Ameren Illinois' Power Smart Pricing
What is the Power Smart Pricing program?
The Power Smart Pricing (PSP) program offers Ameren Illinois customers a new way to pay for electricity, charging them a supply rate that can change on an hourly basis, instead of the default fixed rate. Savings aren’t guaranteed, but PSP has saved participants an average of about 10 percent on the supply portion of their electricity bills.
The program also helps reduce demand for polluting power plants and reduce stress on the electricity grid.
How does it work?
Ameren traditionally charges residential customers default fixed electric supply rates that change two-to-three times a year. PSP customers pay a market price that can change every hour, and the price for each hour of the day is set the night before.
Price variability may sound scary, but most of the year, the hourly rate is lower than Ameren’s default fixed rate.
How can I save money in the program?
You can plan your energy usage by checking the “day ahead” prices available each evening. If you opt to receive “High Price Alerts,” you will be notified the day before by email, phone, or text message if the price will be 9 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) or higher.
PSP also provides tips and personalized online account information to track your savings.
Is Power Smart Pricing right for me?
Your chances of saving are good if you have a monthly electric bill that is more than $50, heat your home with electricity or own an electric vehicle.
PSP may not be right for customers who need to use big appliances during peak-usage times when the market price of power is beyond Ameren’s fixed rate.
What are the program's requirements?
The program is available to residential customers who purchase their electric supply from Ameren Illinois. If you are with an alternative electric supplier, you have to switch back to Ameren before you can sign up.
Program customers must have an advanced electric meter, also known as a smart meter. Advanced meters have a digital face and a yellow sticker.
PSP customers pay a $2.25 monthly fee. Typical savings should more than cover the $27 annual cost.
Will I be able to opt out?
You can leave Power Smart Pricing at any time, but it’s a good idea to stay with the program for at least a year. Pricing patterns and your usage change with the seasons, so it’s best to evaluate the program after you have received 12 months of bills.
If you leave the program, you can’t rejoin for a period of 12 months following the termination.
How will my electric bill look different?
The delivery section of your PSP bill will include the $2.25 participation charge. (This is in addition to the “meter charge” already on your bill.)
On standard bills, the supply charge is the number of kWhs used multiplied by the fixed electric rates (for most of the year, there is one default rate for usage 0-800 kWhs and one for usage over 800 kWhs). On your PSP bill, the Day Ahead Energy Charge is the amount of kWhs used multiplied by the corresponding hourly prices.
The Real Time Pricing (RTP) Supplier Charge is a per kWh rate that is included in the supply charge on standard bills, but is separated out on a PSP bill. The RTP Supplier Charge rate changes every June and October.
On standard bills, the Transmission Service Charge is based on total kWhs used. For PSP customers, the Transmission Service Charge is based on their individual use during the system peak hour, or one hour in the billing cycle in which electricity demand was highest across all Ameren Illinois territory.
You can reduce your Transmission Service Charge by using energy wisely when electricity demand and prices are high.