With temperatures going down and energy costs going up, many in the Grand Valley are struggling to pay their heating bills. While the LEAP program gives those in need a financial boost, another local non-profit is helping hundreds of families use less energy.
Because of the increasing price of natural gas, Xcel Energy estimates its customers will pay up to 12 percent more on their heating bills this winter.
Rick Hills, who works for Housing Resources of Western Colorado, says with energy costs so high --
"I've seen quite a few people where it's like are we gonna stay warm or are we gonna buy our medicine and our food or what have you," said Hills.
-- it's important to cut back on energy use.
"We wanna make them efficient," said Hills.
That's where Housing Resources' low income weatherization program comes in -- a comprehensive fix to make homes more energy efficient.
"We go out, we look at all the insulation measures," said Hills. "Under the house, up the walls, across the ceilings."
In addition to improving insulation, the group also makes improvements to furnaces and duct work, replaces old refrigerators, brings in energy efficient light bulbs, and patches up cracks and holes where air can get in and out of your home -- all at no cost to the client.
"The work we've done saves year after year," said Hills.
A family of four making $37,000 a year qualifies for the weatherization program.
"Anybody that qualifies for LEAP will automatically income qualify for our program," said Hills.
Housing Resources says people who live in mobile homes or who rent homes are also eligible.
Officials say the program is available across Western Colorado and applications can be picked up at their offices in Grand Junction, Montrose, and Durango.
Applications are accepted year round. For more information, call one of the offices listed below, or click on the link below.
Grand Junction Office (970) 241-2871 ext 101
Montrose, Delta, Gunnison, Ouray Office (970) 249-4774
Durango Office (970) 259-1086