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CDHS is celebrating National Energy Assistance Day. All potentially eligible Coloradans are encouraged to apply for Colorado’s Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP), a federally funded program that helps eligible Coloradans pay a portion of their winter home heating costs.
The LEAP program works to keep our communities warm during the winter, November through April, by making a one-time payment directly to the utility company on behalf of each LEAP eligible household statewide. Last season, 77,500 LEAP recipients received an average benefit of $550.25. This season, nearly 75,000 Colorado households have applied for LEAP to date. Applications are accepted through April 30.
“This season, Colorado received a record amount of funding for LEAP,” explains Theresa Kullen, LEAP manager. “While data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows heating bills increasing this winter between 6 and 54 percent depending on the heating source, funding is available to help Coloradans offset these increased costs. We encourage anyone who thinks they may be eligible to apply and take advantage of LEAP’s many benefits.”
In addition to home heating bill assistance, LEAP recipients may be eligible to receive furnace repair and replacement in heat-related emergencies and weatherization services pending the results of a home energy audit. Currently, LEAP recipients are also eligible for two temporary programs funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The first of these programs is the Utility Assistance Program, which provides funds to assist with paying down past-due accounts for a home’s energy costs. Secondly, the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) provides a one-time payment to water vendors for eligible households whose account is either in arrears or shut off as long as funding is available.
To qualify for LEAP, Coloradans may have an income up to 60 percent of the state median income level, which equates to a household income of less than $64,000 a year for a family of four. Additionally, LEAP recipients must pay home heating costs directly to a utility company or landlord as part of their rent, be a resident of Colorado and have at least one U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident of the U.S. living in the household. Specific eligibility criteria can be found on our website.
To access the LEAP application, visit cdhs.colorado.gov/LEAP. Online applications are processed through the Colorado PEAK system. You can also call the HEAT HELP line at 1-866-HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-8435) to receive an application via mail or email.