Frequently Asked Questions
What is the benefit of participating in PAYS®?
PAYS® allows you to install energy-efficient upgrades with little to no upfront cost! Ameren Missouri knows that many people want to be more energy efficient and comfortable in their homes, but the cost of a large upfront investment keeps them from taking action.
Through PAYS®, you can make a significant energy-saving upgrade while paying little or nothing up front. And even though you'll pay down the cost over time on your monthly Ameren Missouri electric bill, the energy-saving upgrade will lower your electric bill significantly, which means your average monthly bill will be lower than what you would otherwise have paid without the program.
How will my Ameren Missouri bill change after participating in PAYS®?
After your energy-efficient project is approved by PAYS® and completed, your home's
energy use and total annual energy costs related to the PAYS upgrades will decrease. In
addition to that lowered energy cost, you will also see a PAYS® charge on your electric
bill. The PAYS charge includes the cost of upgrade installation, as well as 4% interest
and a small program close out fee. While changes in weather, or your behavior, or
electric rates also affect your total bill, the net result is an Ameren Missouri
electric bill that is lower than it would otherwise have been , but you now are enjoying
new energy-efficient equipment. Once the cost of the project is paid off, the charge is
no longer included in your bill.
Can you explain how PAYS® works with an example?
Sure! Mary is an Ameren Missouri customer and is interested in lowering her electric
bill. She may also find that her house is not comfortable - overly cold in the winter,
too hot in the summer and the air seems dense and stale. These are indicators she would
benefit greatly from PAYS®, so she signs up on Ameren Missouri's PAYS web page. Upon
approval a trained energy expert visits Mary's house to perform a no cost home
assessment and determine recommended upgrades that result in the most electric bill
savings. A program partner that Mary has selected then installs the upgrades - as an
example, installs a new HVAC system, new duct work and new attic insulation.
Ameren Missouri will start to recover these costs through a fixed monthly charge added
to your electric bill that is significantly less that the estimated average monthly
savings. For example, the results of our home assessment could show that installing the
recommended upgrades above will produce an initial estimated average monthly electric
bill savings of $50. The PAYS charge on her bill could be no higher $40. That means her
monthly bill total is now at least $10 less than it otherwise would have been, and she
has a much more comfortable house to live in. She is paying off the upgrades and saving
while she does it, hence the name, Pay As You Save!
What types of upgrades are eligible with PAYS®?
Typical upgrades include HVAC, Attic Insulation, Duct Sealing, Air Sealing, and LED
In order to qualify, the average monthly costs (monthly PAYS Charge) must be no more
than 80% of the initial estimation of average monthly savings resulting from
installation of upgrades.
If upgrades do not meet this eligibility criteria, customers will have an option of a
co-pay to bring the final costs in line with this criteria.
Upgrade eligibility can also vary depending on existing fuel types.
Who is eligible for PAYS®?
All Ameren Missouri residential electric customers are eligible.
Is the PAYS® program a loan or credit card?
No. When you participate in PAYS®, you are not taking out a loan or line of credit. The program does not require a credit check. It's a simple and easy way to make potentially costly energy-efficient upgrades now-while eliminating or greatly reducing the up-front costs
How can I participate in PAYS®?
To begin, complete the assessment form
. Then you'll be contacted
to schedule an appointment with one of our program's energy experts who will come to
your home to perform a no cost home assessment. During your assessment, the energy
experts will determine if there are energy-efficiency upgrades that will meet the PAYS®
upgrade eligibility criteria for your home. In order to qualify, the average monthly
costs (monthly PAYS Charge) must be no more than 80% of the initial estimation of
average monthly savings resulting from installation of upgrades.
Does the PAYS® program guarantee savings?
The program initially qualifies upgrades so that the average monthly costs (monthly PAYS
Charge) are no more than 80% of the initial estimation of average monthly savings
resulting from installation of upgrades. That means net result is an Ameren Missouri
electric bill should be lower than it would otherwise have been it's very likely you'll
save more than you pay in PAYS® tariffs. However, the PAYS® program cannot guarantee a
certain level of energy savings since. changes in weather, your behavior, or changes in
electric rates also affect your total bill amount.
