DENVER – Oct. 31, 2016 – As the winter season kicks in, Denver Human Services (DHS) is reminding Denver residents that, beginning Nov. 1, 2016, the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program, or LEAP, is available to assist households with their home heating costs. During the 2015/2016 season, nearly 12,000 people received assistance paying a portion of their heating costs through LEAP, an increase of nearly 2,000 over the previous year.
“No matter who you are or where you’re from, during this time of year, home should be where the warmth is,” said DHS Executive Director Don Mares. “We’re proud to be able to assist even more families than before by helping provide an essential aspect of home and family life to those in Denver who need it most.”
The annual LEAP program will take applications from Nov. 1, 2016 until April 30, 2017.
Receiving LEAP helps qualifying individuals and families stay warm, save money on heating costs and use their remaining cash to pay for other necessities during the winter months.
In addition, those eligible for LEAP assistance may also qualify for other energy related benefits, such as:
- The Crisis Intervention Program, which provides help with repairing or replacing a home's primary heating system, such as a furnace or wood-burning stove;
- The Weatherization Program is designed to improve the energy efficiency in homes throughout Colorado, helping to permanently reduce heating costs; and
- The Property Tax/Rent/Heat Credit (PTC) rebate is offered to low-income seniors and disabled persons and is administered by the Colorado Department of Revenue.
Both families and individuals with incomes of up to 165 percent of the federal poverty index may qualify for LEAP. For example, a family of four with a monthly gross income of less than $3,341 would qualify for LEAP if they met the rest of the eligibility criteria.
Applicants must meet the following to receive help from LEAP:
- Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident, or be part of a household with a legal resident;
- Responsible for paying heating costs; and
- Meet certain income limits
Both home owners and renters who have at least one legally present household member are eligible to apply for LEAP. See the program eligibility web page for more information.
Applying for LEAP is simple. Applications may be requested by calling 1-866-HEAT-HELP (432-8435), or people may print an application from www.denvergov.org/LEAP. DHS will accept applications from Denver residents for the LEAP program through Sunday, April 30, 2017.
LEAP is a statewide mail-in program that is federally funded and county administered. LEAP is not intended to pay the entire cost of home heating. Those applying for assistance must continue to pay their home heating bill.
Ways to Save Energy and Money
- Replace your furnace filter every two months during winter.
- Keep curtains, shutters and blinds closed at night and when it is cloudy.
- Turn down your heat; each degree you turn it down will save about 3% on your heating bill.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.
- Set water heater temperatures at 120 degrees or lower.