Helping Customers Goal of Community Voices Workshop
Ameren Missouri hosted its inaugural Community Voices workshop, an event designed to share resources for building a brighter energy future for all customers, particularly those who are most vulnerable. Attending were elected officials and representatives from area community colleges, religious and non-profit organizations.
Gwen Mizell, vice president of Sustainability and Electrification at Ameren, kicked the workshop off by applauding attendees for the work they do to support the most vulnerable communities across the state. She also pledged the company's continued support of those organizations with resources that include, but are not limited to, educational support, jobs and job training, environmental sustainability, partnerships, grants, donations and volunteers.
"Ultimately, all of this equates to making family units and communities stronger, more resilient and able to have more resources at your disposal to raise your families in dignity," Mizell said.
When conversation turned to energy assistance, Ameren Missouri's General Supervisor of Customer Advocacy Connie Taylor explained why income-eligible customers often pay three times more for electricity and natural gas than higher-income customers. She cited factors that include reliance on older, inefficient appliances and housing that needs to be weatherized. To try to reduce their energy bills, some customers will often avoid running their air conditioner, if they have one, or furnace.
Taylor shared information on a number of Ameren Missouri programs and outside agencies with whom the company partners. She also recognized attendees who can help.
"At Ameren Missouri, we are passionate about partnering with you and our customers, so we can change the scope of what folks are experiencing with energy insecurity," said Taylor. "We have to pull together to create a better energy future for all of our customers."
Carlos Restrepo, from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis, is ready to do just that. "I have a notepad with about ten pages of different things that I want to share with my mom, with my friends, and with my boss," said Restrepo.
Mizell encouraged attendees to offer feedback and ideas during Q&A. "One of our values is commitment to excellence. We live that value in everything we do, but we know we can always do better. That's why it's important that we hear from you. How can we work better together to improve the quality of life for all Missourians? How can we best support the important work you're doing in your communities?"
Customers and donors can find information about energy assistance programs and community-based agencies at AmerenMissouri.com/EnergyAssistance. All customers can take advantage of energy efficiency rebates at AmerenMissouriSavings.com.