Does the PAYS® program guarantee the upgrade(s) will continue to work through the
entire time I'm paying the cost recovery charges (tariff)?
If the upgrades stop working at no fault to you, the program will arrange for repair or
replacement, and suspend the charge if that can't be accomplished in a timely manner.
Repairs needed as a result of a participant's failure to maintain the upgrades will be
paid for by the participant.
If I participate in PAYS®, but move before all the PAYS charges are paid, who is responsible for the remaining costs?
Because the program is tied to the meter (and not the customer), the next renter or
homeowner will enjoy the net savings from the investment and be obligated to pay the
monthly charge until the costs are paid back.
Can I participate in PAYS® and receive Ameren Missouri Efficient Products rebates on the purchase of energy-efficient equipment?
Yes! Learn more about the available Ameren Missouri Efficient Products rebates here.
I'm a renter. Can I participate in PAYS®?
Yes! However, in order to participate, your property owner must provide written consent.
The property owner must agree to disclose to successor renters or prospective buyers
that Ameren Missouri has made improvements that result in savings for the account holder
at that site.
I live in a mobile home - can I participate in PAYS?
Yes! However, the mobile home must be on a permanent foundation (including, having the
trailer hitch permanently removed) and cannot be more than 35 years old.
What COVID-19 safety precautions are taken by program Data Collectors and Program Partners?
Our field representatives practice the following safety protocols recommended by the CDC
and the state of Missouri:
- Taking daily health screenings, include temperature check, prior to visiting
- Frequent hand washing and use of hand sanitizer
- Verbally confirming customers are not feeling ill, or experiencing symptoms of
COVID-19, or have a positive COVID test within the last 14 days before starting
- Wearing required personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks
- Properly disposing of all protective gear after each site visit
- Maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet during the time of installation and while onsite
I'm moving into a home enrolled in PAYS, what does that mean?
Before renting or buying this home, ask the landlord or seller to provide you with a
copy of the Notice of Tariff charge from their PAYS Participant Agreement. They are
required to provide that to you in advance of your signing an agreement with them. It
includes information on the benefits you'll enjoy as part of PAYS as well as your
responsibilities to maintain the energy efficient upgrades and pay the PAYS charge. If
you would like more specific information on the upgrades that took place on the property
or your responsibilities in the program, please call 1.800.563.2105 (toll-free).
What happens if the estimated bill savings don't cover the initial investment? (What is a copay?)
The PAYS program operates on the 80/20 rule - meaning that in order to qualify, the average monthly costs (monthly PAYS Charge) must be no more than 80% of the initial estimation of average monthly savings resulting from installation of upgrades. The other 20% of the savings (often more) is seen by the customer as bill savings. If the cost is higher than 80% of savings, participants will have the option to copay - meaning pay an upfront amount in order to bring the remaining cost to the point it meets the 80/20 criteria. The copay would still be significantly less than what you would have otherwise paid upfront without the PAYS program.
What factors determine how much my copay is?
There are a few things that will effect the size of your copay:
- A home that uses less energy overall will usually have a higher copay, because there isn't as much savings to offset the cost of the upgrade. The reverse is also true - a high energy use home will see a lower copay because they'll be saving more money with the upgrades.
- Another factor is energy intensity - or how much energy you use based on the size of your home. For instance, a 1200 square foot home that uses $2000/year in energy would likely have a higher copay than a 1200 square foot home that uses $4000/year in energy. A higher energy intensity is usually a sign of significant energy saving opportunity, which translates into more bill saving to offset the PAYS charge.
- Equipment characteristics. Since PAYS is a program for our electric customers, only electric bill savings are used to calculate the copay. Homes that use electric heating will have higher year-round savings, lowering the copay.
In summary, if you think your home is struggling due to inefficient insulation or HVAC units, you'll likely be a good candidate for a low copay offer!