Energy assistance available for low-income households | VailDaily.com
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Energy assistance available for low-income households

The Low-income Energy Assistance Program is now available for eligible households as of Nov. 1 and will run through April 30. Qualifying households may receive assistance to pay a portion of their home heating bill.

For the 2020-21 heating season, Goodwill Industries of Southern and Western Colorado will 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 number of household members. Limits are as follows:

Household size/Monthly gross income

1/$2,619

2/$3,425

3/$4,231

4/$5,038

5/$5,844

6/$6,650

7/$6,801

8/$6,952

Each additional person: $151

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 home heating system repairs may also be available.

Applications for LEAP may be submitted online through the Colorado PEAK website at https://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 1-888-775-5327 or Heat Help at 1-866-432-8435. 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, caulking and weather stripping, as well as the installation of new storm windows and new energy-efficient furnaces and refrigerators. For more information, call 1-800-332-3669 or visit http://www.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 a free home energy assessment and free energy upgrades, such as a new furnace, air sealing and insulation. Both homeowners and renters are eligible. The local program is implemented by Walking Mountains Science Center. Visit http://www.energyoutreach.org/programs-for-individuals/care-program/ for more information.


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