Ameren companies in Illinois and Missouri are among the first electric utility companies in the nation to offer Mobile Power Outage Information, or ameren.mobi, to their 2.4 million electric customers in Illinois and Missouri.

Ameren.mobi can be an important part of any preparedness plan because this new service offers customers the comfort of being able to report a power outage from a mobile device and provides statistics organized by county and ZIP code to users of BlackBerries, Palm Pilots, iPhones and other mobile devices.

"Our customers are increasingly dependent on mobile devices for Internet access," says Ameren Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas R. Voss. "This technology addresses that need, while acknowledging that in an extended outage, customers are often away from home when the lights come back on. Thanks to ameren.mobi, they can check their outage status from wherever they might be."

Visitors to http://www.ameren.mobi/ also may check the status of power outages at specific locations simply by entering the telephone number associated with the location's account. Ameren.mobi expands on the company's groundbreaking "Storm Center" Web site offerings, on www.ameren.com, which include maps that display power outage locations in near-real time, plus county and ZIP code outage data.

"Another audience for this device is members of the news media, who are so important to our outage communications efforts following major storms," added Voss. "Now field reporters can easily access outage data from cell phones and blackberries."

Like the Outage Map found on www.ameren.com, ameren.mobi was developed in-house by Ameren employees. Voss says this approach held down costs, while insuring that the people closest to the data were those involved in determining how best to present it to users.

Since the launch of outage maps on Ameren.com in 2005, the company has steadily increased its Web site offerings to provide customers more and more information, including the ability to obtain the customer-specific outage information that is also now available through ameren.mobi.