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Ameren Missouri plans to boost energy efficiency

(via Flickr/lobo235)

Updated 5:42 p.m. with comment from Ameren.

Ameren Missouri is pledging to increase its energy efficiency programs starting in 2013.

The company's filing today with the Public Service Commission would represent a complete change of course for Ameren, which had cut its energy efficiency programs from $33 million in 2011 down to as low as $5 million this year.

The new three-year plan would allow Ameren to provide a total of $145 million dollars in rebates and incentives to residential and business customers who invest in energy efficient lighting, heating and cooling systems or similar upgrades.

Ameren's senior vice president of customer operations, Richard Mark, says the costs of the programs will be passed on to rate payers. The Missouri Energy Efficiency Investment Act, approved in 2009, allows Ameren to pass on the costs.

"Ameren is putting the money out to make the investment, and then actually customers do, customers will be charged recouping, recovering those costs on their bills over the period of time," Mark said.

The Public Service Commission must approve the utility company's plan before it can take effect.

Ameren serves about 1.2 million electric customers, mostly in eastern and central Missouri.