Ameren and Spire — the St. Louis region’s electric and natural gas utilities — announced a joint program Tuesday to help residents upgrade to higher efficiency furnaces, water heaters, insulation, and other home improvements.
Through the effort, called the Pay As You Save or PAYS program, Ameren and Spire will “pay most or all the upfront costs to install the upgrades,” the companies said, and then charge customers a fixed fee on their monthly bills. The program allows for residents to save on energy costs while also investing in broader, systemwide benefits that improved energy efficiency can provide.
“We know many customers want to make these changes in their homes, but the upfront costs often keep them from acting,” Tony Lozano, Ameren Missouri’s director of energy solutions, said in a statement. “PAYS offers an avenue through this.”
To participate, residential customers first sign up for a free, “no-obligation” assessment of their homes, after which an analyst will recommend certain upgrades.
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After following through with any of the improvements, customers then repay the associated costs through a fixed charge placed on their monthly utility bills. (The charge will be split and shown on both statements for customers of both Ameren Missouri and Spire.)
The companies said the efficiency upgrades can reduce energy costs, even while accounting for the monthly repayment.
Ameren launched its own PAYS program last year. This marks the debut of a joint offering that extends the assistance to customers of both utilities.