Energy assistance available for low-income households
The Low-income Energy Assistance Program is now available for eligible households and will run through April 30. Qualifying households may receive assistance to pay a portion of their home heating bill. This year, a Water Assistance Program and an Arrearage Program are also available to help households with past-due water and energy bills.
For the 2021-2022 heating season, Goodwill Industries of Southern and Western Colorado will once again administer the program for Eagle County.
Households may qualify for LEAP assistance if anyone within the home is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident. Heating costs are paid directly to an energy provider. The benefit may also be paid to qualified residents if heating costs are included within a rental payment.
The maximum gross monthly household income limit has increased substantially for this LEAP season to 60% of the state median income based on the number of household members. Limits are as follows:
Household size; monthly gross income
- 1 — $2,759
- 2 — $3,608
- 3 — $4,457
- 4 — $5,306
- 5 — $6,155
- 6 — $7,003
- 7 — $7,163
- 8 — $7,322
Each additional person — $159
Each qualified household may receive only one LEAP 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 repairs of home heating systems may also be available.
Additionally, this year, households can apply in conjunction with LEAP to the Arrearage Program and the Water Assistance Program. The Arrearage Program assists households with past-due energy bills. It can assist with past-due amounts for the primary and secondary energy sources. The Water Assistance Program will assist households with water bills that are disconnected, about to be disconnected or past due. This program will help pay past due bills for both drinking water and wastewater. To qualify for both of these programs, households must be LEAP-approved. There are no minimum or maximum benefit amount limits for the Arrearage and the Water Assistance Program. To apply for these programs, households must complete a one-page addendum found in the LEAP application.
Applications for LEAP may be submitted online through the Colorado PEAK website at Coloradopeak.secure.force.com/. Paper copies may also be picked up from any Eagle County Department of Human Services location in Avon, Eagle or El Jebel. To request an application by mail or for more information on LEAP and other available resources, call Discover Goodwill at 888-775-5327 or Heat Help at 866-432-8435. Online applications will be processed most quickly.
An additional resource for those facing high heating bills is the Colorado Energy Office Weatherization Program. The program is available for low- and moderate-income households to reduce their heating costs through services such as insulation, air sealing, storm windows and doors, furnace repair or replacement, refrigerator replacement, LED light retrofitting and Health and Safety evaluations. For more information, call 970-468-095 or visit NWCCOG.org/programs/weatherization/.
The Colorado Affordable Residential Energy Program, or CARE, can also help. This program has higher limits than LEAP and the Weatherization Program, so those with higher incomes may still qualify for CARE. Like the Weatherization Program, the program provides free energy efficiency upgrades such as air sealing, insulation, low-flow fixtures, LED light bulbs and a high-efficiency fridge or water heater. Both homeowners and renters are eligible. The local program is implemented by Walking Mountains Science Center. More information is available at EnergyOutreach.org/programs-for-individuals/care-program or 303-226-5061.