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Energy assistance available as disconnects resume in Missouri

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If you have unpaid utility bills in Missouri, you could face disconnection come Monday.

This comes after months of protection due to COVID-19.

Utility companies and local community organizations want you to know help is available.

Officials with Ameren Missouri said they work with community organizations, like the Northeast Missouri Community Action Corporation (NECAC), to help people keep the lights on, but they said you have to apply if you want help.

"The hope is that customers will connect with us and look at some other options to prevent that disconnection through energy assistance or a payment arrangement," said Connie Taylor with Ameren Missouri.

She said if you're one of their customers, they want to help.

"Ameren Missouri has donated over $5,000,000 to be able to help with energy assistance resources and other resources," said Taylor.

That's why officials at NECAC said if you're facing a disconnect, they want you to give them a call so they can help you explore your options.

"NECAC offers a summer ECIP program, it does run off disconnects, so if you have a disconnect, swing by, see us," said Miranda Anderson with NECAC.

She said the energy crisis intervention program or ECIP can help you with up to 600 dollars of utility bills.

Anderson said calling ahead to make sure you have everything you need is important.

Anderson said ECIP can also be combined with programs utility companies offer, like the one-time clean slate from Ameren.

"If you have a really large bill you're going to also want to apply for the clean slate, clean slate is a little bit longer of a process, so you'll want to call the office, come in and sit down with the coordinator and fill out the application," said Anderson.

Taylor said the first step is to reach out.

"It's important to act now, if you haven't put in that application, if you haven't reached out to an agency before, definitely do that and make it happen," said Taylor.

She said to start that process of finding help, or want to clean more about clean slate, you can go to these links: www.amerenmissouri.com/energyassistance

Clean Slate

NECAC says to find your closest office click here, or for energy assistance help over the phone, call (573) 324-0120

Frank Healy

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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