Programs offered by the Colorado Springs Utility include Project COPE, Housing Efficiency Assistance Program, and well as LEAP. Representatives from the energy company will also try to work directly with customers to find ways to prevent a disconnection of their service, especially during the cold Colorado winters.
Low Income Energy Assistance Program, or LEAP, is paid for by the federal government and is available for qualified Colorado Springs Utility customers. Funds can help customers pay a portion of their winter heating bills. The federal government program can’t pay the entire bill, and that was never the intent of it.
Grants and cash assistance is offered from November to April of every year. A number of qualifications need to be met before any funds are paid out, and customers may qualify for cash grants from LEAP if they meet income guidelines. Funds are usually prioritized for seniors, the elderly, and disabled in Colorado, however anyone can apply for utility assistance.
People who need help can be referred to the Citizens Option to Provide Energy program, which is often called COPE. This program is really run by a number of non-profit agencies in the Colorado Springs service territory.
Some of the conditions that need to be met by customers include the applicant needs to have received a Colorado Springs Utilities disconnect notice, and they must be faced with an emergency situation that was not of their doing. It is also a program of last resort, and applicants to Project COPE need to have first applied for the federal government funded Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) assistance. Only if LEAP assistance is no longer available, or if the customer does not qualify for LEAP, only then can customers apply for COPE. They will need to meet with a local non-profit partner agency as well. Funds are only paid out to qualified families at most once per year.
The Energy Resource Center (ERC) as well as Colorado Springs Utilities work together to provide free energy and water conservation improvements for income qualified residential customers. These free improvements include, but are not limited to, weatherization and insulation upgrades, furnace tune-ups and refrigerator, toilet and shower head replacements, CFL bulbs, as well as air leakage testing. To learn more or apply for energy efficiency, dial ERC at 719-591-0772.
Another local non-profit agency that Colorado Springs Utility customers can call for assistance with utility bill is Pikes Peak United Way. They offer for financial assistance with various bills, including utility, energy, and water. Dial 211 to reach this organization.
As indicated, also call the energy company right away. They may offer a payment plan, and work with the customer to try to assist them in any way possible.