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How to Get Help with Utilities in Colorado

How to Get Help with Utilities in Colorado

If you need help with utilities in Colorado, there are agencies in your area that may be able to help you with utility deposits, past-due bills and so much more. There are many organizations and programs that may be able to assist you!

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In this article, we will review government programs, nonprofits and charities that can help with utilities in Colorado.

Government Programs that Help with Utilities in Colorado

There are many government programs that may be able to provide financial help with utilities in Colorado. These programs can help pay down your past due bills and even reduce your future bills!

Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)

LEAP, the Colorado Low-income Energy Assistance Program, is here to assist low-income Americans in Colorado with their winter heating costs. The program runs from November through April and aims to bring warmth, comfort, and safety to your home by helping with heating expenses and equipment repair or replacement when needed. While it doesn’t cover the entire heating bill, it lightens the burden of Colorado’s cold winters.

To be eligible for LEAP, your household income should not exceed 60% of the state median income level. You must also provide proof of lawful presence in the U.S. This amount of help you receive from this program will depend on factors like your household size, heating costs and income.

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Applications for LEAP are accepted from November 1 to April 30. You can apply online through the Colorado PEAK website or by phone. An interview is not required, and processing usually takes 10-25 days. If you’re facing a heating emergency, LEAP may expedite your application in just 10 days.

While waiting for your application to be processed, it’s essential to continue paying your heating bills to avoid issues. LEAP assistance can be received only once per season, from November 1 to April 30, so plan accordingly. The assistance amount is calculated based on various factors, and the payment is usually sent directly to your heating fuel company.

Even if your heat is included in your rent, you may still qualify for LEAP assistance. Participation in other government programs won’t be affected if you apply for LEAP, so don’t hesitate to seek the help you need to stay warm during the winter months.

Summer Energy Assistance

LEAP also has a summer season component called the Summer Energy Assistance Program. This program is available during dangerous heat waves or hot summer months. You can usually apply once per year for this assistance program.

Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)

The Colorado Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is here to assist qualified Coloradans in improving their homes and saving money by implementing energy conservation solutions. This helps keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, even though this program does not expressly cover cooling-related services.

Here are some of the ways this program can help with utilities in Colorado:

  • Energy audits: Assessing your home’s energy usage to identify areas for improvement.
  • Energy conservation education: Learning how to make energy-efficient choices.
  • Air infiltration sealing: Sealing gaps and leaks to prevent heat loss.
  • Insulation: Adding insulation to your attic, floors, and walls for better temperature control.
  • Furnace repair or replacement: Ensuring your heating system is efficient and functional.
  • LED light bulbs: Providing energy-efficient lighting solutions.
  • High-efficiency appliances: Upgrading to appliances that consume less energy.
  • Solar: Exploring solar energy options for your home.
  • Air source heat pumps: Installing efficient heating and cooling systems.

To apply for the Weatherization Assistance Program, you will need to contact the agency in charge of this program in your area. There are several contracted providers around the state.

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The organization will guide you through the application process, perform an energy audit, and install the necessary weatherization measures to improve your home’s energy efficiency.

Programs from Your Utility Company

Believe it or not, your utility company may also be able to provide financial help with utilities in Colorado! There are many payment arrangements, discounts and company-sponsored programs that help low income people pay their bills.

Budget Billing

Budget billing is a valuable program that provides crucial assistance to low-income Americans by helping them manage their monthly utility expenses. This program is particularly beneficial for individuals and families who struggle to meet the fluctuating costs of utilities like electricity, natural gas, and water.

Budget billing works by averaging out your annual utility costs and spreading them evenly over the course of a year. This means that regardless of whether it’s a hot summer month with high air conditioning bills or a frigid winter with soaring heating costs, you’ll pay the same fixed amount each month. This predictability can be a financial lifeline for those on tight budgets.

or low-income households, budget billing offers several advantages:

  • Stability: It provides financial stability by eliminating the uncertainty of seasonal utility bills, making it easier to budget and plan for other essential expenses.
  • Avoiding High Bills: It helps prevent the shock of unexpectedly high utility bills during extreme weather conditions, ensuring that families can keep their lights on and homes comfortable.
  • Accessibility: Budget billing programs are often designed to be inclusive, making them accessible to people with lower incomes. They aim to make utility services more affordable for those who need it the most.
  • Payment Assistance: In some cases, budget billing programs may also connect participants with financial assistance and energy-saving programs, further alleviating the financial burden of utility costs.

