Financial assistance for low-income households and seniors
(Scroll down for information on how to get help if you’re having trouble paying your utility bills.)
Free energy upgrades for low-income households and seniors
Households in Garfield County within certain income ranges, as well as seniors on Social Security, qualify for FREE home energy-efficiency upgrades.
Two very similar programs operate in Garfield County, but CARE (see sidebar at right/below) will be the better bet for most people. The Weatherization Assistance Program, run by the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments in our area, has more restrictive income guidelines. It may work out better if you have 8 or more people in your household, or if you have electric baseboard heating and you’d like to get a free pellet stove.
With either program, an energy consultant will conduct a home energy assessment and identify the upgrades that will best improve the home's energy efficiency and result in the highest possible energy savings. These may include:
- LED lighting
- Insulation and air sealing
- High-efficiency refrigerator
- High-efficiency water heater
- Energy-efficient furnace/boiler
- Storm windows
- Programmable thermostat
- Low-flow showerheads
These measures will help you save energy, which will lower your utility bills. Some of them will also make your home more comfortable: less drafty in winter, cooler in summer.
Assistance with utility bills
During the COVID-19 pandemic, utilities are prohibited from cutting off service due to nonpayment. Holy Cross Energy is offering up to $250 in temporary assistance to customers who are experiencing hardship. Xcel Energy will work with customers to spread payments out over time.
In addition, the nonprofit Energy Outreach Colorado helps income-qualified families deal with energy costs and heating system failures. See these two programs:
- Bill Payment Assistance Program – can help with utility bills and propane tank refills (once per year).
- Crisis Intervention Program – will repair or replace a failed boiler, or clear away snow so you can get a propane delivery.
Colorado's Affordable Residential Energy (CARE) Program
You’re eligible for the CARE program if you receive any of these forms of government assistance:
- Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)
- Aid to the Needy and Disabled (AND)
- Social Security or Social Security Disability (SSDI)
- (Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF)
- Old Age Pension (OAP)
- Aid to the Blind
- Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
- Section 8 housing
You’ll also be eligible if your household income is under these caps:
- 1 person, up to $49,520
- 2 people, up to $56,560
- 3 people, up to $63,600
- 4 people, up to $70,640
- 5 people, up to $76,320
- 6 people, up to $82,000
- 7 people, up to $87,600
- 8 people, up to $93,280
You can apply directly through the CARE program, or contact us to help you with the process: (970) 704-9200 or ActNow@GarfieldCleanEnergy.org.