Energy Bill Relief for Low Income Families

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DENVER (AP) _ The bad news is that some people have seen their utility bills rise. The good news is that a state program has more money than last year to help people struggling to cover costs.

The federally funded Low-income Energy Assistance Program helps with the utility bills of eligible Coloradans. The State has received an additional $8 million this winter for the program, known as Leap.

State Leap Director, Scott Barnette, says nearly 49,000 families have applied for assistance through January 18th. He hopes to serve about 100,000 households this year.

Households making at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible to apply. That works out to be a monthly gross income $3,184 for a family of four or $1,574 for one person.

Recipients must be responsible for paying heating costs or paying the utilities as part of rent and must show proof of lawful residence in the country.

Applications are available at County Social Service Departments or by calling 1-866-HEAT HELP, or 1-866-432-8435.

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