032922HAO00121BELLEVILLE, Ill. – Alarmed at the skyrocketing cost of energy for area residents, state Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, and state Sen. Christopher Belt, D-Cahokia, on Thursday introduced a $200 million rebate program that would deliver an estimated $170 to Ameren residential and small commercial energy customers.

“Residents are unfairly being hit with significant increases to their energy bills,” Hoffman said. “That’s why we’ve been negotiating for weeks with stakeholders and working on a proposal that will deliver real relief for families and small business owners. This isn’t a small rebate; this is real money that families need to receive.”

“With the cost of energy and inflation on the rise, families are feeling pressured to choose between paying their bills, putting food on their tables or being responsible for subsequent late fees,” Belt said. “This rebate plan for Ameren customers puts money back into the pockets of working families, and I look forward to advocating for its passage in the Senate. I appreciate my partnership with Rep. Hoffman, community stakeholders and the public for helping to craft this proposal.”

Hoffman’s House Bill 5799 and Belt’s Senate Bill 4226 create the Power Price Mitigation Rebate Act, focused on helping Ameren region residential and small commercial energy customers with monthly rebates for the months of August through December 2022. The $200 million rebate program would provide customers with a total fixed rebate of around $170 over multiple months.

If passed into law, customers would automatically have the rebate deducted from their bill. In the event that a rebate credit is greater than a customer’s bill, the excess credit will apply to the following billing period.

“Small commercial customers” are defined as nonresidential retail customers that consume 15,000 kilowatt-hours or less of electricity per year in its service area.

“Energy is an essential cost that families cannot avoid, particularly during hot summer months when it is a necessity for many,” Hoffman said. “I’ve heard from many residents who have been impacted, which is why I am focused on delivering on this priority. Today was the first step.”