More than 7,000 Ameren Illinois customers lowered energy use last week and earned a collective $45,456 in energy-bill credits for doing so.
The savings are part of Peak Time Rewards, a demand response program that gives eligible customers a bill credit for using less electricity during high demand, or "peak" days. Aug. 11 was the company's first Peak Time Rewards day. Customers who cut energy use during a designated time period earned a bill credit of $1.51 for each kilowatt hour 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," Ameren Illinois President Richard Mark said. "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 that day reached as high as 110 degrees. On such hot days, energy use spikes as customers cool their homes and use appliances. Lowering peak demand improves service reliability for all customers.
During this Peak Time event, 70 percent of the enrolled customers reduced energy use, saving an average of $6.10. The largest credit earned was $69.58.
"The success of this event demonstrates the real power of our smart grid initiative," Mark said. "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."