As the COVID-19 pandemic reaches the one-year mark, the number of people experiencing critical home energy burdens continue to rise. From April 1, 2020 to March 1, 2021, Energy Outreach Colorado (EOC) received over 250,000 calls from vulnerable Coloradans looking for urgent help affording their utility bills.
EOC has paid over 25,000 past due utility bills during the pandemic totaling over $13 million dollars in assistance. This represents a 46% increase in the number of bills paid and a 75% increase in assistance dollars over the same time period from the previous year.
The need for assistance continues and the deficits get larger as people struggle to pay their rent, buy food, afford medicine, and keep up with their home energy bills. Lost wages have not been replaced, and the pace at which we are providing assistance to households statewide has not slowed down.
If you, or someone you know is struggling to afford their home energy costs, call 1-866-HEAT HELP (1-866-432-8435), or visit our website at www.energyoutreach.org.
Energy Outreach Colorado has been a leading expert on issues impacting low-income energy consumers for 30 years. Through strong public and private partnerships, the statewide nonprofit has raised and leveraged millions of dollars to reduce energy costs and usage for low-income Coloradans.