Helping to Heat Homes By Norris Watson, Peoria Citizens Committee for Economic Opportunity (PCCEO) Energy Efficiency Outreach

 During a typical day of energy efficiency outreach, I received a voicemail. A man said he needed help. He left me his home address but had no phone of his own. When I was able to reach him, I learned that he had no heat. His home was so cold that his water heater had frozen and was leaking. The man was raising his 6-year-old grandson and felt hopeless.

I knew Ameren Illinois could help. I went to the man’s home that afternoon, and met him and his grandson. I told him I was with PCCEO, working with Ameren Illinois, and that we wanted to help him. Immediately he hugged me and said, “Oh, man, thank you!” He said he had been at a food bank and they prayed for him, saying an angel would come with good news soon and that I was his angel. I gave him an Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency program application and told him what I needed from him.

Three days later, my manager called me back and said he was approved for help. Through PCCEO and Ameren Illinois’ partnership, he received a new furnace and water heater.

Learn more at or call me, Norris Watson, at 1.309.671.3900 ext 222.