Celebrating Energy Efficiency Day in Missouri

Today, October 5th, is National Energy Efficiency Day! The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is one of the founding members of Energy Efficiency Day, celebrated nationally by more than 200 organizations. Anyone can take part in the EE Day festivities, as energy efficiency is all about smarter energy use—which includes energy and money savings for all.

NRDC works to advocate for energy efficiency policies and programs across the country, including a national partnership with the Energy Efficiency for All Project (EEFA). EEFA works to make multifamily apartment buildings healthy and affordable through energy efficiency. These buildings have traditionally been overlooked by efficiency and weatherization programs. EEFA is celebrating EE day by sharing new resources and energy efficiency success stories

EEFA hopes to see more energy efficiency successes soon in Missouri. NRDC along with EEFA partners, such as the National Housing Trust, Tower Grove Neighborhood Community Development Corporation, and Renew Missouri, have been hard at work in Missouri to improve and expand utility energy efficiency programs, including low-income multifamily programs. Ameren Missouri filed a proposed plan for new energy efficiency programs in June and is now seeking approval at the Missouri Public Service Commission (MO PSC), the state agency that regulates utilities. The historic plan—historic in size, scope, and impact—consists of new and expanded low-income programs, including significant improvements to the low-income multifamily programs and the Company’s first ever low-income single-family program. But some groups are pushing back, claiming that Ameren's proposal is too expensive and not needed.

New and expanded programs are needed, especially for Missouri’s most vulnerable customers. A 2016 report by Energy Efficiency for All and the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) which covered 48 major U.S. metropolitan areas, including St. Louis, found that low-income households devote up to three times as much income to energy costs as average households in the same city. The report also found that one quarter of low-income multifamily households in St. Louis spend over 12.87% of their income on energy utility costs. Another report found that efficiency measures are far less likely to be installed in multifamily rentals than in any other type of housing. Nationally, multifamily units occupied by low-income renters had 4.1 fewer energy efficiency features in 2005 and 4.7 fewer in 2009 compared with other households. Missouri’s low-income families need these new and improved energy efficiency programs to help reduce their energy burden.

Ameren Missouri customers can have a say this EE day in what happens in this energy efficiency case by submitting comments online to the MO PSC. The state agency benefits from hearing the concerns of its customers. Energy efficiency is important in Missouri because it is cheap, clean, creates thousands of local jobs, helps Missouri residents save money, and provides safe, comfortable, healthy spaces and homes for everyone. 

To submit a comment, Ameren Missouri electric customers can let the MO PSC know that they support their utility making new, stronger commitments to energy efficiency for all. We encourage you to submit comments today in honor of Efficiency Day, but any time before Oct. 15 would make a difference. Below are instructions and some sample talking points for submitting comments:

Instructions for Submitting Comments

  • Follow this link: https://www.efis.psc.mo.gov/mpsc/
  • Click on "Public Comment” along the top bar.
  • Enter comment text, name, and contact information.
  • Enter "Ameren Missouri" for your utility, "Electric" for utility type, and "EO-2018-0211" for the Case/Tracking Number.

Sample Talking Points

  • Ameren Missouri's energy efficiency proposal before the Public Service Commission represents the largest investment in energy efficiency in Missouri's history.
  • The Plan also offers extensive benefits for customers. In addition, the Plan would offer brand new ways for customers to experience savings on their bills. This includes: 
    • New and improved programs for low-income customers, offering new bill savings opportunities for those with the least access to energy efficiency but who would nevertheless benefit the most, such as low-income renters and owners of affordable multi-family buildings. In addition, the Plan has a brand new program for single-family low-income households
  • The cheapest and cleanest form of energy is the kind that you never need to generate in the first place. For this reason, energy efficiency is almost always the cheapest resource for utilities to meet customer demand; it is cheaper than running their existing coal or natural gas plants, and much cheaper than building brand new power plants. 
  • Energy efficiency is also proving to be an amazing engine for job creation in Missouri and the nation in general. A recent study about energy efficiency jobs by E4 the Future and E2 found that there are 2.25 million Americans working in energy efficiency, and there over 40,000 energy efficiency jobs in Missouri. Energy efficiency employs the most Missourians across all clean energy jobs in the state. 
  • Ameren Missouri is the largest utility in Missouri. Its current Plan before the PSC must be approved in order to have a healthy energy efficiency industry that continues to prudently use ratepayers' money and offer customers more ways to save on their bills. 

Don’t forget, even if you live outside of Missouri, you can still celebrate EE Day! Use today to find out what efficiency programs your local utility offers, so you can take advantage of rebates and incentives for energy upgrades. You can also participate by following these simple at home tips on how to be more energy efficient.

Happy Energy Efficiency Day to all! #EEDay2018

 

About the Authors

Laura Goldberg

Midwest Region Co-Director, EEFA, Resilient Communities, Healthy People & Thriving Communities Program

Join Us

When you sign up you'll become a member of NRDC's Activist Network. We will keep you informed with the latest alerts and progress reports.