Energy Assistance

Help with Repairs and Upgrades

If you live in Colorado, have low income, and struggle to keep your place warm, you may be able to get help with:

  • Emergency repairs or replacement of your heating system, and
  • Improvements to cut your energy bills by making your home more energy efficient.

When Your Heating Stops Working: CIP

The Crisis Intervention Program (CIP) offers emergency service to people enrolled in Colorado LEAP if their heating system stops working. If you qualify for LEAP but are not yet enrolled, you must apply for LEAP before you can get CIP emergency services. CIP helps with:

  • Repairing your broken heating system (this does not include routine maintenance)
  • Replacing your broken heating system, if needed, and
  • Snow removal in rural areas to make it possible to deliver fuel.

Who Does CIP Help?

To get emergency help through CIP:

  • You must be qualified for and enrolled in Colorado LEAP, and
  • Your main heating source must not be working.

Note: If you qualify for LEAP but are not yet enrolled, when you call CIP for emergency help they will explain how to file an immediate LEAP application. CIP will also tell your county that there is an emergency LEAP application coming through, and it needs to be processed quickly. As soon as your LEAP application is approved, your county will tell you to call CIP to get emergency service.

How to Apply for CIP

To apply for CIP emergency services to fix your broken heating system, call 1-855-4-MY-HEAT. The CIP phone line operates 24 hours a day, every day, so you can phone at any time. If you are not yet enrolled in Colorado LEAP but you qualify, you first need to apply for LEAP, and then ask for help from CIP.

Example

Joe and Marcie are retired schoolteachers who bought their home 40 years ago. Their mortgage is paid off and they live comfortably on a modest fixed income. When their natural gas furnace stopped working in the middle of a cold spell, they had no money to pay for repairs, so they turned the heat off and wore their coats to bed. When a friend heard about this, he told them about CIP. Joe and Marcie called CIP. They filled out the applications and got approved first for LEAP, and then for CIP. A CIP technician came to their house and said that their 40-year-old furnace couldn't be fixed, so CIP replaced it for free.

Making Your Home More Energy Efficient

Both the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and Colorado's Affordable Residential Energy Program (CARE) offer free or low-cost home improvements to permanently lower your heating costs.

Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)

WAP helps low-income Colorado residents pay for repairs to make their homes more energy efficient, in order to lower their heating costs. Run as a partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy, the Colorado Energy Office, and local agencies, WAP offers:

  • Air sealing
  • Energy conservation information
  • Furnace safety testing
  • Furnace repair or replacement
  • Insulation in attic, floors, and walls
  • LED light bulb retrofits
  • Storm doors

These services are available for the owners of single-family houses, multi-family buildings, and manufactured residences (mobile homes). If the landlord agrees, WAP services are also available for renters in any of these types of homes.

You automatically qualify for WAP if you get any of these public benefits:

If you do not get any of those benefits, you can also qualify for WAP if your income is below the WAP income limits. The Colorado Energy Office answers frequently asked questions about WAP, which includes a chart of the current income limits.

How to Apply for WAP

To apply for WAP services, contact your local agency. They can give you an application and help you with it.

Once your application is approved, WAP does a free home energy audit to decide which are the best and most cost-effective improvements to make to your home. WAP sets a budget for the work, and asks you to pay a portion of the costs. If you cannot do that, you can still get the work done if you can show that you can't afford to pay.

You then sign a contract with WAP, and WAP schedules a crew of technicians to do the work. After the improvements have been made, an inspector visits your home to make sure the work has been done correctly.

Example

Frank has a disability and gets SSDI benefits, and his wife Estela works part-time as an office clerk. They get by from month to month, but the heating bills for their drafty old house keep going up and up. They read a story about WAP, and call to see if they can get some help. They apply and their application is approved.

After an energy audit of their home, WAP agrees it will be cost-effective to air seal their home, and to add insulation in the floors, walls, and attic. Frank and Estela agree to pay a small portion of the cost, and they sign a contract with WAP. A crew comes and does the work, and then an inspector visits to make sure everything was done correctly. Frank and Estela are now warm in their own home, and their monthly heating bills are much lower.

Colorado's Affordable Residential Energy Program (CARE)

Colorado's Affordable Residential Energy (CARE) program provides a wide range of free home improvement help in much of the state. CARE services can include:

  • Energy audits
  • Replacing equipment like lighting, insulation, a furnace, or air conditioning
  • Health and safety upgrades to your home
  • Project management
  • Help finding rebates and other funding sources

To get CARE services you must:

To apply for CARE, you must apply and send in documents showing the income for each working adult in your household.

Energy Outreach Colorado

In addition to its CARE program, the nonprofit Energy Outreach Colorado uses a combination of government and private funding to offer low-income Colorado residents year-round help with:

  • Paying energy bills
  • Repairing or replacing an aging heating system
  • Fixing energy, health, and saftey issues in your home
  • Learning about small changes you can make to save on your energy bills

If you are enrolled in Colorado LEAP, you automatically qualify for Energy Outreach Colorado's programs.

For details about its programs, contact Energy Outreach Colorado by phone at 1-303-825-8750 or by email at info@energyoutreach.org. Learn more about Energy Outreach Colorado.

Learn more