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Frequently Asked Questions

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View information about the various Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Programs

What is the purpose of the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program?

The purpose is to provide cash incentives to help defray the upfront costs of installing energy-efficient electric and gas equipment. It can also be used to perform tune-ups on existing equipment.

View information about the current program year and what's changed from previous program years

What is a Program Year?

Historically, Program Years have started on June 1st and ended on May 31st. The Program Year Nine (PY9) cycle ran June 1, 2016 to May 31, 2017. June 1, 2017 marks the beginning of a seven-month “transition period,” as we switch to a calendar year cycle. January 1, 2018 will mark the beginning of Program Year 2018.

 

If you are requesting pre-approval, the completion date of your project will determine which program year your project will be associated with and the incentives for which your project is eligible.

What’s new for the transition period?

There are a number of changes from previous years. These changes are summarized below:

  • Project completion dates for the transition period must be on or after June 1, 2017 and before January 1, 2018.

  • Application final paperwork for the transition period must be submitted by December 31, 2017.

  • Publicly-funded facilities are eligible for the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Business Program beginning June 1, 2017.

  • Some large users (historical demand over 10MW) are no longer eligible for the energy efficiency program. Please contact Ameren Illinois if you are unsure if you fall into this category.

If I received incentive money from the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program previously, may I apply for more incentive money?

Yes, you are welcome to continue applying for incentive money. There are incentive limits per project, but no longer per program year.

View specific information about customer eligibility requirements

How can I confirm my facility is eligible for Ameren Illinois' energy efficiency program incentives?

You must be a non-residential Ameren Illinois customer to qualify.

ELECTRIC PROJECTS: you must have an electric delivery service rate of DS2, DS3, DS4, DS5, or DS6 and an Energy Efficiency Demand Response surcharge on your Ameren Illinois bill for the service point corresponding to your electric project. DS5 accounts should discuss with Ameren Illinois representatives prior to starting. DS4 and DS6 service points should verify with Ameren Illinois that your service point is eligible (historical demand less than 10MW).

GAS PROJECTS: you must have a gas delivery service rate of GDS2, GDS3, GDS4, GDS5, or GDS7 and a Gas Energy Efficiency Cost Recovery surcharge on your Ameren Illinois bill.

Customers who use Alternate Retail Electric Suppliers (ARES) are eligible for incentives as long as Ameren Illinois is their distributor and there is an Energy Efficiency Demand Response surcharge on their bill. If your bill shows rate DS1 or GS1, you may be eligible for the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Residential Program.

Click here to view a sample bill with directions on where to find the rate on your bill.

My facility previously participated in the Illinois Energy Now (DCEO) energy efficiency program. Is there a separate program for Ameren Illinois public sector customers?

Most customers who were previously eligible for the Illinois Energy Now programs through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) are now eligible for the same Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Programs as private-sector customers. Please review the individual applications for specific participation guidelines.

I pay my electric utility bill to a municipality/co-op or Alternative Retail Electric Supplier (ARES). Am I eligible?

If you purchase energy from a municipality or co-op but Ameren Illinois provides delivery service, you are likely eligible. If you are unsure of your status, contact us with your Ameren Illinois account number and we can check to see if you qualify.

If Ameren Illinois does not provide delivery service, you are not eligible to participate in the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program. However, some suppliers offer their own incentive or rebate programs; check with your supplier.

I know my municipality/co-op purchases their energy from Ameren Illinois, or uses the Ameren Illinois power lines. Why am I not eligible for the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program?

Co-ops and municipalities that use Ameren Illinois as their utility delivery service include a small surcharge on the customer’s Ameren Illinois bill. The surcharge is a small percentage of your payment that is consolidated into a pool of money that funds the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program. Customers who contribute to the pool are eligible to take advantage of the funds available through Ameren Illinois. Co-ops and municipalities that provide their own delivery service do not include the surcharge, so are not eligible to use Ameren Illinois' energy efficiency program funds. Please check with your energy provider to determine if they offer any incentive programs for energy-efficient upgrades.

I pay my gas utility bill to Ameren Illinois, am I eligible for electric incentive funds?

If you are a gas-only customer of Ameren Illinois, you are only eligible for the gas programs. Likewise, if you are an electric-only customer, you are eligible for the electric programs.

View specific information about project eligibility requirements

How can I confirm my project is eligible for Ameren Illinois' Energy Efficiency Program incentive funds?

Each application form includes a list of eligibility criteria specific for that type of project.

Does my project require a pre-inspection?

Applications submitted for pre-approval may undergo a pre-inspection before the pre-approval letter is issued. An Energy Advisor will contact you to schedule the pre-inspection if it is required. Post-inspections may also be required for any project at any time.

