For those living in Colorado that cannot afford to pay their monthly utility bills, there is a program in place to help improve energy efficiency and reduce energy costs. The program – known as the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) – provides free energy and water-related home improvements for qualifying residential customers. The household must make a total income that is at or below 250 percent of the federal poverty line. The initiative targets people who have homes that are in desperate need of energy-saving upgrades and has been around for just over ten years. 1,300 families have been helped, according to program manager Deborah Mathis.
The entire operation is run by Colorado Springs Utilities, which will come out and conduct a home energy audit and make the various improvements where they are needed. Customers who own their home can apply to be a part of the program by providing a year's worth of utility bills, proof of income, photos of the house and other various pieces of personal information. Those who meet the qualifications and are accepted will get an energy audit and the home upgrades made free of charge.
This program has been a complete blessing for Colorado residents such as Nancy and Josiah Smith. Before having their home winterized, the Smiths were paying upwards of $250 a month in energy costs, something they could not sustain. After contacting HEAP, the Smiths are now paying a much lower rate, saving them money while reducing their carbon footprint.
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