Ameren Illinois officials say consumers should expect natural gas prices this winter to be similar to last year’s prices. The Peoria-based gas delivery company serves 1.2 million electric and more than 800,000 natural gas customers in southern and central Illinois. Ameren gas supply manager Ken Dothage says prices should stay the same this winter because North American gas supply has increased. He says slower U.S. and global economies along with a decreased worldwide demand for energy also play a role in the steady price of natural gas.
Ameren Illinois said it made an additional $500,000 available to its neediest Central and Southern Illinois customers to help them pay their energy bills during the summer heat wave. Ameren Illinois President and CEO Richard Mark said the money comes as extreme heat in recent weeks has made life difficult for many of the utility's customers. The latest funds will be distributed through local support agencies, and eligible customers must meet federal low-income guidelines. For a four-person household, the maximum gross annual income is $49,500.