Requests for electric bill payment assistance in St. Louis reached their highest level since March last week, coinciding with the end of St. Louis electric provider Ameren’s policy to suspend disconnections. Requests were highest among those living in St. Louis City and North St. Louis County. We analyzed 9,545 requests for help received by 2-1-1 in the greater St. Louis bi-state area between January 1st and August 10, 2020. As the chart (top) shows, daily requests increased dramatically in mid-March as the COVID-19 pandemic began, but declined steadily through April and May and returned to pre-COVID-19 levels in June and July during Ameren’s disconnection ban. However, in the week since the ban expired on August 3rd, requests have been higher than any 7-day period since early April. The map (bottom) shows that requests for help are not distributed evenly across the region. Darker shading indicates more requests to 2-1-1 for electric payment assistance. Mouse over each ZIP code to see the number of requests received. Analyses included requests from 180 ZIP codes that fall within the St. Louis, MO-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Contributors: Cindy Charles, Rachel Garg, Balaji Golla, Matthew Kreuter