I am retrofitting a heat pump from gas to electric—does that qualify for electric incentives?

Fuel switching, of any type, does not qualify for incentives from Ameren Illinois' energy efficiency business program.

Are there any incentives for new construction?

New construction lighting projects are eligible for incentive money through the New Construction Lighting Program application. Some new installations of HVAC equipment, water heaters, or specialty equipment may apply under a Standard application; check the applications for details. Other new construction projects can still apply for incentive money under the Custom application, as they have in the past.

Are geothermal projects eligible for incentive funds?

Possibly. Contact us to find out if your project is eligible.

Can the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program help with the cost of installing solar panels?

Outside of geothermal heating, the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Business Program does not extend incentives to renewable energy, including solar panels. If you are considering solar energy for your building, please contact the Ameren Illinois Renewables Department at renewablesillinois@ameren.com.

View information about the project application process

How do I know you received my application and required paperwork?

An e-mail message is sent within two business days of receipt. If you do not receive a confirmation email, please contact the program.

Who should fill out and sign the incentive application forms?

Either a contractor or the Ameren Illinois customer may fill out and submit the application for incentives, but the Ameren Illinois customer signature is always required. If a contractor is to be paid the incentive instead of the customer, the customer must also sign a Payment Release Authorization form.

View information about whether or not your project will need pre-approval

Do I need to obtain pre-approval for my project to be eligible for the incentives?

Use this quick reference to see if your project requires pre-approval:

Quick PreApproval

Note: Even if pre-approval is not required, you may submit a request to verify the incentive amount of your project through a non-technical review. This non-technical review will only verify the incentive amount. Verification of equipment eligibility (as outlined on the application) is the responsibility of the customer submitting the application. If, during the final review process (after project completion), Ameren Illinois' energy efficiency program staff determine equipment is ineligible, the incentive request will be denied.

What if the project changes after I get pre-approval, i.e., a fixture was added, or the cost of each fixture changed?

The maximum incentive paid will be listed in your pre-approval letter. If your project is down-sized then the incentive will be reduced accordingly. If there are major changes to your project, please contact us immediately.

Do I need to get consent from my landlord before I submit my application?

Yes, the landlord needs to be aware of the project and agree to the work to be done. A completed Landlord Consent Form must be submitted with your application.

I've finished my project; what do I do now?

Thoroughly review and complete all fields in the Incentive Payment Request Form (which is the last page in most applications, or can be found in the Business Forms Library). Be sure to include all required documentation as indicated on the form when submitting your final paperwork.

View information about the timeline for approval and incentive payout

What is the general timeline for the incentive process?

See the graph below. NOTE: It is up to the customer to notify the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program if there is an expected delay on any of these deadlines, otherwise incentive funds will be in jeopardy. See the application for directions on how to calculate your requested incentive and how to determine if pre-approval is required.

Timeline

How long will it take to get my pre-approval application processed?

If your application is complete and correct, you can generally expect your pre-approval email within ten business days.

I received my pre-approval letter, is there a time limit to get the job done?

Yes. There is an Estimated Completion Date specified on the pre-approval letter, which is not more than 120 days from the date of pre-approval for the Standard applications. If you cannot complete your project by the Estimated Completion Date you must notify the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program immediately of any anticipated delays. The Feasibility Study is the exception to this rule: studies must be completed within six months of pre-approval.

If I have already submitted an application for a job but receive another offer that would return a higher incentive, can I submit another application?

No. In such a case, only the first application would be considered. However, if a change in the contractor or vendor occurs after approval has been granted, an updated application must be submitted to reflect possible changes in the incentive level, completion date, or equipment type.

How can I find out the status of my incentive payment?

Please allow up to 60 days after approval of your final application. Contact the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Business Program to find out when you can expect payment.

View general information about the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program and our incentives

What are the benefits of participating in this program?

There are three great reasons to participate:

1. To reduce energy costs for your business, making it healthier and retaining jobs in Illinois.

2. To reduce environmental impacts of energy use and reduce the carbon footprint for the Ameren Illinois customers.

3. To reduce demand for electricity means the need to build new electric-power producing plants is reduced which, in the long run, saves all the Ameren Illinois customers much more than the amount being contributed to the energy efficiency program.

I'm interested in an energy audit for my business, who should I contact?

Many Ameren Illinois Program Allies conduct audits as one of their services. Visit the Find a Contractor webpage to assist you in finding a business to assist you with your energy audit.

