In the winter of 2023 Coloradans experienced an unprecedented increase in utility bills. This was due to the convergence of high gas commodity prices, a deeply cold winter, and the recovery of deferred gas costs from events like Winter Storm Uri. Find out more about what happened and the state's response here.
Provided below is information on a number of programs designed to help low income Coloradans with their energy bills. Information on home weatherization and upcoming state and federal rebates for energy efficient appliances is available on the Colorado Energy Office website.
Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)
The LEAP program works to keep our communities warm during the winter (November through April) by assisting with heating costs, equipment repair and/or replacement of inoperable heating tools. While the program is not intended to pay the entire cost of home heating, we aim to help alleviate some of the burdens that come with Colorado's colder months.
In most cases, the energy assistance benefit is paid directly to the household energy supplier. In most cases, if you are approved for LEAP, payments are made directly to your primary heating fuel vendor and a notice will be sent to you informing you of the benefit amount. Other benefits provided by LEAP include repair or replacement of a home’s primary heating system, such as a furnace or wood-burning stove. The program does not provide financial assistance for any type of temporary or portable heating.
If your income is up to 60 percent of the state median income level, you may qualify for heating assistance through LEAP. The amount of the energy assistance benefit varies depending on a variety of factors, including the primary heating fuel costs and income. For more information on LEAP visit cdhs.colorado.gov/leap or call 1-866-432-8435.
If you do not qualify for LEAP, you may still qualify for any number of income-qualified programs offered by Energy Outreach Colorado.
Energy Outreach Colorado Programs
Energy Outreach Colorado (EOC) leads a network of industry, state and local partners to support, stabilize and sustain Coloradans to afford their energy needs. EOC’s tiered approach provides immediate critical services, resources to help prevent returning to a critical energy-related situation, and removing the barriers that prevent equitable energy affordability to decrease the number of Coloradans who live in energy poverty. Through that, EOC provides bill payment assistance to households across Colorado who are behind on their energy bill and are at risk of not having home energy. Payments are made directly to a local utility or fuel company. Click here to learn more about EOC’s Bill Payment Assistance.
EOC's Crisis Intervention Program helps coordinate emergency repair and/or replacement of your heating system. While EOC doesn’t provide routine maintenance, they will help to get your heat back on when it goes out. Services provided include repairs of failed furnaces or boilers, replacement of failed heating systems, and snow removal to facilitate fuel delivery in rural areas of Colorado. Click here to learn more about EOC’s Crisis Intervention Program, or call 1-855-4-MY-HEAT (1-855-469-4328) toll-free.
EOC’s Colorado Affordable Residential Energy Program focuses on your home’s energy efficiency, which is a crucial component to your overall energy costs and comfort during the hottest and coldest months of the year. This program offers energy audits, energy conservation education, upgrades such as LED light bulbs, low-flow fixtures, energy start refrigeration, air sealing, insulation, and HVAC services. Click here to learn more about EOC’s Colorado Affordable Residential Energy Program.
EOC’s Nonprofit Energy Efficiency Program awards grants for energy efficiency upgrades to nonprofit organizations that serve low-income individuals and families. This funding offsets the purchase and installation of energy efficient equipment. Participants additionally benefit from lower monthly utility bills. Services provided include energy assessments, contractor quotes management, rebates and funding resources, installation and contractor management support, energy conservation education, and replacing energy-efficient equipment. Click here to learn more about the Nonprofit Energy Efficiency Program.
Additional nonprofit support offered by EOC can be found here.
Utility Assistance Resources
Xcel Customers – Need help paying your bill? Visit Xcel Energy’s Energy Assistance page to learn more about resources to help keep your lights on.
Black Hills customers interested in income-qualified programs can visit the Black Hills Energy Assistance Program page to learn more about the programs they offer.
Atmos Energy also offers a Bill Payment Assistance program. Visit their page to learn more.
Colorado Natural Gas offers a variety of income-qualified programs. Learn more about how you can get the support you need by visiting their website.
Percentage of Income Payment Programs
Utilities regulated by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission offer a Percentage of Income Payment Program (PIPP) that is designed to ensure consumers are not paying more than six percent of their monthly income on electric and natural gas bills. Currently, consumers may qualify for PIPP after they have worked with the LEAP program to determine eligibility.
The income threshold for eligibility for the program sits at 185 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, or 60 percent of the State Median Income. In Colorado, the State Median Income is $100,760 for a four-member household, making that family qualified at $60,456. Click here for details on income qualifications for other household sizes. For more information on programs offered by the Department of Health and Human Services, click here.
Colorado Energy Office’s (CEO) Weatherization Assistance Program is designed to maximize energy cost savings for Coloradans by providing them with cost-effective energy efficiency services. These services focus on the home as a system and include a variety of measures that improve the home's energy efficiency. These cost-effective services reduce wasted energy and lower heating bill costs, while improving the overall comfort and safety of a home year-round. Click here to learn more about CEO’s Weatherization Assistance Program.
2-1-1 Colorado streamlines services and provides one central location where people can get connected to the resources they need. With a database that is updated daily, 2-1-1 Colorado can connect you to variety of critical resources on the website or simply by dialing a three-digit number. You can call 211 from your phone for assistance. 2-1-1 can connect you to available resources in your local community.
The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Lifeline program helps low-income earners to stay connected to the nation’s voice and broadband networks, allowing them to maintain access to health care providers, emergency services, and other support systems.
The FCC also has the Emergency Broadband Benefit program offers a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.