Applications for energy assistance accepted now | VailDaily.com

Applications for energy assistance accepted now

Daily staff report
newsroom@vaildaily.com

EAGLE COUNTY — The Low-income Energy Assistance Program will be available for eligible households starting Nov. 1 and will run through April 30. Qualifying households may receive assistance to pay a portion of their home heating bills.

For the 2015-16 heating season, Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin counties have again contracted with Goodwill Industries of Southern and Western Colorado to administer the program. Officials say that by contracting with Goodwill over the past several years, households needing assistance received their benefits faster and at a lower cost to the counties.

Income Guidelines

Households may qualify for assistance if anyone within the home is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident and gross monthly household income is within income guidelines. Heating costs are paid directly to an energy provider or included in the rent.

The maximum gross monthly household income limit has increased this season to 165 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, as follows:

Household size Monthly income

1 $1,618

2 $2,190

3 $2,762

4 $3,334

5 $3,906

6 $4,478

Each qualified household may receive only one program benefit for the winter season. In addition to income, factors such as type of heat being used, type of dwelling and number of people in the household are considered before an amount is awarded to an applicant. Funds for home heating system repairs may also be available.

How to Apply

Applications may be picked up from any Eagle, Garfield or Pitkin County health and human services location in Aspen, Avon, Eagle, El Jebel, Glenwood Springs and Rifle. To request an application by mail or for more information on the assistance program and other available resources, call Discover Goodwill at 1-888-775-5327 or Heat Help at 1-866-432-8435.

Weatherization Program

An additional resource for those struggling with high heat bills is the Governor’s Energy Office Energy Management Program, also known as the Weatherization Program. The program is available to assist low- and moderate-income households to reduce their heating costs through services such as insulation, caulking and weather stripping, as well as the installation of new storm windows and new energy-efficient furnaces and refrigerators.

Those who qualify for the Low-income Energy Assistance Program, Temporary Aid to Needy Families, Old Age Pension or Supplemental Security Income automatically qualify for these weatherization services. For more information, call 1-800-332-3669 or visit http://www.nwccog.org and click on “Weatherization Program.”