Ameren and Habitat for Humanity give families brighter, more efficient future


ST. CHARLES, Mo. – Ameren Missouri installed the first of 1.2 million new smart meters into a St. Charles Habitat for Humanity home and it will help one local family long after move-in day.

“It is such an overwhelming experience,” said Raniece Parnell, a single mother of six.

Parnell is ready to move into her new Habitat for Humanity home on Cunningham Avenue.

“Just to have the space and, you know, for them to be able to be free and be able to be children; have fun, and have fun in their own home,” she said.

And while her kids’ energy is high, another source of power is needed to energize the home. That’s where Ameren Missouri comes in.

Jeff Esserman, director of the smart meter program, has helped pave the way for a brighter but more efficient future.

“Today we are launching our smart meter program,” Esserman said. “With the very first residential installation. What smart meter technology will do, it will allow customers to get better insight on how they use energy throughout the day.”

The goal of the smart meter: to help homeowners save energy and cash.

With the new meters, homeowners can monitor usage and make decisions about how to use energy more efficiently.

Along with the new technology, Ameren will be rolling out cheaper rates for usage during off peak hours.

“If I’m able to shift some of my usage to overnight. Like make sure to run the dishwasher overnight it could help conserve and safe,” Esserman said.

For Habitat homeowners like Parnell, this technology will help the family long after move-in day.

“We put as many energy efficient building practices into play when we build, but anything that can be added to that like this new technology is a piece of mind,” said Michelle Woods, executive director of Habitat for Humanity. “That homeowners that are working hard and doing all the right things won’t be stifled with large utility bills.”

To Parnell, saving money and budgeting has become a priority.

“Saving is just a great opportunity,” Parnell said. “To be able to save anyway that I can, whether it’s, you know, a little or a lot, just any type of savings.”

Ameren Missouri has plans to install 120,000 smart meters in St. Charles County before expanding to St. Louis City and other regions in the state.

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