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Eagle County offers information on wide range of energy assistance programs

March 28, 2016, 10:27 am

Qualifying households may still apply for a variety of programs to aid with reducing energy bills, home energy upgrades and furnace repairs. Supported by Eagle County Government, Energy Outreach Colorado and the federal government, local organizations are able to provide low-cost or free assistance to county residents who meet predetermined household income thresholds.

The Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) is an annual financial assistance program, which runs from November through April each winter, designed to aid in reducing household energy bills by paying a portion of the cost of home heating for qualifying, limited-income households.

eagle county logoEach qualified home may receive only one benefit or subsidy for the entire season. If a household has already applied and received a benefit this season, they should not re-apply. Many factors such as income, the type of heat being used and number of people in the household are considered before an amount is awarded to an applicant. If eligible, their LEAP benefit can be applied to their past due heating bill or be applied as a credit to their account.

Applications are available at www.eaglecounty.us/EconomicServices/Energy_Assistance or can be requested by mail by calling 866-432-8435. LEAP applications are due no later than April 30 and can be mailed to LEAP, P.O. Box 39200, Colorado Springs, CO 90949 or faxed to 719-633-9098. For more information, contact Discover Goodwill of Southern & Western CO at 888-775-5327.

For residents seeking aid with home energy upgrades, the Weatherization Assistance Program of the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments (NWCCOG) has the ability to weatherize low- and moderate-income homes to help reduce fuel consumption and heating costs. Services include insulation, caulking, weather-stripping, installation of storm windows and new energy-efficient furnaces and refrigerators. If a resident qualifies for LEAP, they automatically qualify for NWCCOG’s Weatherization services. Call 800-332-3669 for additional information.

There are two additional programs available to help with home energy upgrades. The Community Office for Resource Efficiency located in Aspen and Energy Smart Colorado at Walking Mountains Science Center in Avon both provide home energy assistance upgrades to income-qualified homes.

Depending on household needs, energy upgrades could include a furnace or boiler tune-up and safety check, insulation and air sealing, high-efficiency refrigerator, high-efficiency water heater, LED light bulbs, programmable thermostat and low-flow shower heads. Residents will not have to pay for any of these improvements if energy coaches determine they need to be upgraded or replaced.

To determine eligibility, visit www.energysmartcolorado.com/incomequalified or to enroll, visit www.walkingmountains.org/energy-smart-colorado-for-my-home/signup/.

For residents with a non-functioning furnace, Energy Outreach Colorado has an emergency home furnace repair program for those who already qualify for LEAP. Households with a broken furnace are asked to call the Crisis Intervention Program at 855-469-4328 for repairs or replacements, as well as snow removal for fuel delivery in rural areas.

For additional information on all energy assistance resources, visit eaglecounty.us/EconomicServices/Energy_Assistance. Or, call 970-328-8888 in the Eagle Valley or 970-704-2777 in the Roaring Fork Valley.

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