Energy Source Summer 2019

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From the Executive Director

We recently received a call from a frantic woman who had just received a utility shut-off notice and couldn’t afford to pay the amount due. With two children in her home along with her elderly parents she was afraid to lose her heat and lights. My staff helped her avert the shut-off and determined that she qualified for bill payment assistance to help with their utility payment.This phone call was a reminder of why Energy Outreach Colorado exists – to assist vulnerable people when they need help getting back on their feet. My staff, our programs, the statewide utility and agency partners, donors, and champions all share this mission and I am proud that we have been providing stability that make a difference in many lives for over 30 years.

We are planning for the future and have renewed our vision statement to reflect our goals:

“That all Coloradans can afford their energy needs.”

EOC is committed to serving all Coloradans until this vision is met. Together, I believe we will succeed.

Jennifer Gremmert

Thanks to our Champions

Happy hour with our champions, friends and supporters – that’s how we spent the evening on May 22 at American Bonded in RiNo.

This casual get together was a way to gather with many of the individuals, colleagues, partners, and friends who work every day to make life a little better for people in need. From our donors, to our agency partners and contractors, the room was full of dedicated people who enjoyed meeting each other – many for the first time.

It truly takes all of us to make a difference, and it was fantastic to get everyone together.

Make A Difference

EOC Contractor Profile: McBride Lighting

Energy efficiency and weatherization upgrades are important to the health and safety of a home. These measures can also help money on utility bills. EOC works with trusted professionals who complete home and multi-family building installations for our programs – like McBride Lighting and Electrical.

For over 50 years this family-owned business has been providing electrical and lighting services across the state working for counties, communities, households and affordable housing buildings. Vice President Jared Blackney says that their reputation and work ethic is at the core of the business, which was founded by his grandfather in 1956. “He used to tell me that every job counts. No matter what you are doing, do it well.”

Over the years, the company has developed into an award winning business that cares about the people and communities where they work. Helping people save money on their energy bills, and rural towns stretch their budgets makes this team proud. “If is a joy for us to work with EOC and provide energy saving services to help everyone afford where they live” said Jared. “We want people to know that we care.”

A few words from our board

John Harpole, President of Mercator Energy, LLC

Why is this nonprofit so important to you?
My mother raised nine children on her own after my father died. For over 30 years she saved every utility bill making notes in the margins about the weather trying to anticipate the next month’s utility bill. She was quietly vigilant in her effort to keep the heat on in the winter. I joined the Energy Outreach Colorado Board in 2004 because of their mission – specifically to help low-income households afford their utility bills. I want to ease that quiet burden parents bear over utility bills so their families can thrive.

What advice would you give to a potential donor to EOC?
I often remind people that anyone can find themselves in a difficult situation struggling to make ends meet. Life happens – hard times are not a destination of choice. This could be a member of your church, a co-worker, or a neighbor. I would ask a potential donor to see the good in giving someone a helping hand. Giving a gift to EOC is an investment in stability for many families. It’s a trusted organization and that is why I am a proud member of their Board.

Program Spotlight

Our Nonprofit Energy Efficiency Program (NEEP) has grown quietly over the years and has become one of our most impactful yet less known programs. Here are some results from 2018.

  • 57 Properties served
  • 1,774,500 Total kWh saved
  • 39,300 Total therms saved
  • $1,890,000 Total funds leveraged
  • $2,190,000 Total amount of grants awarded

Elyria Swansea Adelante Project

Energy Outreach Colorado has been working in the Elyria Swansea neighborhood to help mitigate the impact on homes near the Central-70 construction area. In partnership with the City of Denver and CDOT, we have provided health and safety energy upgrades to homes along the construction route (282 homes). This includes new windows, furnace repair or replacement, insulation, etc. The intention is to help make the homes more secure so the dust and noise will be less harmful. We believe that proactively working to mitigate health and safety concerns in these homes will help these residents save money on their energy bills, and provide them with better living conditions during construction and beyond.

Some of the residents have sent us these notes about the impact of the improvements they received.

  • June is a 90+ year old mother and grandmother who says “I’m so very happy with my new window in the living room. That’s where I sit most of the time. It is quieter and less dusty now.”
  • Grady and his wife have lived in their home for years. He says “My wife has noticed significant improvements in our home because of the sound reduction. She is having fewer headaches and no longer has to sleep with ear plugs.”
  • The owner of one home we worked on is a single-parent school teacher. We were able to provide attic insulation and replace the leaking water heater and faulty furnace. “I’ve been so worried about this. My kids need to be safe and I just couldn’t afford these repairs.”
  • 80+ year old Julian, a father who lives in a family home owned by daughter told us “These improvements to the home (windows, insulation, doors) have made it much quieter and less dusty. I just know it is more secure.”
  • Teresa has owned her home for 34 years. She told us that her home is much quieter inside now that new windows have been installed. She also says utility bill has dropped from about $200 per month to about $120 per month after the work was done.

Support Work Like This

LEAP News

Even into the month of May, this year has been unusually cold and many people have been in desperate need of energy bill payment assistance. As a result, EOC provided an additional $445,000 distribution of funding to energy assistance agencies across the state to support vulnerable households that are eligible for these services. The Colorado Department of Human Services’ office of Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP), only accepts applications between the months of November and April.

In collaboration with the LEAP office, EOC made this necessary distribution to extend services through our agency partners, many of whom have depleted their funds responding to emergency health and safety needs yet have lists of residents who still need help. The Salvation Army will receive $130,000 of this allocation to extend this statewide high needs outreach.

LEAP is a federally funded program that helps qualifying households with their home energy bill payments. EOC collaborates with the State of Colorado to distribute these funds to partner agencies who provide year-round services and resources to vulnerable households across the state.

This year, Energy Outreach Colorado is celebrating our 30th anniversary. That’s 30 years of life-changing impact made across the state for Colorado’s most vulnerable residents.

We are energized and ready to take on the next 30 years and are committed to making our communities more energy efficient, affordable and most importantly – safe.

We hope you will join us. With a gift of $100 or more, we will send you a pair of our 30th Anniversary EOC Socks!

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