Recognizing the ongoing financial hardship resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, Ameren Missouri will provide $3.5 million in additional energy assistance funds to customers across the state.

The funding is on top of the $1 million of support announced in March and offers a fresh start for families in need.

The COVID-19 Clean Slate program, which starts this week, will include $3 million to help thousands of Ameren Missouri’s most vulnerable customers pay off their past-due utility bills.

Multiple community partners and agencies will participate in administering the program, which is designed to help income-eligible customers clear the remaining balance on their account after paying 25 percent of the current balance.

For example, customers in a four-person household making up to $45,850 a year, or $3,821 per month, are eligible to apply. Details regarding an additional $500,000 for energy assistance will be announced later this year.

In addition, Ameren Missouri is partnering with Cooldownstlouis.org and Cooldownmissouri.org to help at-risk families and seniors stay cool and safe.

Ameren Missouri this week donated 1,000 energy-efficient air conditioners, 1,000 four-packs of LED light bulbs and $500,000 to Cooldownstlouis.org and Cooldownmissouri.org to support the most vulnerable customers in St. Louis and Eastern Missouri. The air conditioners are ENERGY STAR-certified units, and on average, cost less than a dollar a day to operate.

“There are a lot of Missouri families struggling right now and having to make some tough financial decisions in light of this pandemic — we get that and we want to help,” said Marty Lyons, chairman and president of Ameren Missouri.

Ameren Missouri has extended its suspension of service disconnections and late fees until at least July 1. Customers are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to see if they are eligible and before their outstanding balance becomes overwhelming.

Information about the COVID-19 Clean Slate program can be found at AmerenMissouri.com/CleanSlate, or by calling Ameren Missouri at 800-552-7583.

Also starting this week, assistance dollars are available to eligible customers through the Missouri Family Support Division’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Ameren Missouri encourages customers to apply for funding assistance through LIHEAP.

LIHEAP’s Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP) helps pay up to $300 toward fuel bills when a household’s energy is shut off or at risk of disconnection.

Customers who need help with their energy bills can apply for energy assistance through: COVID-19 Clean Slate Program – Apply online by visiting AmerenMissouri.com/CleanSlate, or by calling Ameren Missouri at 800-552-7583.