Low-income Energy Assistance (LEAP) available November 1

October 30, 2012

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – The Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) will be available for eligible households starting November 1, 2012, and running through April 30, 2013. Qualifying limited-income households may receive assistance to pay a portion of their home energy bills.

For the 2012/2013 heating season, Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin counties have contracted with Discover Goodwill of Southern and Western Colorado to administer the program. Discover Goodwill has administered the LEAP program for El Paso County for more than 15 years, and has developed an effective process for managing approximately 20,000 applications per heating season. “By contracting with Goodwill, households seeking assistance will receive their benefits more quickly and at a lower cost to the county,” stated Tricia Murray, Economic Security Division manager for Garfield County Department of Human Services.

Households may qualify for LEAP assistance if anyone within the home is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident; heating costs are paid directly to an energy provider or are included in the rent; and gross monthly household income is within income guidelines. The maximum gross monthly household income limit of 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, based on number of eligible household members, is as follows:

Household size – monthly income – 150% of FPG
1 – $1,397
2 – $1,892
3 – $2,387
4 – $2,882
5 – $3,377
6 – $3,872
7 – $4,367
8 – $4,862

Each qualified household may receive only one LEAP benefit for the winter season. Factors such as income, type of heat being used, type of dwelling and number of people in the household are considered before an amount is awarded to an applicant. Funds for home heating system repairs may also be available.

An additional resource for those struggling with high heat bills is the Governor’s Energy Office Energy Management Program, also known as the Weatherization Program. The program assists low- and moderate-income households in reducing heating costs through services such as insulation, caulking and weather-stripping, as well as the installation of new storm windows and new energy-efficient furnaces and refrigerators. Those who qualify for LEAP, Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF), Old Age Pension (OAP) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) automatically qualify for these weatherization services.

To request an application by mail or for more information on LEAP and other available resources, call Discover Goodwill at 1-888-775-5327 or Heat Help at 1-866-432-8435. For more information on the Weatherization Program, call 1-800-332-3669 or visit www.nwccog.org and click on “Weatherization Program.”