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Home energy savings help relieve impact of Colorado's rising living costs

08 Aug. 2017

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Home energy savings help relieve impact of Colorado's rising living costs

 

Rising living costs in Colorado are increasing the number of vulnerable households that must make tough choices, such as going without medical care or food in order to pay rent or keep up with utility bills.

For example, a new report from online residential service Zillow estimates that if Denver rents increase 5 percent in the next year, another 73 residents will become homeless. According to Zumper, another online housing service, rents for two-bedroom apartments in Denver have jumped more than 12 percent in the past year.

Affordable home energy can relieve some of the impact of rising housing costs. Energy Outreach Colorado is a nonprofit that helps limited-income families, seniors and individuals with special needs stay safely in their homes by reducing energy costs. EOC funds energy efficiency improvements in individual homes, multi-family housing communities and nonprofits and offers statewide emergency energy bill payment assistance.

“If we can help a Colorado family cut their energy costs by installing more efficient equipment or weatherizing their home, more of their limited income can go to other basic necessities like rent and food and hopefully they can avoid homelessness,” said Luke Ilderton, director of energy efficiency programs at Energy Outreach.

“In addition, we can help someone at risk of having their home energy disconnected avoid the stress of living without heat or light and having to pay additional fees,” Ilderton said. “This is good for all Coloradans because it reduces utility credit and collection costs which are passed along to all energy consumers.”

Sharon Fitzwater, a disabled resident at a downtown Denver affordable housing community, saw a significant drop in her home energy bill after EOC completed an efficiency project there. “My lower energy bill allows me to get things I need, like cab fare, and save for emergencies,” she said.

More information about Energy Outreach Colorado’s affordable energy programs is at www.energyoutreach.org or 1-866-HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-8435).

Pictured below, Sharon Fitzwater appreciates cost savings from energy efficiency improvements at her Denver affordable housing community.

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