An assistance program in Colorado – Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) – provides free energy and water-related home improvements for qualifying residential customers who have a total household income at or below 250 percent of the federal poverty line. The initiative targets customers with homes that are in much need of energy-saving upgrades and has been around since 2003. Over the past decade, about 1,300 families have been helped, according to program manager Deborah Mathis.
The operation is administered by Colorado Springs Utilities, which contracts with the non-profit Energy Resource Center – the group that actually runs the program – and the utility company will conduct a home energy audit and make the improvements where they are needed. Customers who own their own home can apply by providing a year's worth of utility bills, proof of income, photos of the house and some other personal information. Those who qualify receive an audit and the home upgrades are made for free.
This arrangement has been a blessing for Colorado residents like Nancy and Josiah Smith, who live in Security-Widefield. Before having their homes winterized, the Smiths were paying high monthly costs that they could not afford since Josiah is currently looking for work. They were paying over $250 a month in energy bills before contacting HEAP and they now look forward to paying much less to keep their home warm, particularly as temperatures around the country continue to plummet.
There is plenty that you can do to improve the energy efficiency of your home, even if you are not assisted by any official program. Alban Inspections will perform an energy audit of your home, and work with you to upgrade any areas that need improvement.