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

Energy assistance available for low-income households in Eagle County

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EAGLE COUNTY — The Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) is now available for eligible households and will run through April 30, 2018. Qualifying households may receive assistance to pay a portion of their home heating bill. Goodwill Industries of Southern and Western Colorado will again administer the program for Eagle County this winter.

"By utilizing Goodwill over the past several years, households needing assistance received their benefits faster and at a lower cost to the county," said Kathleen Lyons, economic services division director for Eagle County Department of Human Services. "We're excited to be able to continue this partnership again this LEAP season."

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 or are included in the rent and gross monthly household income falls within income guidelines.

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 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.

An additional resource for those struggling with high heat bills is the Colorado Energy Office Weatherization Program. The program is available to assist low- and moderate-income households in reducing 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 800-332-3669 or visit http://www.nwccog.org and click on "Weatherization Program."

Help from LEAP

The maximum gross monthly household income limit for the Low-income Energy Assistance Program has increased this season to 165 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, based on number of household members, and is as follows (numbers represent household size: monthly gross income; each additional person is $575).

• 1: $1,658

• 2: $2,233

• 3: $2,808

• 4: $3,383

• 5: $3,958

• 6: $4,532

• 7: $5,107

• 8: $5,682