Members of an Ameren Missouri business energy efficiency team say the utility company wants to help Pacific area businesses lower their electric bills.

There is an array of electrical, heating, air-conditioning, beverage dispensing and commercial cooking fixtures that use less energy than their old counterparts and Ameren will pay part of the cost for new fixtures.

By using less energy, businesses can reduce their electric energy costs and receive financial assistance to pay for the retrofit, according to Jeffrey H. Kelley, Ameren Missouri business development lead.

Kelley was the guest speaker at the Chamber meeting March 28 at the Pacific Eagles Aerie.

Ameren’s retrofit incentive program aims to enlighten businesses on the available efficient equipment that they can install to reduce their monthly bill.

Ameren will pay from $2 to $11 for each incandescent light fixture replaced with a 30-watt DFL bulbs or 40-watt LED bulbs.

To qualify for the incentives businesses have to realize enough retrofit to cost a minimum of $150 and must complete the retrofit before applying for the grant.

No prior approval for the project is needed until the cost savings project reaches $10,000. The maximum one company can collect is $1 million.

Businesses also can receive rebates for installing occupancy sensors that turn off lights when no one is in the room.

The program, which is part of the Missouri Energy Efficiency Investment Act (MEEIA), started this January. In the first three months, Kelley said his office has received 400 applications for reimbursement.

The program will pay half the cost for energy efficiency retrofits.

“There are two things that equal electric cost, wattage and time,” Kelley said. “If you reduce the wattage of lights or the length of time they are on, you’ll save money.”

In order to qualify for incentives the retrofit must result in a 10 percent savings over an existing system.

The custom lighting incentive is 6 percent per annual kWh saved and 7 percent per annual kWh saved for custom non-lighting.

Applications can be found online, downloaded, completed and mailed in.

“We have money and it’s easy to apply,” Kelley said.

About 30 local business leaders attended the luncheon meeting.