Throughout Colorado, the holiday season has brought snow and chilly temperatures resulting in increased heating costs for many Colorado families. This winter, Colorado's Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) wants all Colorado families to know that small changes in energy usage habits can result in significant savings to home heating costs.
LEAP is a federally funded program that provides cash assistance to help families and individuals pay a portion of winter home heating costs. The program pays the highest benefits to those with the highest heating bills and lowest incomes by family size. Applicant income may not exceed 150 percent of the federal poverty index, which is $2,794 per month before taxes for a household of four people. According to Todd Jorgensen, director of LEAP, the average LEAP benefit is estimated to be $325 per household.
"Making smart and effective choices to lower home heating costs doesn't mean families have to drastically change their lifestyle," said Jorgensen. "Instead, families can put into practice a variety of energy saving tips that are not only energy efficient, but cost effective."
There are many free ways to save money on energy bills this winter. These include turning down thermostat at night or when not home; turning down the temperature on hot water heater to 125 degrees; closing fireplace damper when not in use; checking furnace filter once a month for cleanliness; and ensuring furnace ducts are clear of all objects.
For additional tips visit www.energyoutreach.org.
When minor changes to a home's energy efficiency are not enough and costly repairs are needed to properly keep a family warm, LEAP eligible households may also qualify for the Crisis Invention Program (CIP) and the Governor's Energy Office's weatherization program. The CIP operates year-round and provides assistance with a home's primary heating source such as a furnace or wood-burning stove. The weatherization program improves the energy efficiency in homes throughout Colorado, thereby permanently reducing heating costs.
To qualify for LEAP, applicants must be responsible for paying heating costs directly to an energy provider, fuel dealer or as part of rent; be a permanent legal resident of the United States and Colorado or have household members that are U.S. citizens.
LEAP applicants must provide a copy of valid identification and a completed affidavit indicating that they are lawfully present in the United States. For more information on lawful presence requirements, contact the DOR or visit www.colorado.gov/revenue.
Completed LEAP applications can be faxed, mailed or delivered to the appropriate county office. Visit the Delta County Department of Human Services or call 1-866-HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-8435) to have an application mailed. Applications can also be downloaded from www.colorado.gov/cdhs/leap.To find out if you qualify for LEAP, call toll free 1-866-HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-8435) or visit www.colorado.gov/cdhs/leap to view the most current program application requirements.blog comments powered by Disqus