Ameren Peak Time Rewards
Ameren Illinois’s advanced electric meters open the door for flexible, money-saving plans like Peak Time Rewards (PTR). It gives participants a credit on their bill for reducing electricity use during certain “peak” times, usually hot summer afternoons when electricity demand is highest.
CUB supports the program because it carries no extra cost to participants, and customers can earn money off their bill while reducing stress on the power grid.
How Does It Work?
Once you enroll in the program, Ameren will notify you of a “Peak Time Rewards event”—typically a few hours on a weekday afternoon during the summer when electricity use is expected to increase significantly.
If you can reduce your electricity during the event hours, the utility will reward you with a bill credit for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) you saved below a personal baseline. The baseline, which is different for each customer, is determined by your usage on similar days prior to the event.
There’s no penalty if you don’t reduce your power usage. You simply won’t get a credit for that event.
On your next bill after an event, the credit will appear in the “Bill Message” section. You can also view your estimated rewards online approximately 24 hours after an event by logging on to your Ameren Illinois account and selecting the “Usage” tab.
Each bill could have multiple credits for multiple events.
Who can enroll?
The program is open to Ameren Illinois residential customers who have an advanced electric meter, also known as a smart meter. Advanced meters have a digital face and a yellow sticker.
If you have an alternative electric supplier, you are still eligible for Peak Time Rewards. Likewise, if you are enrolled in the Power Smart Pricing program, you are still eligible for PTR.
If you have net metering, you are not eligible for PTR. Commercial customers are also not eligible.
How do I enroll in Peak Time Rewards?
Ameren customers can call 1-888-596-5497 or visit AmerenIllinois.com to enroll in the Peak Time Rewards Program. You must provide at least one working phone number or email address so you can receive event notifications.
You’ll receive advance notice of Peak Time Rewards events by your preferred method of email, text message or phone call. (It’s a good idea to be alerted through multiple channels.)
Note: If you select text messages, you will receive an initial message asking you to reply, and you need to reply “yes” to receive future messages.
Peak Time Rewards events occur between June and September. Enrollment is open from October 1 to March 1. If it is after March 1, you can still enroll to be put on a waitlist for the next program year.
There is no cost to enroll and no penalty if you opt out of the program.
How big of a credit will I earn?
The rate used to calculate the bill credit earned is determined each spring, based on market rates for electricity. Ameren Illinois estimates that the credit could fall between 50 cents and $2 per kWh saved.
The utility will determine the total amount of a customer’s credit using a formula based on his or her typical usage history versus what the customer actually used during a designated “peak time” period.
How much you save depends on the credit per kWh, your typical electric usage, and how much electricity you used during the event.
How is Peak Time Rewards different from Power Smart Pricing?
Ameren Illinois’ Power Smart Pricing program offers residential customers a way to save on electricity yearround using day-ahead pricing. Enrolled customers pay an electricity rate that can change by the hour, based on the wholesale electricity market.
On Power Smart Pricing, if you can shift heavy electricity usage to lower-demand periods when prices are lower, you have the potential to save money. It’s an excellent program for households that have the flexibility to shift major power usage to times when prices are lowest.
Peak Time Rewards customers aren’t given special rates according to the time of day. They just receive a credit if they are able to shift their usage on certain days to lower-demand times. If they choose not to do that, they don’t pay a higher rate. They just don’t get the credit.
Ameren Illinois residential electric customers can enroll in both Peak Time Rewards and Power Smart Pricing simultaneously.
Tips for Saving
Things you can do to get a bigger credit during a Peak Time Rewards event:
- Temporarily change your central air conditioner to a warmer temperature. If you have a window air conditioner, turn it off or put it on a warmer setting.
- If the summer heat gets to you, plan a trip to the beach or a pool during the peak hours. Or hang out in an air-conditioned public space, such as a movie theater, museum, shopping mall, or library.
- If you have an electric stove or oven, grill or enjoy a cool meal like a sandwich or salad.
- Use energy-guzzling appliances like the dishwasher, washer and dryer, and basement dehumidifier before or after the Peak Time Rewards event.
- Make use of energy-saving tools, such as a programmable thermostat and light timers.
- Unplug electric devices when not in use. Even when turned off, electric devices use electricity when they are plugged in.
If you have any additional questions about these programs, please call CUB, at 1-800-669-5556.
CUB works hard to maintain the accuracy and timeliness of this information, but programs often change. CUB is not responsible for the administration of any of the programs described in this fact sheet. If you are having trouble applying for or receiving benefits from any of the programs described above, please contact the administrator of that program. Please notify CUB if you find any inaccuracies here.