- The LEAP program is now accepting applications for the 2022-23 winter season
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, opened for the season on Nov. 1 and will accept applications through May 1.
A statewide program, LEAP helps eligible individuals and families pay winter home heating costs by making a one-time payment directly to the utility company on behalf of each LEAP eligible household. Last season, a record 84,000 LEAP recipients received an average benefit of $990.11.
“This winter, heating bills are expected to be at a 10-year high impacting thousands of low-income Coloradans,” says Theresa Kullen, LEAP manager. “Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows consumers will pay up to 28 percent more for natural gas to heat their homes. This increase may force many Coloradans to choose between food, rent, medicine, and a warm home. We encourage anyone who thinks they may be eligible to apply and take advantage of LEAP’s many benefits.”
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 $66,468 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 and have at least one U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident of the U.S. living in the household.
In addition to home heating bill assistance, LEAP recipients may be eligible to receive furnace repair and replacement in heat-related emergencies in addition to weatherization services pending the results of a home energy audit. Currently, LEAP recipients may also qualify for the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP), which is a temporary program that is part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). LIHWAP provides funds to make a one-time payment to the water vendor directly on behalf of eligible households who are facing eviction due to unpaid water bills or whose account is either in arrears or shut off as long as funding is available and the water vendor is a LIHWAP participant.
The Colorado Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) is a federally funded program that helps eligible hard-working Colorado families, seniors and individuals pay a portion of their winter home heating costs. Our goal is to help bring warmth, comfort and safety to your home and family by assisting with heating costs.
The LEAP program works to keep our communities warm during the winter (November through April) by providing assistance with heating costs, equipment repair and/or replacement of inoperable heating tools. While the program is not intended to pay the entire cost of home heating, we aim to help alleviate some of the burdens that come with Colorado's colder months.
In most cases, the energy assistance benefit is paid directly to the household energy supplier. In most cases, if you are approved for LEAP, payments are made directly to your primary heating fuel vendor and a notice will be sent to you informing you of the benefit amount. Other benefits provided by LEAP include repair or replacement of a home’s primary heating system, such as a furnace or wood-burning stove. The program does not provide financial assistance for any type of temporary or portable heating.
If your income is up to 60% of the state median income level, you may qualify for heating assistance through LEAP. The state median income level used for the 2022-23 LEAP season was released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in July 2022. The amount of the energy assistance benefit varies depending on a variety of factors, including the primary heating fuel costs and income.
- Learn more about LEAP program eligibility
You may qualify for LEAP benefits if you:
- Pay home heating costs, either directly to a utility company or to a landlord as part of rent.
- Earn a maximum family household income that does not exceed 60% of the state median income level.
- Provide proof of lawful presence in the U.S., for you and household members born outside of the U.S. Valid forms of identification include:
- Naturalization Certificate, or
- Born Abroad Certificate, or
- U.S. Passport
- Permanent Resident Card, or
- Documentation of Refugee or Asylee status
Use the table below to determine your monthly gross income according to your household size. Household refers to all people living with you and for whom you are financially responsible. The table displays updated income guidelines for the 2022-2023 season that begins November 1, 2022.
Maximum Gross Monthly Income
1 $2,880 2 $3,766 3 $4,652 4 $5,539 5 $6,425 6 $7,311 7 $7,477 8 $7,644 Each Additional Person $166
- Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP)
- CDHS received additional funding from federal government to assist low income households with their water services. LIHWAP was created to provide a benefit to qualifying household to help reconnect their disconnected drinking water or waste/sewer services, or help the household if facing disconnection with their drinking water and waste/sewer services, or if they have a past due amount with their drinking water and waste/sewer services. LIHWAP can also assist with water included rent and the rent is past due or facing eviction. Funds are limited and are on a first come first serve basis.
To qualify for this assistance, the household must meet these criteria:
- Be approved for LEAP during November 1, 2022 - April 30, 2023
- Complete the English/Spanish LIHWAP Addendum within the LEAP application and submit a copy of your water bill.
