Colorado’s Affordable Residential Energy (CARE) Program
Colorado’s Affordable Residential Energy (CARE) program provides income-qualified Coloradans in participating counties with energy-efficient upgrades, whether they own their own home or rent at no cost.
EOC will conduct an energy audit of your home and will then work with contractors to install free upgrades, including insulation and air sealing, and energy-efficient lighting.
The CARE program provides income-qualified Coloradans in participating counties with energy-efficient upgrades, whether they own their own home or rent at no cost.
You are eligible if:
- Your household is at or below 80 percent of the area’s median income
- You live in the service area of one of the participating utilities:
Xcel Energy, Atmos Energy, Holy Cross Energy, Black Hills Energy, San Miguel Power Association, La Plata Electric Association, City of Gunnison Electric, Gunnison County Electric Association, Platte River Power Authority – Fort Collins, Loveland, Longmont, or Estes Park.
If CARE is not provided in your county, contact the Colorado Energy Office Weatherization Assistance Program for similar services.
How to Apply?
To apply, please fill out a CARE application. If you rent your home, you will also need your landlord to sign a waiver to allow EOC to work on your home. The application can take up to four to five weeks to process.
- English Application
- Landlord Waiver (Required for rental approval)
- Spanish Application
- Spanish Landlord Waiver (Required for rental approval)
Email the completed application to firstname.lastname@example.org. You must include income documentation for each working adult in the household. Once approved, the CARE team handles all the necessary work scheduling contractors and issuing payments to ensure work is complete.
If you need more information on CARE, please call the EOC CARE team at 888.266.3139.
An Unsafe Home Repaired
Angelina is a single mother living with her two children in a mobile home built in 1964 in Palmer Lake, CO. She lives on a fixed income with just enough money each month to get by but nothing more. Her home energy systems have been in need of repair for a long time but she could not afford that expense. Angelina called Black Hills to see if they could help her but when the technician arrived he found that both her furnace and water heater had gas leaks, and the furnace had a cracked heat exchanger. He had no choice but to red-tag the appliances leaving the family without heat or hot water. Black Hills referred Angelina to Energy Outreach Colorado (EOC) and through our CARE Program help was dispatched immediately.
It was determined that the home’s electric service was insufficient to support a new high efficiency furnace, so Black Hills funded an electric service upgrade to protect the new equipment. A new furnace and water heater were installed along with duct insulation and air sealing at no cost to the household. The investment made by Black Hills to help this family was $9,961.98.
What Other Assistance is Available?
The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) provides free energy efficiency services for income-qualified Coloradans. If you qualify, you will receive an energy audit that will identify potential upgrades that will then be installed by certified technicians at no cost.
Efficiency improvements can range from new insulation and air sealing to furnace repair and replacement.
You are eligible if:
- Your income is less than 200% of the federal poverty level
- Your home or rental unit needs to be weatherized
Those receiving assistance from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) automatically qualify.
How to apply?
The WAP program is administered by eight regional partners. Applicants must provide proof of income or enrollment into one of the qualifying assistance programs. To find a partner, click Find A Service Provider button below or call 1.866.HEAT.HELP (1.866.432.8435).
CARE served 525 homes in 2021, more than half in rural Colorado. Over 150 were households with children, and more than a quarter had at least one person with a disability. The program also served 201 older adults throughout the year.
In 2021, 630 homes across the state had a weatherization project funded by WAP, including 136 households with a disabled resident. WAP also ensured 569 older Coloradans lower their energy costs, making it easier to age in place.
WAP is a federally funded service administered by local agencies.