Ameren Illinois non-residential customers are also eligible for a free “high-level walk through” appointment with an Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program Energy Advisor. The walk through is an opportunity for an advisor to look at your current equipment and provide ideas for upgrading to more efficient options. The Energy Advisor can also provide you with some pointers on how to take advantage of the incentive money that is available. Contact the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program to get in touch with your local Energy Advisor.

Can the installation fees be considered in the incentives claimed?

Yes, with certain conditions. If you are applying under a Custom application, the total cost of the project, including contracted installation costs, should be included. However, internal labor costs cannot be considered when determining total project costs. The incentives for Standard applications are pre-calculated and the total incentive will be capped at the project cost, which includes the cost of materials and external labor. Internal labor may not be included in the project cost. For both Standard and Custom projects, labor costs do not affect the calculation of the incentive; they only help determine the cap.

If I am a renter can I claim the incentive or will it go to the property owner?

By default the incentive will go to the Ameren Illinois customer (the name on the Ameren Illinois account). It the incentive is to be paid to another party, the Ameren Illinois customer must sign the Incentive Payment Release Form to allocate payment elsewhere. If the tenant hold the Ameren Illinois account, the landlord will need to sign the Landlord Consent Form, acknowledging that the improvements are permanent.

Is there a limit as to how much incentive money I can receive?

Standard and Custom projects may receive up to $500,000 in electric incentives per project and an additional $250,000 in gas incentives per project. The Staffing Grant, Retro-Commissioning, Feasibility Study, Leak Survey & Repair, Metering & Monitoring, and New Construction measures are the exceptions to this limit. Please see the individual applications or Terms and Conditions for details.

For contractors: view information about becoming a Program Ally and the benefits

As a contractor, why should I become a Program Ally?

There are several potential benefits:

  • Taking advantage of the incentive program will save your customers money on their initial purchases, potentially leading to more sales

  • You will have the option to have the incentive check sent directly to you, which you could then use as a credit on your customer’s invoice

  • Your company will be listed on the Program website as a company that is familiar with the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program

  • You can increase your sales of energy-efficient equipment

  • You will receive e-mail updates regarding program changes and bonus offers

  • Customers looking for providers for the services you offer can search for the name of your business

  • Co-branding opportunities to promote your business as a Registered Program Ally of the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Business Program

If I sign up to be a Program Ally for the business program, will I also be included in the list for the residential program?

No, there are separate Program Ally lists for business, residential, multi family, retro-commissioning (compressed air, large facilities, industrial refrigeration, grocery store), and Instant Incentives. You need to sign up for each of these programs if you want to be listed in both.

As a company, what is required to become a Program Ally?

The Program Ally list is a customer service provided by Ameren Illinois. None of the Program Allies listed are endorsed by Ameren Illinois or the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program. For that reason, any company may sign up to become a registered Program Ally. You will be required to attend Program Ally webinar before you will be listed on the website.

Do Program Allies have to register each year?

As long as you have completed an Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program project in the past year, you do not need to register again. If you have not completed a project in the past year, you may be asked to attend brief webinar.

As a Program Ally, may I use the Ameren Illinois or the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program logo or name in my marketing materials?

There are guidelines for the use of the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program logo and phrase "Registered Program Ally". Please contact Kasey Campbell at kcampbell@ameren.com to obtain a copy of the logo and to get the specifications on how it may be used.

Get answers to other miscellaneous program questions

Are there other incentive programs I can look into?

If you pay your electric bill to a municipality or co-op, check with them, as they may have similar programs.

Get a list of abbreviations and acronyms commonly-used in the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program

  • CEE: Consortium for Energy Efficiency

  • CFL: Compact Fluorescent Lamp (light bulb)

  • ComEd: Commonwealth Edison

  • COP-IPLV: Co-efficient of Power-Integrated Part Load Value

  • DCEO: Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity

  • EC Motor: Electrically Commutated Motor

  • EEM: Energy Efficient Measure

  • EER: Energy Efficiency Ratio

  • EPAct: Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Policy Act

  • HID: High Intensity Discharge (metal halide & HP sodium lights)

  • HVAC: Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning

  • IPLV: Integrated Part Load Value

  • kW: Kilowatt

  • kWh: Kilowatt Hour

  • LED: Light-Emitting Diode

  • LEED: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

  • NEMA: National Electrical Manufacturers Association

  • PTAC/PTHP: Package Terminal AC and Package Terminal Heat Pumps

  • SEDAC: Smart Energy Design Assistance Center

  • SEER: Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio

  • UL: Underwriters Laboratory


With Ameren Illinois' energy efficiency program,

"I expanded my business and lowered my energy use."
- Kim Berkley, Ameren Illinois Customer Learn How