This is the case with water users of the Denver Water Board. As the need for water decreased through increased conservation during the recent drought, water rates almost doubled. Most likely this …
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This is the case with water users of the Denver Water Board. As the need for water decreased through increased conservation during the recent drought, water rates almost doubled. Most likely this same scenario will happen in the gas and oil industry, as more energy efficient practices are adopted. There is only a limited amount of assistance available to help with these increased heating costs.
The Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) will help low-income households with winter heating costs through April 30, 2009. However, LEAP only pays a portion of the home heating costs and is not intended to pay the entire costs of home heating.
To be eligible for LEAP, an individual must pay home heating costs to a utility company, fuel dealer, or as part of the rent. If the individual is living in non-subsidized housing and is paying home heating costs either in the form of rent or as a separate charge in addition to rent, the individual may be eligible for LEAP.
Individuals who live in subsidized housing are eligible for LEAP if the unit has a separate meter for fuel charges or if individuals are billed a heating surcharge for fuel.
The household monthly income for eligible persons must be less than $1,604 for a single person and $2,159 for a couple. There is no asset test.
You can apply for LEAP assistance at the county department of human/social services. You must provide proof of income from all sources unless they receive Old Age Pension, Aid to the Needy Disabled/Aid to The Blind and/or Supplemental Security Income. You must also provide a copy of the most recent heating bill showing the company name, address, and account numbers, or a copy of the most recent rent receipt, if heating costs are included in the rent.
Coloradoans must also prove “lawful presence in the United States.” Individuals must submit a valid Colorado driver’s license or a Colorado identification card, a United States military card, a United States Merchant Mariner card, or a Native American tribal document. The individual must also sign an affidavit indicating US citizenship or legal permanent residence or lawful presence in the United States.
In most cases, LEAP payments are made directly to the utility provider, rather than to the individual.
If individuals have a shutoff notice or if the heating service has been disconnected, the individual should immediately contact the county department of human/social services. Generally if the utility company is aware that an application for LEAP is being processed, the utility company will not disconnect the service.
The PUC has set guidelines which must be followed by regulated utility companies when attempting to shut off utilities. Under the “Rule 13,” the utility must give the customer 10 days advance notice of its intent to shut off the utilities. The utilities may not be shut off for 60 days if the customer has medical proof that a shut-off would be harmful. The medical certification may be used only once a year.
LEAP forms are available on the web at www.cdhs.state.co.us/leap/PDFs/leapbasicapp-2008.pdf or from the county department of human/social services in the county in which the individual resides. For assistance with forms, filing for benefits or for more information, call 303-333-3482.
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