- Must pay drinking water services and/or waste/sewer services directly to a water vendor.
- Services must be in disconnected, facing disconnection, or have a past due amount on the bill.
- For households with water included in rent, rent must be past due or facing eviction.
For households whose water services are paid through group metering, or have well water, please refer to the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) https://cdola.colorado.gov/rental-mortgage-assistance
How to apply
LEAP only accepts applications between November and April. Click below to learn more about applying for LEAP benefits, including a checklist to help you prepare your application. If you're looking for assistance outside of LEAP season, it may be available. Please call 1-866-HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-8435) for more information.
- Learn more about applying for LEAP benefits
To apply for LEAP, an application can be submitted several ways beginning November 1, 2022:
- Online through the Colorado PEAK website starting November 1, 2022.
- Download an application and drop off at local DHS office, or mail/email to your the county/contractor to process. Please call 1-866-HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-8435) for contact information or click here to find your county's mailing address.
- To request a paper application mailed to you address call 1-866-HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-8435)
- If you are having a heating emergency please call 1-866-HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-8435) to apply over the phone.
Delays in processing time most often relate to incomplete applications. Use the checklist below to ensure you submit all necessary information and paperwork.
- I have answered all the questions in each section of the application.
- I have enclosed a readable copy of lawful presence documentation for myself and my household members born outside of the U.S.
- Social Security numbers and birth dates for all members of my household have been included on the application.
- Proof of all monthly household income (pay stubs, award letters, loans, etc.) has been attached with the application.
- I have attached receipts for all expenses claimed on my profit and loss statement for self-employment income.
- A copy of my most recent heating bill has been enclosed with the application (if you pay your heat as part of your rent, include a copy of your most recent rent receipt).
- I have signed my application.
- I have double-checked that I am submitting my application to the correct county LEAP office.
- If my county LEAP office can accept email, I have scanned my application and all required paperwork and have attached the files to the email.
Frequently asked questions
Where do I send my completed application and paperwork? How long does it take to process my application? Can I apply for LEAP even if I participate in other government programs? We're here for you and to answer any questions you may have as you look into applying for heat assistance. Get the answers to these questions and many more below.
- Click here to view the FAQ section
When are applications accepted?
Applications are accepted from Nov. 1 through April 30.
Where do I send my completed application and paperwork?
We recommend anyone interested in applying for LEAP to use the online and telephone options listed below to submit an application.
- Submit an application online through the Colorado PEAK website: www.colorado.gov/PEAK
- Call to apply over the phone
- An interview is not required for LEAP.
How long does it take to process my application?
It is essential that you complete the entire application and answer all questions as well as attach all requested information. If you fail to do this, your application will be delayed because LEAP will have to send you a letter(s) to request this information which typically causes delays in case processing times. Most non-emergency applications are processed within 10-25 days.
My heat is about to be shut off or I am running out of propane. Can LEAP help?
Yes. If you qualify for assistance, LEAP may be able to expedite your application in just 10 days. Please call 1-866-HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-8435) to learn more.
Can I stop paying my heat bill while my application is being processed?
No. Continue to pay your bills while waiting for a decision on your application. If your bills are overdue or you are in danger of running out of fuel, contact your heat or utility company to set up a payment agreement or budget billing, if available.
I need to purchase a portable heater. Can LEAP help me with that?
No. The LEAP program does not provide financial assistance for any type of temporary or portable heating source, such as electric heaters or portable heaters.
How do I check on the status of my application?
Call 1-866-HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-8435) to check on the status of your application.
How often can I receive heat assistance through LEAP?
You can receive heat assistance only once each season through LEAP. The season runs from Nov.1 to April 30. Please plan accordingly.
How is the LEAP assistance amount calculated?
The energy assistance benefit varies depending on a variety of factors, including the primary heating costs of your home, total household income, the amount of the LEAP Program funding and applications received. LEAP pays the highest benefits to those with the highest primary heating fuel costs.
