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LEAP APPLICATIONS CLOSED UNTIL NEXT FALL, ENERGY OUTREACH COLORADO HELP CONTINUES

04 May. 2017

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LEAP APPLICATIONS CLOSED UNTIL NEXT FALL, ENERGY OUTREACH COLORADO HELP CONTINUES

Energy Outreach Colorado provides year-round energy bill assistance

Low-income Coloradans struggling to pay home energy bills must wait until next November to apply to the federally-funded Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP), but Energy Outreach Colorado provides assistance year-round.

LEAP is a federally-funded program and does not accept applications from May 1 through Oct. 31 each year. In Colorado, lawmakers created Energy Outreach Colorado about 30 years ago to raise additional funds through individuals and organizations so that local low-income seniors and families have access to additional help.

Since then, EOC has invested more than $255 million in programs to reduce energy costs for low-income Coloradans. This includes energy bill payment assistance, emergency furnace repair, and installing energy-efficient equipment in affordable housing and nonprofits. Last year EOC made 19,177 payments to help low-income households keep their heat and electricity connected.

Denver senior Eileen received EOC help with her energy bill last summer after she was given a 30-day notice that the small duplex she’d rented for the past five years was being renovated and no longer would be eligible for her Section 8 housing voucher discount. Panicked, she found another place to live but her rent went from $295 to $1,175 a month and she couldn’t pay her full energy bill.

“Without energy assistance I would have been devastated,” she said. “I was definitely at a point in life when I needed assistance.”

EOC provides bill payment assistance through more than 100 community organizations across Colorado. Payments are made directly to a local utility or fuel company to pay a portion of a low-income household’s overdue bill.

To apply for assistance, call toll-free 1-866-HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-8435) or go to EnergyOutreach.org.

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