FAQs for EOC Programs

Q. What type of organization is Energy Outreach Colorado?
A. Energy Outreach Colorado (EOC) was established in 1989 as a private, statewide, 501(c)3 non-profit that helps limited-income Coloradans afford energy for their homes. It is the only non-profit in the state that raises funds for energy bill payment assistance.

Q. What does EOC do?
A. EOC raises funds through utility, corporate, foundation and individual donors to support two major initiatives: energy bill payment assistance and energy efficiency improvements for affordable housing and non-profit facilities. EOC also represents the interests of lower-income consumers by providing data and information about the needs of limited-income households to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, the state legislature and other energy policy makers.

Q. How does EOC manage energy bill payment assistance?
A. The energy bill payment assistance program provides millions of dollars in energy assistance funding each year to about 100 community assistance organizations across Colorado. EOC funding is distributed locally by agency case workers, and payments go directly to energy vendors to pay a portion of recipients’ overdue bills. Each year, energy assistance helps thousands of Colorado’s working families, elderly and individuals with special health needs remain safe and warm in their homes. This is meant to address emergency, short-term needs.

Q. What is the need in Colorado for this program?
A. The need is large and growing. About 400,000 Colorado households – as many as one in five – are eligible for energy assistance, based on federal income guidelines. Lower-income households also are greatly impacted by the volatility of home energy costs and challenging economic conditions. In some cases, households are literally faced with the dilemma of paying for food or paying their utility bill.

Q. How can someone apply for EOC energy bill payment assistance?
A. To apply for assistance, click here or call toll-free 1-866-HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-8435). You can input your county and receive a list of nearby agencies that offer energy assistance. To be eligible, an applicant must meet income guidelines and provide certain documents.

Q. How can someone make a tax-deductible donation to EOC?
A. Energy Outreach gladly accepts any amount of donation by mail (225 E. 16th Ave., Suite 200, Denver, CO 80203); online; or by calling 303-825-8750, ext. 230. Many energy utilities operating in Colorado offer the ability to check a box on your energy bill to add a monthly tax-deductible donation.

Q. How does EOC help improve the energy efficiency of affordable housing?
A. EOC partners with other funders, such as utility companies Xcel Energy, Atmos Energy and Black Hills Energy, to manage the installation of energy efficiency improvements in multifamily affordable housing communities across Colorado. These conservation efforts are meant to provide longer-term solutions to making home energy more affordable for limited-income families.

Q. How does EOC help non-profit facilities?
A. Our Non-profit Energy Efficiency Program (NEEP) funds energy audits and efficiency improvements for facilities owned by non-profits, allowing them to maximize their budgets for vital community services.

Q. Why does Energy Outreach Colorado offer these energy conservation programs?
A. These programs are designed to provide longer-term solutions to making home energy more affordable for limited-income families and reduce the demand for energy assistance over time. They help increase home safety by reducing injury, illness and mortality. They also help keep people in their homes longer, thereby helping reduce homelessness and the transient nature of households that can’t pay their bills. All consumers benefit when utility companies can reduce their bad debt and collections costs, as well as reduce the demand for electric and gas consumption and power generation.

Q. How does an affordable housing building owner or provider, or a non-profit facility that serves low-income families, receive energy efficiency support from EOC?
A. Go to www.energyoutreach.org and click on “Grants for Non-Profits and Affordable Housing Facilities” to review eligibility requirements and availability of funding.