Peak Time Rewards is a program from Ameren Illinois that gives customers an opportunity to save money, help their communities, and protect the environment. Customers on the program can earn credits on their bill by reducing electricity usage during times of high electricity demand, like hot summer afternoons. It’s simple: activate your Peak Time Rewards, receive notifications, reduce usage, and save.
Most Ameren Illinois residential customers who have a smart meter are eligible for Peak Time Rewards because many smart meters have the ability to measure 15 minute and hourly electricity usage. There are two ways to check your eligibility:
- Visit AmerenIllinois.com. Create an online account or log in. On the Account Dashboard, click Manage Account. All programs that you are eligible for will be displayed.
- You can check your bill to see if you are likely eligible. Look on page 2 under the Electric Service Billing Details section. If you see “Smart Meter” or “Advanced Meter” noted, then you are very likely eligible for the program.
Customers who receive their electric supply from a Retail Electric Supplier (RES) or Power Smart Pricing are eligible. However, customers cannot be on an RES demand response program and Peak Time Rewards at the same time.
Customers are ineligible if:
• Their smart meter is not yet using wireless two-way communication
• They participate in Ameren Illinois’ Net Metering program
• They are commercial customers
If you don’t know if your home has a smart meter or have other eligibility questions, please email us at info@PeakTimeRewards.com or call us at 1.844.787.7874 with your account number handy.
You can lower your electricity bill by taking a few simple actions to reduce usage during Peak Time Rewards events. With Peak Time Rewards there is no cost to participate – only the potential for rewards. How much you reduce and how much you could save is up to you. Additionally, when you manage your energy usage, you help reduce stress on the energy delivery system and improve service reliability for you, your neighbors and the community. Activate your Peak Time Rewards today and take advantage of the program’s no-cost benefits.
Activating Peak Time Rewards is quick and easy. To enroll, go to PeakTimeRewards.com or call us at 1.844.787.7874. For all eligible customers, all you need is your Ameren Illinois account number, which can be found on your most recent bill, and your contact information to complete the enrollment form. Activate your rewards before March 1 to become a Peak Time Rewards participant for the upcoming program year starting on June 1. Eligible customers are still encouraged to activate after the March 1 deadline. Activating after this deadline will enroll you in the next Peak Time Rewards program year and place you on a waitlist for the current year.
HOW PEAK TIME REWARDS WORKS
Peak Time Rewards events are scheduled on days when it is anticipated that the demand for electricity will be particularly high. By reducing electricity usage during events, participants can earn bill credits and help improve service reliability in their communities. All current-year Peak Time Rewards participants will receive notification of the event’s date and time via their preferred communication methods (email, text, and/or phone). Notification preferences selected during enrollment can be updated in the Event Center.
To earn a credit on their bill following a Peak Time Rewards event, participating customers need to lower their electricity usage below their baseline usage.* The more you reduce, the more you can save. Review our energy-saving tips here.
*Ameren Illinois calculates your personal baseline usage for each Peak Time Rewards event by reviewing your usage on similar days prior to the event. For more information, see “How is my personal baseline usage calculated?
Peak Time Rewards events are scheduled in response to projected high demand, and are more likely to occur on hot, humid summer days. Peak Time Rewards events will typically occur on weekdays during the afternoon when the demand for electricity is highest. Events will most likely occur during the summer months (June through September); however, events can be scheduled at any time throughout the year. There is no maximum or minimum number of events in a given year, and the frequency of events scheduled varies depending on the overall demand for electricity.
You can choose to be notified of Peak Time Rewards events by email, text message, and/or phone call during enrollment. We encourage you to select multiple notification methods, but all Peak Time Rewards participating customers must have at least one selected notification preference at all times. Ameren Illinois will send a notification via the method(s) you selected a day before the Peak Time Rewards event. In rare cases, you may receive a notification from Ameren Illinois on the day of an event. As a courtesy, Ameren Illinois will not send notifications prior to 7 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
This calculation entails four steps.
Step 1: Ameren Illinois identifies the previous 14 days that were not a holiday or a day with a previous Peak Time Rewards event.
