DENVER (Jan. 30, 2023) — The Colorado Department of Human Services is celebrating Feb. 1 as 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 save eligible households money by paying a portion of winter home heating bills.
LEAP, a statewide program, helps keep Coloradans warm during the winter months by making a one-time payment directly to the utility company on behalf of each LEAP eligible household. Nearly 57,000 Colorado households have received LEAP benefits this season, a 15.8% increase over last year at this time. The average benefit is $441. Applications are accepted through May 1.
“Recent data shows nearly 26 percent of Coloradans reported reducing basic expenses like food and medicine to pay their energy bills,” explains Theresa Kullen, LEAP program manager. “LEAP can help Coloradans with their high energy bills. We encourage Coloradans to find out if they qualify and apply to take advantage of the program’s many benefits.”
In addition to home heating assistance, LEAP recipients may be eligible to receive furnace repair and replacement in heat-related emergencies, as well as weatherization services. LEAP recipients may also qualify for the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP), a temporary program that is part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). LIHWAP provides funds to make a one-time payment directly to the water vendor 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.
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.
Coloradans can access a LEAP application at cdhs.colorado.gov/LEAP, or by calling 1-866-HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-8435) to receive an application via mail or email, or by visiting their county human services office.