Ameren Says Columbia Residents Paying 15% More on Heat

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COLUMBIA - Ameren Missouri said Columbia residents are using 15 percent more gas this winter to heat their homes.

With temperatures reaching negative digits this winter, Connie Kacprowicz with Columbia Water and Light said residents are also using more natural gas and electricity to keep their homes at comfortable temperatures.

Ameren's Director of Missouri Gas Operations Mike Holman said, "Our overall residential usages have gone up 15 percent."

Kacprowicz said Columbia Water and Light employees are swamped with requests for more energy efficient solutions from homeowners. She said providing options for residents is the main thing Columbia Water and Light is focusing on.

Columbia Water and Light offers an online energy audit for people to see how they can make their homes more efficient and spend less money.

Ameren Missouri also has tips to prevent overspending to stay warm.

Those include:

  • Proper insulation: People can save 20 percent on home heating costs if the home is properly insulated.
  • Upgrade your furnace or boiler: Upgrading from 56 percent to 90 percent efficiency will save 1.5 tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year if you use natural gas, or 2.5 tons of carbon dioxide emissions if you heat with oil.
  • Use electric furnaces and heat pumps: Electric furnaces use nearly 100 percent of electricity for heat with no combustion byproducts. Electric heat pumps cut electricity use in half compared to electric resistance baseboard heating.

[Editor's note: This story has been edited to change a reference to customers paying more for Ameren gas to their using more gas.]