St. Louis residents can receive help during the summer. Programs can provide financial assistance with paying cooling and utility bills, and other resources can provide free air conditioners. Both Ameren Missouri and Cool Down St. Louis offer ways to stay cool during the summer and provide financial assistance with paying for high utility bills.
Missouri families who can’t pay their energy bills can turn to the non-profit Cool Down St. Louis. This organization is an all volunteer, not for profit charity organization that covers St. Louis as well as the entire state of Missouri. It can provide gently used air conditioning units and/or money for paying cooling bills.
Another option is contacting Ameren Missouri. The utility company is constantly involved in assisting those low income customers who are having trouble paying their summer utility bills and who may be falling behind. Ameren is willing to talk to customers, and they may be able to arrange budget billing or a special payment plan for those low income individuals who need financial assistance during the summer.
In addition to their own payment plans, Ameren can provide information on other source of energy and summer cooling bill assistance, such as the government LIHEAP program. Each customer’s situation is different so it is important to call and talk to a representative of Ameren, and you should do this before the summer heat begins and/or your service is disconnected. To speak to a representative and to find out your options, dial 1-800-552-7583. Or click here for information.
The most vulnerable people in St. Louis are those residents and families who have young children, the disabled, and senior citizens. Cool Down St. Louis’ runs programs to help people deal with the intense summer heat, and the primary goal is to help low income and the most vulnerable people avoid heat-related deaths and illnesses.
A number of tools are used to help people during the summer. One is a print and electronic media which was created, and this public service message is called “Check on Your Neighbors”. St. Louis residents are being asked to check on their disabled and elderly neighbors, or others who are at risk, by calling or visiting them daily to ensure they are safe and cool. People who need help are also encouraged to call the Cool Down hotline to find out more about programs including free fans, air conditioners, and cooling bill assistance.
Cool Down St. Louis provides assistance to as many people as possible who need help paying their cooling bills. Grants and other limited amounts of aid can help people pay bills or restore electric service if it was shut off.
The non-profit Cool Down organization also provides new and used-working air-conditioners as they are available, with additional priority given to needy families with small critically-ill children, seniors, and others who are considered at-risk. In most cases the AC units are not new, but will be no less than 2-3 years old.
Donations are also needed as well. They accept air-conditioners year-round from members of the greater St. Louis community. If donating, you can have it picked-up by a volunteer or drop it off yourself.
To learn more about the Cool Down St. Louis programs, or if you need assistance in Missouri, call the Resource Hotline from Monday through Friday, during regular volunteer business hours. The phone number is 314-241-7668. You can also decide to leave a message if a volunteer is assisting another party. Cool Down St. Louis does not provide referrals or sign people up over the internet, and any interested party will need to call the numbers above.
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