Energy assistance programs still available
EAGLE COUNTY — Qualifying households can still apply for a variety of programs to aid with reducing energy bills, home energy upgrades and furnace repairs. Supported by Eagle County Government, Energy Outreach Colorado and the federal government, local organizations are able to provide low-cost or free assistance to county residents who meet predetermined household income thresholds.
• The Low-income Energy Assistance Program is an annual financial assistance program, which runs from November through April, designed to aid in reducing household energy bills by paying a portion of the cost of home heating for qualifying, limited-income households.
Each qualified home may receive only one benefit or subsidy for the entire season. If a household has already applied and received a benefit this season, they should not re-apply. Factors including income, the type of heat being used and number of people in the household are considered before an amount is awarded to an applicant. If eligible, a family’s benefit can be applied to past due heating bills or be applied as an account credit.
Applications are available at http://www.eaglecounty.us/EconomicServices/Energy_Assistance or can be requested by mail by calling 866-432-8435. Program applications are due no later than April 30 and can be mailed to LEAP, P.O. Box 39200, Colorado Springs, 90949 or faxed to 719-633-9098. For more information, contact Discover Goodwill of Southern & Western CO, 888-775-5327.
• For residents seeking aid with home energy upgrades, the Weatherization Assistance Program of the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments has the ability to weatherize low- and moderate-income homes to help reduce fuel consumption and heating costs. Services include insulation, caulking, weather-stripping, installation of storm windows and new energy-efficient furnaces and refrigerators. Qualifying for the energy assistance program, automatically qualifies the resident for weatherization services. Call 800-332-3669 for additional information.
• There are two additional programs available to help with home energy upgrades. The Community Office for Resource Efficiency located in Aspen and Energy Smart Colorado at Walking Mountains Science Center in Avon both provide home energy assistance upgrades to income-qualified homes.
Depending on household needs, energy upgrades could include a furnace or boiler tune-up and safety check, insulation and air sealing, high-efficiency refrigerator, high-efficiency water heater, LED light bulbs, programmable thermostat and low-flow shower heads. Residents will not have to pay for any of these improvements if energy coaches determine they need to be upgraded or replaced.
To determine eligibility, visit http://www.energysmartcolorado.com/incomequalified or to enroll, visit http://www.walkingmountains.org/energy-smart-colorado-for-my-home/signup/.
• For residents with a non-functioning furnace, Energy Outreach Colorado has an emergency home furnace repair program for those who already qualify for the Low-income Energy Assistance Program. Households with a broken furnace are asked to call the Crisis Intervention Program, 855-469-4328 for repairs or replacements, as well as snow removal for fuel delivery in rural areas.
For more information on all energy assistance resources, go to eaglecounty.us/EconomicServices/Energy_Assistance. Or, call 970-328-8888 in the Eagle Valley or 970-704-2777 in the Roaring Fork Valley.