In essence, budget billing is a lifeline for low-income Americans, offering a more manageable and predictable way to cover essential utility expenses and improve their overall financial stability. It’s a valuable tool that helps ensure that no one has to choose between keeping their homes adequately heated, lit, or cooled and meeting other basic needs.

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Payment Arrangements

Utility companies can often offer various payment arrangements to accommodate the diverse needs of their customers. These arrangements help customers manage their utility bills more effectively. Here are some common payment options you might find:

  • Level Pay: Similar to budget billing, level pay averages your annual usage, but it may be reviewed and adjusted quarterly. This option provides some predictability while allowing for minor adjustments as needed.
  • Deferred Payment Plans: These plans are designed to help customers who are facing temporary financial hardships. Utility companies may allow you to defer a portion of your bill or create a payment plan to catch up on overdue payments.
  • AutoPay: Many utility companies offer AutoPay services, where your bill is automatically deducted from your bank account on a specified date each month. It ensures you never miss a payment deadline.
  • Paperless Billing: Opting for paperless billing means you receive your bills electronically via email or an online portal, reducing paper waste and making it easier to access and manage your bills online. Sometimes you’ll even get a discount for this!
  • Third-Party Payment Assistance Programs: In partnership with local agencies, utility companies may offer assistance programs for eligible low-income customers to help with bill payments.
  • Prepaid Plans: Customers can purchase utility credits in advance and use them until the balance runs out. This option provides flexibility and control over energy expenses.

It’s important to contact your specific utility company to understand the payment arrangements they offer and choose the one that best suits your financial situation and preferences. These options are designed to make it easier for customers in Colorado to manage their utility bills effectively.

Company-Specific Assistance

Many utility companies offer a range of support programs to assist their customers in various ways. These programs are specifically designed to address different needs, including crisis assistance, financial relief, senior or disabled discounts, and income-based payment plans:

  • Financial Assistance Programs: Utility companies may offer financial assistance programs tailored to low-income customers. These initiatives can include reduced rates, subsidies, or bill credits to make essential utilities more affordable for those in need.
  • Senior or Disabled Discounts: Recognizing the unique challenges faced by senior citizens and individuals with disabilities, many utility companies provide discounts or special pricing structures for these customers. These discounts can significantly reduce the burden of utility costs.
  • Income-Based Payment Plans: To ensure that utility bills remain manageable, income-based payment plans are often available. These plans calculate monthly payments based on a customer’s income, making it easier for them to budget and meet their obligations.

These comprehensive support programs reflect utility companies’ commitment to ensuring that essential services are within reach for all customers, regardless of their financial situation or circumstances. Customers are encouraged to contact their utility provider to explore these assistance options and find the support that best suits their needs.

Find Help from Your Company

We’ve done some research on a few of the utility companies in Colorado. If you receive your service from one of these providers, be sure to check out what we’ve found!

Nonprofits that Help with Utilities in Colorado

There are many nonprofits, charities and churches that can provide financial help with utilities in Colorado. If you need assistance, here are some organizations you can contact.

Evergreen Christian Outreach

EChO’s Client Services Department provides a variety of support services to help individuals and families facing personal or economic challenges. Their Client Advocates assist with short-term crises like utility shutoffs. They can also offer long-term support, provide information and referrals to other programs.

This organization serves communities including Evergreen, Kittredge, Idledale, Lookout Mountain, Genessee, Indian Hills, Morrison foothills, and areas along Highway 285 up to Conifer.

For more information, call 303-670-1796. Clients need to provide ID and proof of residency.

Mountain Family Center

Mountain Family Center provides assistance for overdue or upcoming utility bills, covering gas, electricity, propane, or even wood if it’s your primary heating source. They serve individuals and families who live in Grand County, Colorado.

