Montrose, COLO.—Montrose County Human Services is now accepting Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) applications now through April 30th, 2022. LEAP is designed to help low-income households meet their winter home heating costs; it does not pay the entire cost of home heating. LEAP is a federally funded program through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and managed locally by Montrose County Human Services.
"Many people may not realize that LEAP funds can be used for variety of heating sources--whether it's propane, gas, electric, wood, or even coal--our goal is to help keep our community warm during the winter," said Mirian Mason, Montrose County Eligibility Supervisor Child Care, Leap & Work Programs Supervisor. "We want to make sure that none of our residents are without heat in the cold winter months."
The amount of the energy assistance benefits varies depending on a variety of factors, including the primary heating fuel costs and income. The program does not provide financial assistance for any type of temporary or portable heating. In most cases the energy assistance benefit is paid directly to the household energy supplier.
In addition to home heating bill assistance, LEAP recipients may be eligible to receive furnace repair and replacement in heat-related emergencies in addition to weatherization services pending the results of a home energy audit. Currently, LEAP recipients are also eligible for two temporary programs that are part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP). The Utility Assistance Program provides funds to assist with paying down past-due accounts for a home's primary heating source and supportive fuel while funding is available. The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) serves eligible Colorado households who pay a water vendor directly and whose account is either in arrears or shut off. LIHWAP provides funds to make a one-time payment to the water vendor directly on behalf of eligible households if funding is available.
To be eligible for benefits, households must pay heating costs directly to a utility company or fuel supplier, or pay heating costs as part of their rent. If heat is included in your rent and you do not live in subsidized housing, you may qualify for LEAP. The program counts your gross monthly income. Household gross income may not exceed 65 percent of the State Median Income--the maximum gross monthly income for a one person household for the 2021-2022 LEAP season is $2759.00
If you are interested in receiving LEAP benefits, you must fill out a LEAP application. Applications may be obtained through your local LEAP office at the Montrose County Human Service building at 1845 South Townsend Avenue starting November 1st. Applicants are required to submit a copy of their most recent heating bill or rent receipt (if heat is included in rent) and proof of income, along with a VALID Colorado ID or driver’s license. For more information regarding LEAP, call human services at 970-252-5000, visit the LEAP website, stop in to human services offices at 1845 South Townsend Avenue, or call the HEAT HELP Hotline at 1-866-432-8435.