trees away from power lines and increase inspections of lines, poles and equipment.

Customers should feel free to contact AmerenUE at 800-552-7583 or www.ameren.com/poweron for more information.

JEAN MASON, Manager, SEMO Division, AmerenUE, Cape Girardeau