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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 businesses with 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?

The Program Year starts on June 1st and ends on May 31st. Program Year Nine (PY9) started on June 1, 2016. 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 Program Year Nine?

There are a number of changes from Program Year Eight (PY8) summarized below:

  • Project completion dates for PY9 must be on or after June 1, 2016 and before June 1, 2017.
  • Some LED bulb projects are eligible through the Instant Incentives Program. Please see the Standard Lighting Application for details.
  • Incentive levels for several individual measures have changed; please see the individual applications for more details.

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.

How much incentive money will be available to Ameren Illinois customers in Program Year Nine?

Ameren Illinois will provide approximately $25 million for energy-efficient incentives during the current year of the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Business Program. Approximately $20 million was budgeted for Program Year Eight.

Will there be incentives funds available after Program Year Nine?

Yes, the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Programs are ongoing for the installation of eligible energy-efficient measures. The current three-year implementation plan, which includes measures for both electric and gas customers of Ameren Illinois, began in June 2014 and will end on May 31, 2017. The next three-year cycle will begin on June 1, 2017 and end May 31, 2020.

View specific information about customer eligibility requirements

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

You must be a non-residential customer on Delivery Service Tariff Rate DS-2, DS-3, DS-4, DS-5 or DS-6 to receive incentive money for electric projects. Customers with DS-5 delivery service are only eligible for upgrades done to exterior lighting when the light fixtures are customer-owned. For the gas programs, you must be a non-residential customer on Rate GDS-2, GDS-3, or GDS-4. In addition, each application specifies the eligibility criteria for those types of projects.

Customers who use Alternate Retail Electric Suppliers (ARES) are eligible for incentives as long as Ameren Illinois is their distributer and there is a Rider EDR charge on their bill. If your bill shows rate DS-1 or GS-1, 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.

Is my church/school eligible for Ameren Illinois' energy efficiency business program incentive money?

Most non-government funded organizations, including churches, non-profit organizations, and privately owned schools, are likely eligible.

I own a retirement home; is it eligible for incentives?

There are different possibilities, depending on your situation:

1. You could be eligible for Business Program incentives if you, the building owner, pay the utility bills for all units (electric delivery service DS-2, DS-3, or DS-4, DS-6, or gas delivery service GDS-2, GDS-3, or GDS-4).

2. Your tenants could be eligible for Residential Program incentives if they pay the utility bill for their respective units (their delivery service rate on their bill is DS-1, or GDS-1)

3. As the building owner, you could be eligible for the Multifamily Property Program (Common-Area Lighting Program and the In-Unit Program) for either scenario above, as long as your building has three or more units.

If you are unsure of your status, contact us to discuss your situation.

I manage a government-funded facility that receives delivery service from Ameren Illinois, are we eligible for the incentives?

Public facilities are eligible for energy-efficiency incentives through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) programs. Applications are available on the DCEO website at IllinoisEnergy.org or call 1.800.214.7954 for more information.

I pay my electric utility bill to a municipality (or co-op), am I eligible?

If you purchase energy from a co-op or municipality 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 co-ops/municipalities 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 rider EDR (Energy Efficiency and Demand-Response Cost Recovery) charge on the customer’s Ameren Illinois bill. The Rider EDR 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 Rider EDR charge, 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 purchase my electricity from an ARES (Alternative Retail Electric Supplier) but Ameren Illinois provides the delivery service—am I eligible?

Most customers who receive their energy supply from an ARES are still eligible. If your bill includes the Ameren Illinois Rider EDR charge, you are eligible to apply for incentive money.

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 T5 lamps eligible for incentives? They are not listed on the CEE web site.

Yes, as of June 1, 2012, all T5 wattages are eligible for incentive money.

Are geothermal projects eligible for incentive funds?

Possibly 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 business owner (or their representative) may fill out and submit the application for incentives, but a 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:

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.

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 e-mail 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 energy efficiency program allies conduct audits as one of their services. Visit the Find a Contractor webpage on the Program website to assist you in finding a business to assist you with your energy audit.

Ameren Illinois business 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 Competitive Large Incentive Project, Staffing Grant, Retro-Commissioning, Feasibility Study, Leak Survey & Repair, Metering & Monitoring and New Construction measures are the exception 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 as an ally for each of these programs if you want to be listed in each one.

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 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?

Incentives under the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Business Program can be combined with EPAct tax credit. If you are not eligible for the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Business Program because you are publicly-funded, look into the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity programs: illinoisEnergy.org. 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