Is the LEAP assistance amount sent directly to me?
In most cases, the payment is sent directly to your primary heating fuel company. You will receive a letter indicating your LEAP assistance amount and where your benefit is being sent.
Do I qualify if my heat is included in my rent?
If heat is included in your rent and you do not live in subsidized housing, you may qualify for LEAP. Please be sure the proper documentation is included with your application.
Can I apply for LEAP even if I participate in other government programs?
Yes. Your participation in other programs, including Medicare, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Colorado Works/TANF, food stamps, Old Age Pension (OAP), and Aid to Needy Disabled (AND)/Aid to the Blind (AB), will not be impacted in any way if you participate in LEAP.
Can I apply for LEAP if I do not live in the home?
No. You must reside in the dwelling stated on your application.
How do I report my household monthly gross income?
Attach copies of all pay stubs and proof of other income (seasonal, self-employed, public assistance, veteran's benefits, etc.) received the month prior to the month you sign your application for all members of the applicant household.
If I qualify for LEAP but still need assistance with my utilities, are there any other programs available to help my family?
Yes. Please call HEAT HELP (1-866-432-8435) and ask if there is other utility payment assistance available to you.
If I do not qualify for LEAP, what should I do?
If you do not qualify for LEAP, help may still be available. Please call 1-866-HEAT- HELP (1-866-432-8435) for more information on ways to get help with your energy needs.
Can I get assistance if my primary heating system is not working?
Yes. If you qualify for LEAP you may also qualify for our heating system repair/replacement program. Please call FOR MY HEAT (1-855-469-4328) for additional information.
The Colorado LEAP program is federally funded. If you received your LEAP application in the mail, please use the return envelope included to submit your application. Otherwise, please contact 1-866-HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-8435) to find the address of your county contact.
- Contact information for county staff
If you are a LEAP staff person or technician administering the LEAP program in your county, this information is for you! Various files, more information and helpful links can be found below and should prove a valuable resource to you. If you have any questions or concerns please contact us via email.
Managing LEAP in your county
Helpful web resources
- More heating help for Coloradans
If you are eligible for LEAP, you may also qualify for other benefits listed below.
- The Crisis Intervention Program operates year-round and provides assistance with the repair or replacement of the home's primary heating system such as a furnace or wood-burning stove.
- The Weatherization Program is offered through the Governor's Energy Office and is designed to improve the energy efficiency in homes throughout Colorado, helping to permanently reduce heating costs.
- Colorado also offers a rebate of property tax, rent and heat expenses to low-income seniors and disabled persons. Known as the Property Tax/Rent/Heat Credit (PTC) rebate, the maximum property tax rebate is $660 and the maximum heat expenses rebate is $192. The Colorado Department of Revenue administers the rebate.
Other helpful links:
If you do not qualify for LEAP, you may still qualify for heating assistance through Energy Outreach.
- Marketing materials for our partners
Colorado community partners are invited to join county agencies to help us reach Colorado families and individuals with information about the LEAP program, so that Coloradans understand what the program offers, who is eligible to participate and how to apply. Please contact the state LEAP office at 303.861.0269 or firstname.lastname@example.org for the most current marketing materials. Below is a list of materials we can provide you with. You can download the brochure immediately by clicking the link.
- LEAP three-panel brochure and brochure insert
- LEAP poster (great for bulletin boards, office lobbies, breakrooms)
- LEAP logos to include in your agency's marketing tools
If you'd like to use the LEAP logo, please read the color, size and implementation guidelines to ensure consistency of presentation:
- LEAP Graphic Standards - Logo Usage (PDF file)
- Statistical information about LEAP applications
CDHS provides weekly statistical information related to the number of LEAP applications processed broken down by each of the 64 counties throughout Colorado. Weekly report totals are cumulative from the beginning of the LEAP program year (Nov. 1). To view this report, click here.