COLLINSVILLE, Ill., Aug. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Midwest heat wave may be impacting energy usage this summer, but some Ameren Illinois customers turned high temps into cool cash. More than 7,000 residential customers lowered their energy usage last week, earning a collective $45,456 in credits on their future energy bills.
The savings were made possible under Peak Time Rewards, a demand response program that can give eligible customers a bill credit reward for actively using less electricity during high demand, or "peak" days when usage is typically higher. Ameren Illinois declared its first-ever Peak Time Rewards day on Thursday, August 11 and contacted 10,300 customers who are enrolled in the program and have an advanced – or smart – meter. Customers who cut their energy use during a designated time period that day earned a bill credit of $1.51 for each kWh saved below a personal baseline.
"This group of customers not only saved money and will receive a credit on their electric bills next month, they provided a valuable service to their community and environment by reducing their usage during the peak period," said Richard Mark, President, Ameren Illinois. "These customers were able to achieve these savings by delaying household activities like laundry and running the dishwasher, or by simply turning up their thermostats a few degrees."
The heat index on August 11 reached as high as 110 degrees. On days like this, energy usage spikes as customers cool their homes and use appliances. Lowering peak electricity demand improves service reliability for all customers. Collectively, customers participating in the Peak Time Rewards event curtailed their energy use by approximately 30,100 kWh, or the equivalent of the amount of electricity used by three typical Illinois residential households in a year.
Here are the highlights of the August 11, 2016 Peak Time Rewards event:
- 70% of the enrolled customers successfully reduced energy
- $6.10 was the average credit per successful participant
- 1,379 participants earned more than $10
- 303 customers earned more than $20
- $69.58 was the largest credit earned by one customer
"The success of this event demonstrates the real power of our smart grid initiative," said Mark. "With the investments we are making to modernize our infrastructure – including upgrading to advanced meters that can be billed wirelessly – we're able to offer these cost saving benefit programs to our customers."
Under the current Advanced Metering Infrastructure deployment plan, Ameren Illinois will upgrade nearly 780,000 electric meters and about 468,000 natural gas modules by the end of 2019. Since the smart grid program was launched in 2012, Ameren Illinois has implemented hundreds of system reliability projects by adding new technology and fortifying the energy grid.
Peak Time Rewards is a voluntary, no-cost program that provides eligible electricity customers with a bill credit for reducing energy usage at designated times. Managed by Ameren Illinois program partner Elevate Energy, it is a collaborative effort with regional grid operator MISO. Enrollment in the Peak Time Rewards cuts off on March 1 for the upcoming summer period. Customers with a two-way smart meter will be notified when program enrollment will open again for 2017.
For more information on the Ameren Illinois Peak Time Rewards program, or to enroll, please visit PeakTimeRewards.com or call 1-877-655-6028.
About Ameren Illinois
Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 816,000 natural gas customers throughout central and southern Illinois. Our service territory covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles and our mission is to power the quality of life. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com. Follow us on Twitter @AmerenIllinois and Facebook.
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SOURCE Ameren Illinois