To schedule an appointment, please contact us at 970-557-3186. It’s important to note that funding is limited, and approvals are determined on a case-by-case basis, so not all applications are guaranteed approval. Payments are sent directly to the utility company, and each household can receive assistance only once per year.

Mountain Resource Center

Mountain Resource Center in Conifer has a Veteran Support Program. If you have served in the military, they may be able to provide emergency financial assistance to you. You will need to

Other Ways to Get Help

If you need help with utilities in Colorado, you may be able to get other forms of assistance as well. These programs can repair your heating systems and provide other supportive services related to utilities.

Crisis Intervention Program (CIP)

The Crisis Intervention Program (CIP) is a lifeline for income-qualified Colorado households facing heating emergencies. It offers essential, no-cost emergency repairs or replacements for malfunctioning heating systems, including furnaces and boilers. These critical services are available year-round to ensure you stay warm and safe.

To be eligible for CIP, you must have a heating source that isn’t working and be approved for LEAP. If you find yourself without heat, it’s considered an emergency, and CIP can provide assistance within 24 hours. If a quick fix isn’t possible, temporary heating solutions will be arranged until the issue is resolved.

EOC (Energy Outreach Colorado) takes care of all the details when you qualify for CIP, from coordinating heating system repairs or replacements to partnering with licensed, certified, and insured HVAC contractors across the state.

Your first step towards accessing CIP assistance is applying for LEAP, a state-run program that provides energy bill payment assistance to eligible households. Keep in mind that Energy Outreach Colorado does not handle LEAP applications directly, but they can guide you on how to apply. To learn more about the LEAP program and get started, click the link provided.

Property Tax, Rent and Heat (PTC) Rebate

If you need help with utilities in Colorado, don’t forget about the Property Tax, Rent, and Heat (PTC) Rebate. The PTC rebate can go up to $1,044 per year!

You may be eligible to claim the PTC rebate if you meet the following criteria:

  1. You resided in Colorado from January 1 to December 31 of the previous year.
  2. Your meet the income requirements.
  3. You fall into one of the categories below as of the last day of the previous year:
    • Aged 65 or older
    • A surviving spouse aged 58 or older (excluding those divorced before their spouse’s passing)
    • A disabled person of any age who was medically unable to engage in substantial gainful activity, and who qualified for full benefits throughout the last year from a legitimate public or private plan based solely on their disability.
  4. You made payments towards property tax, rent, or heating bills during the PTC period.
  5. You were not claimed as a dependent on another person’s federal income tax return.

To get started, fill out the rebate application form (DR 0104PTC) and either bring it to a Colorado Department of Revenue Taxpayer Service Center or mail it to the Colorado Department of Revenue in Denver, CO 80261-0005. This program is designed to provide much-needed financial relief, so don’t hesitate to apply if you meet the requirements.

Relief Recap

If you need help with utilities in Colorado, the programs and organizations in this list may be able to assist you! From financial assistance for past-due bills to weatherization programs that can drastically reduce your future bills, the assistance programs in this list can make a tremendous impact on your utility expenses. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the providers listed here!

Rebecca

Wednesday 12th of April 2023

What about Yes Energy Management

Catherine Marucci

Wednesday 12th of April 2023

Hi Rebecca. LIHEAP may be an option: https://lowincomerelief.com/liheap/

Vhush

Monday 6th of March 2023

Sange de cristo electric, my electric bill is triple the amount it was now that I had to switch to sangre de crist electric association

Diane

Saturday 24th of June 2023

@Vhush, I am also with this company and I will be asking them if they have any programs

Dana

Monday 16th of January 2023

Empire electric for Montezuma county?

Catherine Marucci

Tuesday 17th of January 2023

We don't have any info on them currently, but it's usually worth contacting power companies directly to see if they have any current programs or are aware of any in your area.

Kim

Tuesday 4th of October 2022

Fountain Utilities in Fountain Colorado zip: 80817

Catherine Marucci

Wednesday 5th of October 2022

We'll look into them!