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Pilot would see utilities front the cost of energy efficiency projects

image credit: Credit: Ameren Missouri

Ameren Missouri hopes to target 1,000 of its least efficient residential energy users through a program called Pay As You Save that would front customers with the initial cost of energy efficiency projects.

Under the proposed program, Ameren would pay the upfront cost and then recover its investment over time through an add-on to the customer’s monthly bill. Expectations are that the customer’s total bill will fall as energy savings exceed the repayment charge.

The program is likely to be most successful with customers that are already highly inefficient energy users. A typical candidate likely will be a household with an outdated electric heating system, little if any ceiling insulation, poor air sealing around windows and doors and inefficient lighting.

Ameren asked Missouri regulators in May to allow it to offer the program on an experimental basis for 12 months starting in 2022. A second Missouri energy provider, Evergy, is finalizing details of a 12-month pilot that state regulators approved earlier this year as part of a broader energy efficiency program. And Liberty Utilities-Empire District also is considering moving ahead with a similar pilot.

Missouri regulators directed the three utilities to evaluate an on-bill repayment method for energy efficient improvements. A consultant, the Cadmus Group, said the arrangement could work well for all three.


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