Does This Sound Fair To You?

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You might find this information interesting regarding your local gas and electric provider, Ameren.

At Ultimate Collision Center Inc., after we paint your vehicle, we bake on the finish just like the factory does.  We employ a bake oven that utilizes a one million BTU gas burner.   Normally our natural gas bill will average between $375 and $550 per month–approximately $5,500 per year.  

Since 2015 we have had a contract with Santana company and negotiated the per therm rate with them, and they guaranteed that rate (I believe it was 35 cents per therm) renewable yearly.  

In November I called Ameren to discuss changing back.  I was informed by the Ameren lady I talked to that our per therm price would be two to three cents cheaper than what we were currently being charged, with no mention of any other charges to the monthly invoice total.  Our billing was reverted back to Ameren in February.  We believe in quietly supporting our community, and after discussing this with an Ameren representative we decided to cancel our Santana billing, receive one invoice monthly, and support out local distributor.

We have just received our invoice for natural gas for the month of February.  The amount that we were billed for one month was $4,358.72–1,477 therms at $2.50 per therm.  Yes, it was colder, but the normal bill would have been around $475 to $550.  In January we used 1,296 therms at $362.59; surely they made a mistake!

I called and discussed it with a lady at Ameren.  No, that’s the amount we are being charged.  She then told me that our charge next month would also be $2.50 per therm.  Supposedly it takes two months to get back on their program.  In April it would go back to 38 cents per therm.

Ameren’s explanation was that we are not currently on their rate program and are being billed at Chicago prices for two months.  This isn’t Chicago (no mention of this in our past conversations), but after the March bill we will be on the Ameren program at 38 cents a therm. I think possibly we are being penalized for being on the Santana program for several years.

Does this sound fair to you?  If you are with a supplier other than Ameren, I would highly recommend you stay where you’re at!  Gee, I just can’t wait for the March bill!

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