PUEBLO COUNTY, Colo. — Energy costs weigh heavily on low-income households. On Wednesday, Pueblo County officials helped spread the word about the ways to keep homes warmer in the winter.
This is crucial for people who need better insulation in their homes. The services are free to those who qualify and allow for significant work to be done to different homes.
The Weatherization Assistance Program is where professionals come to a home, conduct an energy audit where they check the water heater, ducts, furnace and insulation. Then they’ll provide energy upgrades to income-qualified homes to help keep energy costs low.
Federal grant money pays for the program in 10 southeastern Colorado counties. The primary goal is energy efficiency, but they’re worried about health and safety too.
“The floors were absolutely cold and the heating bills were outrageous. Right now it’s 71 degrees in here and there’s no draft at all,” homeowner Cathi Burger said. “So I mean it’s been a big blessing.”
For those in Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs Utilities has a program called HEAP. The HEAP Program provides free energy-efficiency upgrades fro low-income families to cut energy waste.
Upgrades include a new furnace, hot water heater, insulation, smart thermostat, air sealing and more. The qualifying criteria are based on household income in relation to the federal poverty guidelines.
To apply for assistance:
If you currently receive financial assistance from any of the following programs, you automatically qualify for weatherization services:
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Aid to the Needy and Disabled (AND)
- Old Age Pension (OAP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
Households can also be eligible if they meet required income guidelines. You can use the chart below to see if you qualify.