Ameren problems anyone?

By:  Diane Benjamin

I frequently get tips from readers, I really appreciate it since I can’t be everywhere!  One note:  Don’t send me anonymous tips in the mail and think I am going to research your issue.  I need people willing to talk, I don’t have time for goose chases.  I’m also really good at hiding sources!

I was contacted yesterday from a local resident who was told by Ameren to raise the height of the line coming into his house.  His power may be shut off if it isn’t completed soon.  The strange part of the story is there was a fire at his house in 2012 which required new wiring and replacement of the line into the house.  All the work was permitted by the City of Bloomington.  According to the City, he is code compliant.  According to Ameren, he isn’t.  Without putting the connections on the roof, they can’t get any higher.

This guy told me he isn’t the only one getting these notices from Ameren.  Anybody else?  Solutions?

Click on either picture to enlarge.



11 thoughts on “Ameren problems anyone?

  1. Pictures can be misunderstood. I agree someone made an error. Most probably two people. Who ever from the City approved this and who ever did it in the first place. If you look closely in the photo of the home, at the corner there appears to be a metal chain link fence post. Looking at the meter and the post, at the same time, the top of that post can not be more than 4-5 feet tall. No doubt putting the incoming wires where they are is the most cost effective, but the height of the wires may be less than 10 feet off the ground. And as you may remember, boys like to try and jump up and touch things and ten foot is the same distance up as a basketball hoop. I doubt if the City will pay for this, but the electrician that did the work may only charge the difference from moving it from where it is, to where it should be. Not the answer the owner wants, but probably the answer anyway.


      1. The word “Practicality” comes to mind. I have a enclosed cargo trailer and from time to time I’m asked to move some furniture of the antique variety. More than you would think I have been told to pull to the back yard and use the sliding doors to load or unload thru. My trailer is 10 ft tall. The wires in this photo are a foot lower than the eves on the house. These lines would at the very least, be laying over the trailer roof. I would be willing to let you unlock the door on it.


    1. I work closely with this project as my daily job. Your comments are 100% correct. If the drip loops are less than 10 feet from the ground, they are not installed to the satisfaction of the ICC. Unfortunately, the homeowner has to call the electrician that installed it in the first place and tell him that he needs to be familiar with the National Electric Safety Code and the mandates set forth by the ICC. Here is a link for anyone who would like to review the NESC for themselves:


  2. Ameren pulled this crap on my mother I believe sometime last year. They threatened to shut the power off too. This house is in the rural area and this was installed when the house was built in the late 1960’s.

    I wasn’t around so my brother told someone from Ameren to meet him at the house. He told them we weren’t changing it. There are no kids to get into the line. So far they haven’t pushed getting it changed. I don’t know if my brother threatened to get a lawyer or not.

    I can’t remember who installed the pole from the meter to the drop line when the house was built. I want to say ILL Power Company did that because they put the meter box on maybe. I may be wrong.


  3. The line on my mother’s house looks to be lower than the one in the picture. Her house is a ranch style house.

    A couple of months ago Ameren replaced the wooden pole at the side of the road where the transformer is at and they didn’t say anything too.


  4. They might have agreed if the house was re-roofed that it would be changed.

    As far as I know there is no state law on this so if it complies with a city or county code I don’t know what leg Ameren has to stand on.


    1. Ameren is getting their mandate from ICC. This is not something they made up on their own and decided to harass their customers with. They have spent millions (that they didn’t want to spend) in an attempt to comply with the new code in order to make electricity safer for everyone.


  5. Plumbing codes are set at the city/state level. Electrical codes are set at the national level. It could have been a change in the code requiring a certain ground clearance. Still, code changes do not apply until a permit is pulled and renovations performed.


  6. Ameren acknowledges that I do not want a Smart Meter. In the letter I recently received, they call the Smart Meter “Non-Standard Metering Service”. I wIll be charged a $70 one time exchange fee and a monthly advanced meter refusal charge of $20. The letter does not say when SMs will be installed.


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