Application deadline for LEAP program is April 30; other energy assistance options available | VailDaily.com

Application deadline for LEAP program is April 30; other energy assistance options available

Daily staff report
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EAGLE COUNTY — The last opportunity for families to apply for the Low-income Energy Assistance Program is Monday, April 30. LEAP is an annual financial-assistance program that runs from November through April each winter and is designed to reduce 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.

For those who have not claimed their LEAP benefit this season, applications are available in English and Spanish at http://www.eaglecounty.us/economicservices/energy_assistance or can be obtained by calling 888-775-LEAP (888-775-5327).

LEAP applications may be mailed to LEAP, P.O. Box 39200, Colorado Springs, CO 90949, faxed to 719-633-9098 or emailed to leaphelp@discovermygoodwill.org. Call Discover Goodwill at 888-775-5327 or Heat Help at 866-432-8435 for more information.

Additional assistance

After Monday, April 30, qualifying households may still apply for a variety of programs to aid with reducing energy bills, home-energy upgrades and furnace repairs.

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• 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. If a resident qualifies for LEAP, he or she automatically qualifies for this program. Call 800-332-3669 to learn more.

• The Community Office for Resource Efficiency, located in Aspen, and Energy Smart Colorado at Walking Mountains Science Center in Avon also 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.

• For residents with a non-functioning furnace, Energy Outreach Colorado has an emergency home furnace repair program for those who already qualify for LEAP. Households with a broken furnace are asked to call the Crisis Intervention Program at 855-469-4328 for repairs or replacements, as well as snow removal for fuel delivery in rural areas.