Step 2: Ameren Illinois identifies the three days when you used the most electricity during the same timeframe as the current Peak Time Rewards event. For example, if the upcoming Peak Time Rewards event is from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m., Ameren Illinois will look at the three days when you used the most electricity from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Step 3: Ameren Illinois excludes any of the three days with significantly lower or higher temperature and humidity compared to the forecasted Peak Time Rewards event day.
Step 4: Ameren Illinois averages the remaining days to reach your baseline usage.
*Baseline = (10 + 11)/2 = 10.5 kWh
To calculate your rewards, Ameren Illinois looks at your energy use during a Peak Time Rewards event and your personal baseline energy use*. Ameren takes the difference between those two numbers and multiplies it by the current credit per kilowatt-hour** (kWh) to calculate your rewards.
Below is an example of a possible rewards calculation:
The bill credit amount changes from year to year. Each spring, Ameren Illinois obtains the market prices for peak time electricity to determine the credit amount for the program year. Between June 1, 2020 and May 31, 2021, participants can earn 12 cents per kWh reduced during event hours. Remember, whatever the credit amount, Peak Time Rewards gives you the opportunity to help your community by giving the grid a break which improves service reliability during times of high electricity demand. Check out this year’s blog post for helpful tips on how to conserve energy during an event.
*Ameren Illinois calculates your personal baseline energy use for each Peak Time Rewards event by reviewing your energy use on similar days prior to the event. For more information, see “How is my personal baseline usage calculated?”
**Electricity usage is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). One kWh of energy is equal to 1000 watt-hours and will power a 40-watt lightbulb for 25 hours (40 watts x 25 hours = 1,000 watt-hours = 1 kWh). Large appliances like your air conditioner, dishwasher, and laundry machines use a lot more energy than lightbulbs
There is no limit on how much of a reward you can earn through Peak Time Rewards. The more electricity you reduce compared to your baseline, the more you are rewarded with credits on your bill. The following table shows how many kilowatt hours* (kWh) on average your appliances may use.
* Assuming an electric oven or dryer
** Assuming a 3 ton air conditioning unit and an average insulated home
Avoiding those large appliances during Peak Time Rewards Events, along with tools like a programmable thermostat and light timers, can help you reduce your electricity usage. You can also use Ameren Illinois’ other energy-saving programs to help you take the right actions to earn more rewards. The Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency programs offer tips and additional incentives to help you save.
*Electricity usage is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh). One kWh of energy is equal to 1000 watt-hours and will power a 40 watt light bulb for 25 hours (40 watts x 25 hours = 1,000 watt-hours = 1 kWh). Big appliances like your air conditioner use a lot more electricity than light bulbs.
Peak Time Rewards credits will appear on your Ameren Illinois bill in the Peak Time Rewards Summary section.
To change your notification settings for Peak Time Rewards events, please use the Notification Preferences form in the Event Center or call 1.844.787.7874 to speak with a program specialist. Keeping your notification details up to date is important so you can keep earning rewards. Remember that at least one working notification method is required to remain enrolled in Peak Time Rewards.
To change your overall contact information where we send program updates, please give us a call at 1.844.787.7874.
MORE PROGRAM INFORMATION
Peak Time Rewards will not be automatically activated on your new Ameren Illinois account. To activate Peak Time Rewards on your new account, simply sign up at PeakTimeRewards.com or call us at 1.844.787.7874 when you get a new Ameren Illinois account number.
Yes. However, you can only participate in one demand response program at a time. A demand response program (like Peak Time Rewards) provides an incentive to reduce or shift electricity use based on the demand for electricity. Therefore, if you are enrolled in a similar program with your supplier, you will be automatically cancelled out of your supplier’s program when you activate Peak Time Rewards with Ameren Illinois.
There is no penalty for not reducing usage or for using more electricity than your baseline. If you do not reduce your electricity usage during an event, you simply miss out on an opportunity to save money on your energy bill. However, if you would like to stop receiving notifications or opt out of the program, please email us at info@PeakTimeRewards.com or call us at 1.844.787.7874.